A few days back an Australian researcher came up with a new theory that puts Sachin Tendulkar ahead of Don Bradman. Both of them are the masters of the game and are way ahead than anyone who has played cricket so far. In this little article I am not going to try to show how the Don is greater than Sachin or how Sachin is greater than Don because these kind of comparisons, as some would say, are quite unnecessary. Both are greats and it is really difficult to come up with a clear winner as they belonged to different eras and played in different conditions. I am a Sachin Tendulkar fan and if someone says to me that Bradman is greater, then I would just say that the comparison is wrong and they both are equal, but if they insist and demean Sachin in any way then I have no other way than coming to Sachin’s rescue. For I can also argue that Sachin is the best player to have played this game and that he is the greatest. There are some things that show how Sachin is greater than Don. For example –
Would Bradman have an average of 99.94 if he had played more than 180 Test matches and 450 ODI matches?
Or I can reverse this question and ask – Would Sachin average 99.94 if he had played only about 50 or 60 Test matches in a span of 20 years against just 4 teams repeatedly? ( Bradman played about 37 matches against England alone)
No one can answer these questions because both had their advantages and disadvantages. So it is best to say that both are equals and it is not correct to compare these Kings of Cricket.
A note to Sachin haters
Also, I see some of my fellow Indians, who despise Tendulkar for some reason, say that he is a selfish player who plays for his own records! What utter rubbish! If that is the case then all selfish people in this world would be great record holders in their own fields.
My Sachin-hater friend, let me tell you one thing – what you say is actually the other way around. Yes, I see that he slows down a bit when he tries to get his century, but is that a crime? He slows down not for himself but for us. Understand that first! There are millions of people who pray when he is in the 90s and Sachin Tendulkar slows down because he knows that we are praying. He knows that there are millions who are expecting something from him. Can you handle that pressure? We often hear about students committing suicide under extreme pressure of expectations. Before you raise a finger against Tendulkar think if you can handle even a quarter of that pressure. It takes a great man to know that there are people who pray for him, to understand that many tabloids sing his praises, and still be humble and still manage to go about his way keeping his sanity intact.
How big a match winner is he?
Out of Sachin’s 48 ODI tons 33 of them put India on the winning side with a winning percentage of 68.75. India have lost only 13 times and one match was a tie. That’s good.
But some people are still not satisfied…so another comparison.
Sourav Ganguly – 18 of his 22 tons ended in victories. The winning percentage is 81.81! Wow, that’s great!
Virendar Sehwag – 14 ODI tons with India winning 13 matches. Winning percentage 92.85. Even better than Ganguly.
But what is the average of Ganguly and Sehwag against Australia when compared to Sachin ?
Ganguly – 23.45 (no use in smashing the minnows and Sri Lankans in flat pitches)
Sehwag – 22.37 (most know that Sehwag is better in Tests than he is in ODIs)
Sachin – 46.33
Shows his class!
If Sachin is let down by his team mates what can he do about it?
Coming to Test cricket – The Indian team has been playing Test matches from the 1930s I think, and the number of matches we’ve managed to win so far is very very less (remember that there are three outcomes in test matches). So please don’t expect one man’s career to have a lot of winning matches. Unlike ODI, in Test we need good bowlers to take 20 wickets to win a game and I think that I can count with just my one hand to list such top class bowlers that India has managed to produce so far.
One more thing – Rahul Dravid, as people call him, is a wall. If you say that Sachin is not a match winner then so is Dravid. He’s a wall who puts a stop to an opponent’s winning march. That’s it. He hasn’t single-handedly won us matches. He has helped us draw matches because of his slow style of playing. I am sorry Dravid. I do understand your class, but I have to do this comparison in an illiterate way for the sake of some illiterates!
But don’t get me wrong. I side with Sachin only when people try to point out the wrong things. Otherwise I am also a fan of Ganguly (I still say that he is a better Captain than Dhoni), Sehwag and Dravid.
I dedicate this little post to Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar ahead of the 2011-2012 Australia tour which commences tomorrow. All the Best Sachin!