Dear Sri Guha,
This mail comes to you in response to your comparison between Gavaskar – Gundappa to Tendulkar – Dravid. There could be more comparisons than those mentioned in the article. Both Gavaskar and Tendulkar have an aura of records around them. But when it comes to batting when the team badly needs it, the other two stand out.
Another striking similarity between Gavaskar and Tendulkar is their playing for self. The other two are more in the ‘team player mould’. On many occasions, both Gavaskar and Tendulkar have invited criticism for their snail pace innings near landmarks. On one such occasion, Tendulkar even couldn’t achieve a double hundred (though I still think Dravid should have given him an extra over)! And the other has the ‘distinction’ of batting for 60 overs and scoring just about 36 runs; and that too in a one day international! Even Venkatapathy Raju scores faster. On the contrary, the Mysorewala and the Indorewala are famous for their batting in crunch situations, which tells you the temperament and class of truly great players. As you mentioned, Gundappa’s hundreds were more relevant to the team cause and a better result like Dravid’s and unlike Gavaskar – Tendulkar’s. But one cannot be blind toward the records as well!
Another similarity between Gavaskar and Gundappa is that both became ICC match referees after their stints in the national sides. Dravid and Tendulkar might also achieve that feat. An interesting similarity is that Gavaskar and Gundappa were born in the same year 1949 and Tendulkar and Dravid were born in the year 1973!
Gavaskar, Tendulkar and also Dravid have invited black marks in their cricketing careers. Tendulkar was once caught for tampering with the ball (though I wonder which fast bowler in that Indian team had the talent and potential to take its benefit by bowling with it!). Gavaskar was in the limelight for his comments on the game India played against Zimbabwe in the 1999 World Cup in England. Dravid was once caught for smearing some jelly on the ball. Yet, as a player, one has to admit that Gundappa was a cut above the rest with his true spirits of the game. He hasn’t involved in any such allegations; and has even got the credit for calling back Bob Taylor of England in the Golden Jubilee Test Match in 1979-80, though he went on to lose that match – his only one as the boss.