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Saturday, June 11, 2011

SRT and MSD

Sachin Tendulkar. Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Two legends who are adored by different generations, playing for the same team, but still manage to keep their head on their shoulders. Role models for the next generation cricketers in the Indian sub-continent. What more can one say? Only that the youngsters in the Indian cricket team are lucky to be sharing the dressing room with players who are extra-ordinary gentlemen as well as skilled professionals in the art they pursue.

If Sachin was the epitome of individual skills, Dhoni has shown that he is one who can shine in a team situation. For long, Tendulkar was failing to get the one team medal that was not present in his closet - the World Cup winners medal. He tried in five different World Cups but destiny was not on his side. It was meant to be in a team that was captained by the best captain that India had (in terms of accomplishments he is beyond the statistically-backed Sourav Ganguly). He scored two centuries in this World Cup but coincidentally they were the two matches that India did not win (tie against England, loss against South Africa).

Sachin tried his best to inspire a generation of young cricketers to share his dream but in trying to do that, his expectations soared. This was probably the burden that upcoming youngsters could not face and coming from the legend, they could not say it out openly. Dhoni, on the other hand, is very approachable to his players. He supports them when their form is down, like Piyush Chawla and Ashwin in the World Cup or Yuvraj Singh before. The support makes the players believe in themselves and come out much stronger.

Before you start thinking that this article is in favor of Dhoni, I would like to set the record straight that as a batsman he is far behind SRT. Though his ODI record is quite good and he has proved his worth time and again, he is not facing the issues that ailed the Indian team during Sachin's younger days. In test matches, Sachin is streets ahead of the rest of the world, forget Dhoni.

Together with Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, the Indian team is lucky to have four gentlemen in the playing eleven. There might not be many matches that this quartet will play together in the future but as long as they do, we should enjoy the occasion. Such genuinely good successful human beings in one team is a rarity. Do you agree?
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