It is a career that has been filled with memorable innings throughout. Such was their impact that every time they walked in a big knock was expected off them. The Champions League T20 final witnessed two of the finest batsmen – Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid - in coloured clothing for the last time.
While, we can see Tendulkar in action in the Tests, this was the last of Dravid. While it is unfair to compare the performances of the two, this is an attempt to look at how the two oldest players managed to break barriers and excel in the most recent form of the game.
Tendulkar by far is regarded as one of the best players ever, while Dravid too tails him closely. Other than their thirst for runs, they are as different as chalk and cheese. While Tendulkar is more flamboyant, Dravid always does it the hard way and believed in grafting the innings.
As expected, Tendulkar is ahead in the matter of runs scored and only if the performance with the bat is taken into consideration, then the Mumbaikar wins it, but not by a big margin. Tendulkar has scored 2797 runs in 96 T20s, while Dravid has 2586 in 109 matches.
Sachin averages 32.90 at a strike rate of 121, while Dravid averages 27.51 at 113.87 strike rate. Dravid is almost on par with Sachin in this format and is more credible because he is not a naturally aggressive batsman.
On the other hand, Dravid along with his willow brings in other qualities like leadership and this is where he stands out from Tendulkar.
Ask Rajasthan Royals, they will tell you how important Dravid have been in their squad. It is rather a contrast that the two players played in two teams that are poles apart. Mumbai Indians are known for their spending spree and had two players for the same spot. Royals, meanwhile, have been one of the most economical and Dravid had to deal with meagre resources that were at his disposal.
This is where the Dravid emerges as a better player in the T20 format. In his final three seasons in the IPL, Dravid as Royals captain was one of the most consistent (343, 462, 471) and compare this to Tendulkar (553, 324, 287). Adding to this, Dravid's knack of marshalling his resources to perfection and mastering the art of captaining in T20 tilts the argument in his favour.
As we say this, captaincy has never been Tendulkar’s cup of tea. Be it while captaining India or while captaining Mumbai Indians, the Little Master has never been successful. For all that is said, the two are greats in their own right and are a role model to the youngsters, how the fittest can adapt and survive.