When Sachin Tendulkar overshadowed Rahul Dravid for that one final time
In their first encounter of the Champions League Twenty 20, Mumbai Indians were up against Rajasthan Royals and the hype of the match reached its crescendo the moment everybody realised it would be the final time Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid will be playing together, though against each other, in a coloured jersey.
Mumbai Indians were high on confidence after winning IPL 2013 while Rajasthan Royals had an uphill task ahead of them as their key players were banned from cricket for their alleged involvement in a spot-fixing scandal that once again shattered the faith of several cricket fans.
But ‘The Wall’ was determined to reunite a side that had seen a lot post IPL 2013, and his players were equally adamant to excel in what was their skipper’s last appearance in a T20 series. They began the tournament with a bang as they thrashed Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians by seven wickets. But Dravid’s contribution with the bat wasn’t much as he was dismissed by Coulter-Nile for just one run. Tendulkar too didn’t play a big innings, but he hit three boundaries during his 17-ball stay and was the spotlight between the two legends.
Dravid was hailed for his leadership skills ever since he took over the captaincy of Rajasthan Royals in a format where he has represented the country on just one occasion. The Royals continued their good show right through the series and much to the delight of many, the finale once again was between Mumbai and Rajasthan that was once again hyped as a Tendulkar vs Dravid contest.
As I stated earlier, it was the last appearance for both the cricketers in a coloured jersey. Only one could witness the fairy-tale ending. And as it has been right through their careers, the Little Master got more applause than The Wall.
Tendulkar got the guard of honour and once again scored 15 runs as compared to Dravid’s 1, both were clean bowled, but Dravid’s wicket was the final nail in the Royals’ coffin and their players looked dejected after failing to give a grand farewell to their skipper, even as Tendulkar was lifted on the shoulders, once again by young Indian cricketers.
While Dravid’s contribution has always been overshadowed by the likes of Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman throughout his career, CL T20 2013 was a tournament where he failed miserably with the bat. Nonetheless, only if one could see the selfless devotion he gave to Rajasthan Royals, runs and form won’t matter.
Out of all the teams, one would have least expected the Rajatshan Royals to remain unbeaten till the finale.
I wonder what would have been the viewership of this year’s Champions League in absence of these two legends. There was the Mahi factor that kept a certain section of cricket fans glued to their screens, but the stadiums were jam-packed and people followed the tournament with excitement only because of these two gentlemen.
While the Mumbai Indians dressing room was busy celebrating their consecutive title triumph, somewhere in another part of Feroz Shah Kotla, a dejected Dravid was left wondering what went wrong in the final. Because, as far as commitment is concerned, Dravid gave his 100 percent. The Wall would be contented with his work.
Thanks for all the memories Dravid. Cricket will continue, but it won’t be that much of a gentleman’s game without you.