Legends go nostalgic at T20 finale
The two, for decades, have been the giants of Indian cricket. Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, chalk and cheese in batsmanship but united in their love for the sport, played their last match together at Feroz Shah Kotla ground in front of a boisterous gathering on Sunday.
The two long time teammates are legends in their lifetimes and have carved out a space, as unique as their styles, for themselves. Pitted against each other in the Champions League Twenty20 final, however, has not cast a shadow over the tremendous respect they have for each other but only brought out a fond nostalgia.
If Tendulkar, representing Mumbai Indians, was turning out in his last Twenty20 appearance, for Dravid, the captain of Rajasthan Royals, it was his farewell match from all formats of the game.
“I think I captained Rahul for the first time in whites, a Wills Trophy match in 1993 or 94. Any day in my team he would be the No 3. He loved challenges, I knew we could bank on Rahul,” Tendulkar told former cricketer and commentator Ravi Shastri ahead of the final. Dravid, his pensive face breaking into a smile, returned the compliment.
“One final time is nice. It’s funny that we've played against each other more in coloured clothing. You must remember that Sachin is seven years senior to me as a cricketer. He was an inspiration to all of us and I was thrilled to share the dressing room with him during my first time,” he said.
Asked about his journey, Dravid, who was fondly called “The Wall” for his impregnable defence, said: “I think. It's been a roller coaster ride for Royals. But it has been a great journey, I couldn't have asked for anything more.”