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New Delhi: Even as the 35,000-odd fans at the Feroz Shah Kotla waited in anticipation to see one of the greatest cricketers to have played the game — Rahul Dravid — walk onto the field as a player for one last time, they were in for a pleasant surprise.
Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar — also in the last leg of his career — caught up with the Rajasthan Royals skipper, even as his other Mumbai Indians teammates were busy warming up minutes before the start of the final.
The admiration they share is no secret and it was pretty evident as both the legends of Indian cricket spoke about the numerous years that they have spent together. Not only that, the duo also took the opportunity to reveal how tournaments like the IPL and the CLT20 gave them an opportunity to play against each other — something both cherish.
Speaking about playing with Dravid, Tendulkar said: “I remember Dravid being part of Wills Trophy team when I was his captain, but we played in whites. That was the first time I saw him. I think it was way back in 1993-94 and since then we have been in whites and colours but playing in same team. It has been an amazing experience since. He would be the No. 3 in my team any day. He has batted so beautifully over the years and the way he loves facing challenges, it is great.”
Dravid is older to Tendulkar by a few months, but revealed how before getting picked for India, he actually looked up to Tendulkar.
“You have to realise that while I am elder to him, he is seven years senior to me career-wise. He had already established himself and was doing great things around the world when we were still playing first-class matches. So he was a great inspiration for us. We felt that if he can do so well, even we can. It was indeed a thrill to come into the team and share the dressing room with him. He was the captain of the team when I played my third Test,” the Rajasthan Royals skipper said.
Coming to the T20 format, Dravid said that it was a great experience for youngsters to not only play alongside and against legends like Tendulkar, but also to get early taste of such electric atmosphere.
“Just look at the environment. It is great for the youngsters, to not only play on the same team alongside someone like Tendulkar, but also to get a feel of such experience at such an early age. That is exactly why the Indian team has been doing so well in the shorter formats of the game in the last few years,” he said.
Tendulkar echoed Dravid’s sentiments. “It is not only about giving lectures as a senior player. It is also about making the youngsters feel comfortable and sharing your experience. Most importantly, Indian cricket has benefited and that is what matters most,” he said.
While this is the last time Dravid will be playing, he doesn’t want his No. 19 shirt to be retired by Rajasthan Royals.
“No, I really don’t want something like that. Dinesh Karthik is already using it in Mumbai Indians and I don’t mind someone else wearing it too,” he said with a laugh.
Reproduced from Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.
Legends express mutual admiration
Dravid is older to Tendulkar by a few months, but revealed how before getting picked for India, he actually looked up to Tendulkar.By Baidurjo Bhose | Mail Today – Mon 7 Oct, 2013 8:49 AM IST
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