One man missing from Dravid's felicitation — Sachin Tendulkar
Although his admirers, team mates and past India greats attended Rahul Dravid's felicitation function organised the Indian cricket board in Mumbai on Tuesday, there was one man whose absence stood out. Sachin Tendulkar. HT reports. Dravid hailed support of former teammatesUpdated: Mar 29, 2012 02:29 IST
Although his admirers, team mates and past India greats attended Rahul Dravid's felicitation function organised the Indian cricket board in Mumbai on Tuesday, there was one man whose absence stood out. Sachin Tendulkar.
Tendulkar's decision to skip the function to travel to London due attend to a toe injury, and Dravid not mentioning him in his speech has again fuelled doubts whether all's well between the two batting greats.
A senior Board official confirmed that Tendulkar was originally listed as a speaker at the function but missed it to take an earlier flight because he had prior appointment with a specialist in London.Anil Kumble had flown down from Bangalore, VVS Laxman from Hyderabad and Sourav Ganguly from Kolkata. Tendulkar, who missed it, can probably see the venue from his terrace. These were the 'Big Five' of Indian cricket for well over the last decade, forming the core group which took the team to the next level.
As a reciprocal gesture, Dravid spoke glowingly about each of the three and skipper MS Dhoni, but didn't utter a word about Tendulkar.
It's no secret the two have a sweet-sour relationship, but from the outside things seemed fine between the two for the last couple of years. So the latest incident came as a surprise to many.
The two have generally taken care to avoid controversies in their careers but there have been instances when their paths crossed. The first time was when Dravid, as stand-in captain in Pakistan, declared when Tendulkar was on 194 in the Multan Test of the 2004 series. An upset Tendulkar said in the press conference that he was surprised by the stand-in captain's decision. India went on to win that Test, their first victory in Pakistan soil, on way to a historic series victory.
However, the two soon patched up after then coach John Wright helped clear the air.
Serious differences arose between the two after Tendulkar was pushed down the order against his wishes in the 2007 World Cup. It didn't turn out to be a wise call by captain Dravid and coach Greg Chappell. Tendulkar failed batting at No 4, the team flopped and the players returned home to a severe backlash.
Dravid and Chappell's strategy seemed to have been based on their experience from the 2006 tour but as curator, Andy Roberts said the character of the wickets at the World Cup was not the same.
They had more bounce and carry, and Tendulkar's expertise and experience at the top of the order could have made the difference.
The Mumbai batsman returned an upset man and held a grudge over the decision for long. In recent times, though, the two had warmed up to each other. Dravid publicly declared that Tendulkar had been an inspiration in his recent resurgence while the latter paid tribute saying there will be only one Dravid.
The last act, however, has raised many eyebrows again.
First Published: Mar 29, 2012 00:52 IST