Calcutta: Playing for one last time together in a competitive match, though for different teams, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid saluted each other with the latter saying that his long time ex-India teammate had inspired him to strive for excellence in the game.
“Even though Sachin is of my age or two months younger to me, he is seven years senior (to me) as an international cricketer. When I came into the Indian team, Sachin was the India captain in my third Test.
“He was someone you would look up to as a young cricketer growing up. You saw this young kid do amazing things across the world. It was a sort of inspiration for all of us playing first-class cricket,” Dravid said.
“It was like, look, if this guy can do it, we can also try to do so. The opportunity to try and share a dressing room with him was a huge motivation. For me to be on that England trip for the first time and share a dressing room with him was a huge thing,” Dravid said.
Dravid admitted he couldn’t recollect playing too many matches against Tendulkar.
“I don’t think me and Sachin played too many games against each other. I cannot remember playing for Karnataka against Mumbai.
“I might have played some zonal games with Sachin on the other side. We have played some matches against each other in coloured clothing.
“But yes, to play against each other for one last time is certainly nice.
Tendulkar, too, returned the compliments, describing Dravid as “a master technician.” “No doubt, he is a master technician. Any day in my team, he will be the No.3 batsman because there were so many innings in which he batted brilliantly.
“When the rest of the guys found it difficult, he was comfortable. He loved challenges and I knew we could bank on Rahul at times of difficulty.”
Tendulkar, too, recalled the period when he came to know Dravid during the Wills Trophy two decades ago. “I remember Rahul being part of Wills Trophy team when I was his captain.
“I think it was way back in 1993-94 and since then we have been in whites and colours but playing in same team.
“This, apart from the IPL, is a rare moment where two of us get to play against each other in coloured clothing.
“But on any other platform, we have not been able to play against each other in whites… “ Tendulkar said.