Mumbai: It is irrelevant if Sachin Tendulkar comes up with big knocks or not in his swansong series, but he surely deserves a good farewell for his sheer dedication in the last 24 years, Rahul Dravid said on Moinday.
“I just hope he really enjoys the last two games and enjoys his cricket irrespective of whether he scores or not because that is irrelevant. I hope he has a lot of fun and those two matches will be two great occasions. I just want to wish him all the best and say thank you for all that he has done for Indian cricket,” Dravid said.
“He is one player who has never let his standard come down. His love for cricket has been consistent from the age of 16 to even now at 40. I would like that he does well in his last two Tests and signs off with a good performance.
“His family is also coming down so both these two Tests will be a big event. He has worked hard for so many years now so he deserves a good farewell,” Dravid told reporters on the sidelines of a promotional.
“Everything is known about him. Probably he is the most written about cricketer of this generation and probably ever.”
Dravid said it would be difficult to get near to Sachin’s achievements.
“I played a lot of cricket with Sachin. I have seen him since childhood. He has been with the Indian team for a long time and he is a great cricketer not only in India but what he is accomplished, his statistics, his performance is difficult to replicate,” he said.
Asked who he feels can get into Sachin’s shoes, Dravid said it would be unfair to expect any youngster to immediately fill the void.
“There are some talented youngsters. When you look at what Virat Kohli has been able to do in one-day cricket and even in Test cricket, is quite exceptional.
“I think India’s one-day batting is good as I have ever seen it. It’s sensational the top six, seven they have at the moment. So just a question of some of these young guys being able to fill in. Look it is not going to be easy to fill those shoes.
“So you have got to give people time. Hopefully these young guys, you have got a Kohli or a (Rohit) Sharma, (Ajinkya) Rahane, (Suresh) Raina, so many of these young guys pushing for slots. It is going to be interesting to see which one of them can sort of hold onto a permanent slot for a while,” he said.
Dravid added that he is hopeful to watch Sachin for last couple of times and said his retirement wasn’t a surprise.
“I am hoping to. I hope to do some media work. I hope to be there. When you are 40 and have played as much as you have, it doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone. It is just reality of sport and life, that kind of age people have been talking for a while now and I am sure he has been thinking about it for a while,” he said.