It has always been bad idea to compare people of one era to another in any field of life but more often it is being done to either one’s presence felt or to undermine someone’s contribution.
It is not the first time when any cricketer has tried to compare the great cricketers of India to each other and former captain of Pakistan and one of the best all rounder and fast bowlers Imran Khan did the same and compared sachin Tendulkar to Sunil Gavaskar.
It would have been a non issue if Imran Khan had said that Sunil Gavasakar was much better because I played with him and seen him very closely but he not only compared Sachin Tendulkar to Sunil Gavaskar but went further to pass the stricture on Sachin Tendulkar that he never played innings like Sunil Gavaskar played.
Imran Khan is very much on track when he find Sunil Gavaskar one of the best batsman India has ever produced because when he played Indian players were unaware of fast bowling and he faced the most famous fast bowlers with courage and guts but Imran Khan does the mistake of being stuck in his era and with that point of view he tried to describe the entire nature and evolution of cricket.
Sunil Gavaskar was the player of solid foundation who have the courage to face the bouncers but before Sachin Tendulkar India had only K Shrikant as stroke player who could play lofted shots to fast bowlers in early part of the innings and it was Sachin Tendulkar who followed the path of Gratebach , Jayasuriya , Mark Waugh , Saeed Anawar to put India on the map of fast moving cricketing nature where India was also ready to play lofted shots and take risk in early innings to accelerate the run rate.
The biggest contribution of Sachin Tendulkar in Indian cricket is to give the confidence to Indian batsman hammer the bowlers and create havoc in opposition camp to be able to dictate the terms.
How Imran Khan forget the centurion of 2003 world cup when he as TV commentator was confidently saying that Pakistan has posed a big total and given the tendency of Sachin Tendulkar to buckle under pressure the huge Indian fans in centurion will feel Sachin nervous and he would not be able to accelerate the innings . But after the lunch opposite happens and Sachin Tendulkar hit Shoaib Akhtar for six on his first ball and won the psychological battle immediately.
The one factor which I found Imran Khan may have missed in his analysis with Sachin Tendulkar is how he changed the nature and thought process of Indian cricket team and players post 90’s since then India surge as a fast moving number one team in all format of games but since 90’s in spite of the fact that Pakistan won the world cup in 1992 in the captaincy of Imran Khan since then it was on slide and place, confidence and role of Pakistan in cricketing world is not very encouraging . Imran Khan should have kept these facts in his analysis also.