It’s an argument going back generations. Who is the best Indian test batsman? Rahul Dravid or Sachin Tendulkar?
Both batsmen are legends in their own right and Tendulkar has an untouchable record in limited overs cricket. But in test cricket, which suited Dravid’s strengths, the debate over who is better is more intense.
A social media poll conducted by Wisden India has rekindled the debate after Dravid beat Tendulkar narrowly, garnering 52% of the votes. While the sample size is small with around 11,400 votes deciding the contest, it has restarted the tussle over who is better among cricket lovers on social media.
“Much like Dravid batted during his playing career, he dug in and fought back in the poll, eventually crossing the line with a decent lead at the very end,” Wisden India posted on its social media page.
Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, or simply Wisden, is a cricket reference book published annually in the United Kingdom. In 2012, an Indian edition was launched titled Wisden India Almanack.
The poll put up on Wisden India’s social media page listed 16 Indian batting greats, including Sunil Gavaskar and Virat Kohli. Gavaskar and Kohli finished 3rd and 4th respectively in the polls.
Dravid infamously made his test debut on June 20, 1996 alongside another former Indian cricket captain, Saurav Ganguly. While Ganguly scored a 100 in that game, Dravid fell short by 5 runs.
In typical Dravid fashion, he took 267 balls and over 10 hours for his score of 95. Over the next 16 years, Dravid continued to be a mainstay in the Indian test side racking up 13,288 runs in 164 matches. In comparison, Tendulkar has scored 15,921 runs in 200 test matches, including six double centuries.
But Tendulkar’s record in the shorter format of the game – One-Day Internationals – is no match for his record in the longer test format. In ODIs, he scored 18,426 runs, including the first ever double century in the format. In comparison, the second highest ODI run-getter, Kumar Sangakkara, has scored 14,234 runs.