Let’s stop comparing

To me the comparisons only reflect poorly on the writer or the TV analyst and shows that he’s devoid of ideas.

"Let us all relish what Tendulkar gave us and what Kohli is presenting," says Gambhir.

I don’t know why, but we love comparisons. We can compare anything. I’ve never understood how two shades of pink lipsticks can be different. But I have seen women preferring a “blush pink” to a “bubblegum pink”! I have seen men comparing shade black for their suits and choosing “crow black” over “spider black”. I can offer a disclaimer that my fashion sense is not that evolved but still it has been a challenge to decode these comparisons of identical pinks and blacks.

From music to cars; from bikes to cinema of different generations, almost everything invites a comparison. Therefore it is not surprising to see Virat Kohli compared to Sachin Tendulkar. Some say, their on-side play is comparable. Others feel that Virat’s head is as still as Sachin paaji’s. To me these comparisons only reflect poorly on the writer or the TV analyst and shows that he’s devoid of ideas to put Virat’s contribution in context.

I will explain why.

There are so many variables that one has to consider before accurately comparing two cricketers, which in any case is impossible. In this case, I feel Sachin paaji faced much better bowling attacks than what my young friend is facing today. Pakistan had Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis followed by the crafty Aaquib Javed and Saqlain Mushtaq. South Africa had Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock and Lance Klusener. The West Indies had Walsh and Ambrose and an odd Patterson or Benjamin in the support cast. Australia boasted of Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie, young and extremely quick Brett Lee and then the great Shane Warne. Also, these were 1990s and early 2000s when Perth and Durban used to be quick. Brisbane had bounce and Headingley accommodated swing and even our very own Mohali use to be fast-bowling friendly.

 

These days as economics and boardroom politics rule cricket (please do read between the lines), the grounds have gone multi-purpose and drop-in pitches ensure the challenges for batsmen are limited. Besides an odd Mohammad Amir or a Mitchell Starc, other fast bowlers seem to be filling in the numbers. It is sad but true that the contest between bat and ball is more irregular in the present times than what it used to be.

Virat is playing far more cricket than what Sachin paaji did. He will complete eight years in international cricket in August this year and has played 252 international games to paaji’s 201 in a similar time span. Virat has played 40 T20 internationals to paaji’s one. Therefore Virat’s extremely fit body belongs to his game and not only to the photo-shoots. Our mutual friends tell me that he is off pranthas and butter chickens and instead has gone completely scientific in what he eats. Also, Sachin paaji may have had to wait for the next day’s newspaper to read the headline “ENDULKAR...”, but Virat gets his share of creative taunts immediately after a failure. We learnt to savour the greatness of S. D. Burman and the genius of R. D. Similarly let us all relish what Tendulkar gave us and what Kohli is presenting.

Hawkeye Communications