Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Sachin / Lara - An endless debate?

With Lara getting to his double ton, there is a fiery debate on our company bulletin board about who is the better player around (other being Sachin of course).

It turns out that a panel of “experts” in cricinfo debated on the same topic (Sanjay Manjrekar, Tony Greig, Ravi Shasthri, John Wright, Ian Chappell) and decided on Lara.

For nearly fifteen years, these two stalwarts have stood on solid ground with their greatness diminishing very little. So many players passed by them, Waugh twins, P A De Silva, Saeed Anwar, Jayasuriya – we can pile a longer list – these two players have stood steady. But if asked to pick the top two players (batsmen) from the modern cricket era, I am sure 98% of the people will pick these two, though the ordering within will change.

At 37, getting a double ton in such an authoritative fashion is astonishing. Says a lot about this man’s greatness.
At 33, with about four years to go I assume, a statistical record that makes you gasp in disbelief. Says a lot about this man’s greatness.

Why would one choose between the two, when collectively there is so much treasure to be savored?

Eventually, the conclusion of a Lara / Sachin debate is subjectively decided and I don’t think any single person can win this.

However, if you were to choose, whose side will you be in? I vote for Lara for the only reason that I think he handles on field pressure better than Sachin. The other (subjective) preference is that I feel there is a touch of arrogance about his on-field disposition that makes it very magnetic to watch. That single 153* against Australia will be a torch bearer to this capacity of his. Sachin still has a long career before him and has the talent to add more feathers to his cap. May be by the end of his career, he would have done enough to shut Lara idolizers up.

I would hate to choose between the two, but if you insist, my vote goes to Lara.

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