Rahul Dravid believes Sachin Tendulkar was not only born to bat but to play cricket. Delivering a speech at the release of book ‘Sachin: Born To Bat’, written by Khalid AH Ansari and edited by Clayton Murzello, Dravid said: “Sachin had great eyes and also a great mind. He understood how to score runs and construct innings from a young age.”
Dravid said he met Sachin for the first time during the under-16 tournament when he was representing South Zone at Cuttack. He was fascinated by the great batsman’s feats at that age. “I was not playing and I was scoring, since we didn’t have scorers. I fancied myself to play since I thought I was a hot shot cricketer. When I saw his Slazenger bat, I put the pencil down and said it is a long way to go. At 13 or 14, he batted like what a 16-year-old can’t. He was something special.
Dravid said he was always inspired by books.
“I have read Sunny Days at least 25 times. A good book can motivate a lot to youngsters. It can inspire generation of cricketers.”
The former Test captain recalled an incident about the commitment of Sachin Tendulkar at Chennai. “Once Sanjay Manjrekar said the West Zone landed in Chennai without spinners. Sanjay and Ravi Shastri were wondering what they would do as they did not come with spinners. Sachin overheard them and said in his squeaky voice ‘Main dalega.’ They asked him kya dalega, Sachin replied ‘Kuch bhi dalega, off spin or leg spin’. He went on to bowl 2o to 25 overs in that game. That shows his accomplishments.”