Former Indian cricketer and current commentator Aakash Chopra believes that Rahul Dravid was a more vital player for India in Test cricket than Sachin Tendulkar. He has stated these views while discussing the two legends in his book, ‘Numbers do lie’.
Writing about the impact of both legends on Indian cricket, Chopra stated in his book, “In terms of Test cricket, rated ahead of him (Tendulkar) is Rahul Dravid. In the 1990s, when Sachin was just the lone ranger, nobody was supporting him. If I have to put it this way, Sachin never had Rahul to support him to win matches, but Rahul always had Sachin to support him to win matches.”
Further elaborating his views, Chopra added, “Rahul absorbed more pressure because batting at No. 3 and No. 4 are two different things. So Rahul was invariably batting at 10 for one and had Viru (Sehwag) for the company. By the time Sachin came in it’s just that the pressure was not the same all the time. Also, Rahul’s overseas performances have been the clincher.”
Chopra was also full of praise for former Indian pace spearhead Zaheer Khan. “In the 85-year-old history of Indian Test cricket, the highest impact bowler in overseas conditions for India is Zaheer Khan. Between 2007 and 2012, you (Zaheer) were the second highest impact and the second-most consistent fast bowler in the world after Dale Steyn.”
Statements which are sure to make the world stand up and listen, by Aakash Chopra.