On Monday afternoon, the loudest cheer at Narendra Modi-led Gujarat Cricket Association's Sardar Patel Stadium, in Motera (Ahmedabad) was reserved for two of the greatest legends of the game -- Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. Their cricketing loyalties may be divided by teams, but Tendulkar and Dravid seemed like brothers-in-arm as Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals prepared for their Indian Premier League contest.
Having retired last year from cricket and IPL, Tendulkar and Dravid have assumed roles as mentor for Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals, respectively. But the former batting stars, who served Indian cricket for over two decades each, have not forgotten their basic cricketing instincts ahead of a match. (RR vs MI Scorecard)
Just like their playing days, both Dravid and Tendulkar walked up to the pitch, felt its hardness and made mental notes. It was time to meet and greet, too. A little heavy on their feet and more grey on the head and face, both legends shared a laugh and exchanged notes, just like when they stood in a slips cordon. It was a perfect meeting much to the delight of the crowd at Motera. Tendulkar is even sporting a new bearded-look.
Cricket is not about hitting sixes and fours. It's about the romanticism and its characters. Tendulkar and Dravid were joined in by a third legend, Anil Kumble. Tendulkar and Kumble are part of the Mumbai brainstrust but this time, Dravid was not 'enemy.' The troika has won and lost many a battle for India and it was time for a happy reunion.