Indians love to watch television. There are no two ways about that. Ask any Indian about the programmes they watched on television as kids, they would probably say a few things like Shaktimaan, Movies on DD national, Mowgli etc. But there was one show that almost created a fan base like no one else: Ramanand Sagar’s “Ramayan”. Young or old this show was revered by all, many a times almost creating a ‘bharat bandh’ like situation.
Cricket being the other obsession, there were bound to be comparisons with the players on the field and the Gods on screen. Here we look at the Gods on the cricket field compared to the ones in the legendary Ramayana.
Ram: Sachin Tendulkar
Lord Ram was known as “Maryada Purushottam” which translates into “The Perfect Man”. If anyone in cricket can be called perfect it has to be Tendulkar. Lord Ram was God in human form, much like Tendulkar. Ram went on exile to the forests for 14 years and Sachin carried the burden of the Indian batting for almost the same time (1989-2002) until the complete package of Dravid,Sehwag,Laxman and Ganguly started to play in their prime.
Laxman: Rahul Dravid
Laxman was Lord Ram’s duty bound brother. He was almost inseparable from his elder sibling. In Indian cricket if there is anyone who had the best partnerships with Sachin it was none other than Rahul Sharad Dravid. Consider this:
Since the time Dravid made his debut in Tests in 1996 till he retired in 2012, Dravid and Tendulkar have the record for the highest number of runs in the history of the game in partnerships for any wicket: a staggering 6920 runs in 143 innings that they have played together. At an average of more than 50 and 20 centuries and 29 fifties among them to be precise.
We’re not done yet! Sachin and Dravid also hold the record for the biggest partnership for any wicket in the history of one day cricket: 331 runs against New Zealand in Hyderabad in the year 1999 for the 2nd wicket.
Bharat: Sourav Ganguly
Bharat was the second brother to Lord Rama. He was the king of “Ayodhya” during the period when Ram went on exile. It would be safe to say that once Sachin had given up the burden of captaincy, Sourav Ganguly took it upon himself to take the team to the next level. Bharat is often regarded as the man who always looked upto Lord Ram and in Ganguly and Sachin’s case it was no different.
Sachin and Sourav have the highest number of runs for any pair in one day cricket with a mind boggling 8227 runs with an average of 47.55! They have scored 26 centuries and 29 half centuries among them in 176 innings they have played together.
Hanuman: MS Dhoni
Hanuman was known to be the biggest Ram ‘bhakt’ ever. He had infact carried an entire mountain on his middle finger to come to Laxman’s rescue.Dhoni is blessed with a lot of strength and power, Dhoni can swing the bat like a helicopter much like the way Hanuman can swing his mace.
“Danta, Dheera and Shoora”,names by which Lord Hanuman is known which translates to calm,valiant and bold respectively are exactly the qualities MS Dhoni posseses. Leader among men, there is no equivalent to Hanuman in Indian cricket except Dhoni.
The 10 headed Ravan, the villain in Ramayan has one to match his attributes: The Indian Premier League. Ravan was known to live life king size with plentiful riches and had a city made entirely out of gold. This corrupted his role as an emperor and his subjects became greedy too. The IPL has done the same to Indian cricket. The money has flown in and it has also corrupted(read match/spot fixing) the players. Not to forget the effect it has had on producing Test cricketers.
Kumbhakaran: N Srinivasan
Kumbhakaran, Ravan’s brother was known to eat and sleep. On waking up he would throw massive tantrums much like Mr. N Srinivasan, the ousted chief of the BCCI did when he was accused of having a “conflict of interest” in Chennai Super Kings. All Srinivasan did while the IPL corruption was on was to sleep through it as if he had no idea about what was going on behind the scenes.