Today I was shocked when I read the sports section of the newspaper to find that Kapil Dev had stated that Sachin did not realize his full potential and that he did not have the ability to score 200,300 and even 400 (lol). My conclusion is that Kapil Dev has become senile or that there was a case of mistaken identity.
Let’s look at what the stats have to say:
- Sachin hold the Indian record for the highest number of Test double centuries (6)along with Dravid and Sehwag .Sachin even has a couple of scores in the 190s.
- Viv Richards,whom Kapil says Sachin should have emulated, has a Test best score of 291 which means that even he did not score a 300.
- Sachin was the first person in ODI history to hit a double hunded.
- Only one person,Lara has scored a 400 in Tests and that match resulted in a draw. Lara is anyway a genius and racking up huge scores was his specialty (he scored 501 in first-class cricket!).Overall,Sachin has a better Test average than Lara.
- One of Sachin’s contemporaries ,Ricky Ponting never scored a 300 in his career too. No one would every say Ponting did not realize his potential.
- Scoring a 300 requires a lot of opportunity and more often than not ,Sachin was doing the repair work. Even his highest score of 248* was scored in the company of the number 11 batsman which resulted in a record 10th wicket partnership.
- Sachin was a multi-faceted cricketer. He could take apart the Pakistani bowlers in 2003 World Cup and also show restraint (by not playing the cover drive at all) during a patient 241* versus Australia. This shows situational awareness and not inability to “enjoy the game”.
- Sachin played close to 100 matches more than Sehwag and almost 80 matches more than Viv Richards but has a better Test average (53.78) compared to Viv (50.23) or Sehwag (49.34).
- Kapil Dev did not realize his full potential himself. After reaching 350 wickets in his 83rd Test match,he took 48 more Tests to take another 84 wickets to achieve the then world record of highest number of Test wickets. That is less than 2 wickets per match,certainly not expected from a frontline bowler and from someone as celebrated as Kapil Dev.
What do you think about Kapil Dev’s observations? Do you think he made any sense? Do let me know.
EDIT: Kapil Dev has since released another statement explaining his point of view.Read the article here