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Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid: Better Batsman in Test Cricket?

Hello, This article is a detailed statistical comparison on the topic  “Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid: Better Batsman in Test Cricket?”.Let’s start this with a question?
Who is The Greatest Test Batsman India has ever produced?

The answer may vary but legit followers of the game cant reply other than the following three:

  • Sunil Gavaskar
  • Sachin Tendulkar
  • Rahul Dravid

Gavaskar played in a totally different era and maybe the talk of another day but Today we would concentrate on our main topic i.e. ”Dravid or Sachin: Better Batsman in Test Cricket?”

Tendulkar played this format for 24 years, While Dravid played for 16 years.

Sachin relied on a varied range of shots like he can drive the ball straight, can hook u for a six and his cut shot was a treat to the eyes.

Rahul Dravid was regarded as “The Wall” and was famously known for his defense, but his flick shot was considered the best ever played by a Cricketer.

Both combined have scored 29,209 Test runs and also scored 87 Test centuries (The highest for a batting pair). 

Dravid was not as good as Tendulkar in ODIs (To be honest, no one in that era was) but the debate about who is better among these two in test cricket is never-ending.

Both almost played in the same era and faced much more similar bowling attacks and conditions which makes it simple and completely valid to compare them. 

We will discuss various topics/questions in this article such as who was:

  • Better in Home Conditions?   
  • Better Away From Home?   
  • More consistent?
  • Better in Tougher Conditions?  
  • More versatile?  
  • Better in Won Matches?

Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid: Who performed Better in Home Conditions?

Rahul Dravid has scored 5,598 runs in 120 innings with an average of 51.35 (RPI=46.65) while playing in India (Home conditions)

On the other hand, Sachin Tendulkar has scored 7,216 runs in 153 innings with an average of 52.67 (RPI=47.16) in India.

Dravid managed to hit 15 centuries in that 120 innings, which means he takes an average of 8 innings to hit a century in Home conditions.

Whereas, Tendulkar managed to get 22 centuries in 153 innings and takes an average of 6.95 innings to score a century in the same conditions.

So in the home conditions, Sachin has a slightly better average, higher RPI and takes fewer innings to score a century compared to Rahul Dravid. 

However, The difference is just slight, it is enough to conclude that:

Sachin Tendulkar performs better than Rahul Dravid in home conditions.

Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid: Who performed better away from home?

In the 166 innings played by Dravid (away from home), he managed to score 7690 runs with an average of 53.03 (RPI=46.32)

Under the same criteria, Tendulkar has scored 8705 runs in 176 innings with an average of  54.74 (RPI=49.46)

Dravid has 21 centuries away from home in that 166 innings, which means a century in 7.9 innings.

Sachin also leads here as he managed to hit 29 centuries in 176 innings, a century in every 6.06 innings.

So in the end, Again Sachin has a better average, higher RPI, and also takes way fewer innings to score centuries away from home as compared to Dravid. 

These facts are enough to come to the conclusion that:

Sachin Tendulkar performed better than Rahul Dravid away from home.

Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid: Who is more versatile?

Against Swing:

This chart clearly indicates that Dravid seems to be more comfortable as compared to Tendulkar in countering swing as he averages higher in both New Zealand (63.83) and England (68.8) compared to Tendulkar’s average of 49.53 and 54.31 in these countries respectively.

Against Pace and Bounce: 

Whereas, Sachin is significantly better than Dravid in handling pace and bounce as he averages way better in both South Africa (46.44) and Australia (53.21) as compared to Dravid who averages 29.71 and 41.64 in both countries respectively.

Against Spin:

In the art of playing Spin Bowling, Tendulkar also holds an upper edge as he is regarded as one of the best players of spin bowling in the last 30 years and his statistics also justifies this tag.

In Asian conditions (excluding home), Sachin has scored 2458 runs in 41 innings with an average of 70.22, on the other side Dravid has scored 1772 runs in 40 innings with an average of 50.62.

Also in the home of the best spin bowling attack of that time (Sri Lanka), Dravid scored just 662 runs in 21 innings with an average of 33.10, Whereas Tendulkar scored 1155 runs in just 19 innings with an average of 67.94.

Also, Dravid has below-average stats in some countries (South Africa and Sri Lanka).

On the other hand, Sachin’s average didn’t fall below 40 even in a single country.

So, Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid: Who is more versatile? The Answer is Sachin Tendulkar.

Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid: Who is more consistent?

Note: While comparing consistency, we exclude the years in which the batsman has played less than 5 innings. So in our case, we will not count Sachin’s 1991 and 1995 stats in this section.

In the 23 years of his Test career (excluded 1991 and 1995), Sachin averages less than his overall average in 10 years which means 43.47% of his career years.

Dravid, on the other hand, in his 17 years Test career, averages below his overall average in 9 years which means 52% of his career years. 

Now if we take 40 as a standard average, Tendulkar averages less than 40 in 5 years in his career, for 21.73% of career years.

Dravid failed to maintain the average of 40 in 4 years, for 23% of his career years.

Rahul takes an average of 2.88 innings to score a 50 (99 50+ scores in 286 innings).

Whereas Sachin takes 2.76 innings to score a 50 (119 50+ scores in 329 innings)

Differences are slight, but enough to come to a point that:

Sachin Tendulkar is more consistent in his career as compared to Rahul Dravid.

Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid: Who performed better in tougher conditions?

Average of Visiting Batsmen in Each Country (in Test Cricket)
Average of Visiting Batsmen in Each Country (in Test Cricket)

According to the graph of the mean avg of visiting batsmen in each country (given above), we can clearly conclude that during both playing days, Sri Lanka, Australia, and South Africa are the toughest countries for visiting batsmen. 

Now, If you see Rahul Dravid’s Performances by Country (Discussed in the versatility part), You will notice a fact that Dravid is a beast in almost all countries except Sri Lanka, Australia, and South Africa where he averages 33.10, 41.64, and 29.71 respectively. Quite a coincidence!!

In the case of Sachin, He averages 67.94 (SL), 53.21 (AUS), and 46.44 (SA) in the same criteria.            

To understand how big the difference is, Sachin Tendulkar has played 85 innings in these three countries where he managed to score 4125 runs in 85 innings with an average of 54.27 (RPI=48.52)

Whereas Rahul Dravid scored 2452 runs in 75 innings with an average of 35.53 (RPI=32.69) in the same criteria.

Dravid has 3 centuries in that 75 innings which means a century in every 25 innings, However, Sachin scores a century in almost every 5.3 innings (16 centuries in 85 innings)
 An average difference of almost 20 and an RPI difference of almost 16 clearly indicate the difference here is massive and the rest work is done by innings taken per century.

So, Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid: Who performed better in tougher conditions?

Above mentioned points are enough to prove that the answer is Sachin Tendulkar. 

Who performed better in Matches won by India?

Although this criterion has too many flaws, an individual batting performance is not enough to win a match for his team in most cases, especially when we are talking about the longest format of the game.

For example, A player can perform in a lot tougher conditions where the chances of winning the match are too less for his team, while the other player can score better than him in easier conditions and at the end, some people will call the 2nd one better because his runs came in winning cause.

This criterion can never show the whole story. Hence, cannot be given much importance while comparing two batsmen.
Still, we are going to compare both of the player stats in won matches, just for the sake of a total overview of this topic.

Overall Sachin has played 113 innings in won matches where he scored 5946 runs with 20 centuries (Avg=61.93, RPI=52.61, Inn/100=5.65)

Dravid in 92 innings scored 5131 runs with 15 centuries in the same filter (Avg=65.78, RPI=55.71, Inn/100=6.13).

Under the same filter, away from home, Sachin has scored 2017 runs in 31 innings with 9 centuries (Avg=80.68, RPI=65.06, Inn/100=3.44),

Dravid scored 2293 runs in 38 innings with 7 centuries (Avg=69.48, RPI=60.34, Inn/100=5.42)
 Sachin is slightly better here too, but as I said in starting, This criteria has too many flaws.

Seeing Sachin better in this criteria will be shocking for some fans who always used to listen/read that Dravid was better in won matches on social media. 

Always remember that everything you see/hear/read on the Internet is not true, So do your own research always.

Conclusion:

That was the last criterion to compare and as you can see that Sachin is better in every criterion we have discussed in this article. That takes us to the conclusion that:
Sachin Tendulkar is better than Rahul Dravid in Test cricket. However, Both players were equally important to the Indian Team.

Without a doubt, They are one of the best Test Batsmen in the history of the game. 

That’s The End!!

Hope you liked this article, Don’t forget to share this on different social media platforms. 

If you have any doubts regarding this article, You can tell us in the comments section.

Thanks for Reading!!

Rohit Chhabra
Rohit Chhabra
Knows a Bit About Cricket!!
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