Kapil Dev and Sachin Tendulkar shared room    Getty Images
Kapil Dev and Sachin Tendulkar shared room Getty Images

May what one achieves in life, modesty is one virtue that shows how good that individual is as a person. Through some recent revelations of Sachin Tendulkar, it is clear that Kapil Dev is one of the most modest cricketers. During the launch of Rajdeep Sardesai s new book Democracy s XI, Tendulkar shared memories of rooming with Kapil on tours and spoke at large about how, despite being already a legend, Kapil used to wake him up and offered to make tea.

To tea or not to tea: On my first tour of England (in 1990), Kapil was my room partner. So I would go to sleep by 11.30, I had no choice. Paaji would put the lights off: Tendlya, sona hai abhi (we should sleep now). Suddenly if the team was leaving at nine in the morning, Paaji would wake me up and ask: Tendlya, chai banaoon tere liye? (Should I make tea for you?) I would say, Paaji, aap mere liye chai mat banao (please don t make tea for me!), I will get you a cup of tea . That was just Kapil s nature.

Sachin Tendulkar-Vinod Kambli reconcile after years of broken friendship
Sachin Tendulkar-Vinod Kambli reconcile after years of broken friendship

The Kapil Dev influence: In the same event Sunil Gavaskar depicted Kapil as the norm-breaker. Kapil, who hails from a small town in Haryana, became an idol for the small-town talents to come forward and play quality cricket later on: Kapil was the one that made everyone believe that no matter where they came from they can go on to play for India and captain India. He didn t come from the metros, until then players from the metros used to dominate the playing XI or the squad. There was an awe of players from Mumbai and Delhi by other players. Kapil changed it all. There had always been players who had come in from smaller states, but were not able to have an impact.

Kapil played for Haryana throughout and I think he was the first non-metro player to have an impact and that is the reason why I say if India finds talent today from all nooks and corners, it s only because of Kapil. Kapil was the first one from a small town to make an impact with bat and ball, to win matches with both. He excited a whole generation. He was the one that made the small town guys believe that this is not a big-town guys game only.

The 1983 impact: Gavaskar explained how the 1983 World Cup triumph changed the mindset of Indian batsmen: Until a couple of years earlier no one took limited-overs cricket too seriously, but that win changed the mindset. You could play the lofted shots. So you could then play up in the air without risking getting taken apart by the coach or the captain if you got out playing the lofted shot.