Vinod Kambli is alleged to have slammed Sachin Tendulkar on a reality show on television. The Indian media sensationalised this incident stating that the two childhood friends are not friendly any more.

Kambli is said to have remarked that Tendulkar could have helped him in his career but did not and was embarrassed to accept him as a friend. Though Kambli later denied making the remarks, it has created a huge impact.

While reporting matches played by these two players when they were schoolboys in Mumbai, it was clear that the two very promising youngsters were working hard with the aim of making it to the Indian team. It was the media that projected them as great friends when they made it big in Indian cricket. Their 664-run world record partnership in schools cricket was used to project them as inseparable friends too.

Even when one interacted with them those days, it was evident both had different temperaments. Tendulkar was focused on the game but Kambli revelled in the distractions from the game. In fact, Kambli had his own group of friends.

Tendulkar was more ambitious and hardly bothered to keep any time for any friends. But Kambli and Tendulkar did spend a lot of time together because they practiced together and played matches for the same team. All those who had seen these two together always wondered who would make it first to the Bombay team and then the Indian team.

While Tendulkar fashioned his style and temperament following Sunil Gavaskar's footsteps, Kambli did not seem to have any role model. In fact, he played at a time when India could hardly boast of any outstanding left-hander.

And in the Mumbai Ranji Trophy matches, Tendulkar was seen more with his senior Sanjay Manjrekar than with Kambli. In fact, during tours, Tendulkar shared the room with Manjrekar.

Kambli's famous quote when he failed to catch up with Tendulkar was: "Sachin took the lift but I took the staircase." While that may be true, one cannot also deny the fact that Kambli never bothered to find where the lift was and relied heavily on his natural talent than hard work to take him to bigger heights.

While reporting two of Kambli's double centuries for Mumbai, I wondered how such a talented player could never make it as big as Tendulkar. I guess, only the one who makes his batting his greatest friend can survive the tough competition.