Monday, July 03, 2006

Saluting the Wall!!!

Over 9000 test runs with average fast approaching 60, a resume rich with over 100 tests having missed hardly a few based on fitness basis and a reputation of strength and immense concentration really hated by bowlers across the globe. This is what Rahul Dravid’s 10 year long career is turning out to be. After a nearly missed a hundred start on debut, for next few years he was seen as a stroke less wonder born to play in the longer format and completely miss fit for the pajama cricket.

But things have changed since then. Remember his epic innings at Adelaide to win India against world champions, or 270 at Rawalpindi when he got out reverse sweeping in search of quick runs even after being so close to a triple hundred, or a century in both innings match winning effort against Pakistan in India or a 180 supporting Laxman’s epic 281 to make on of the biggest turnarounds in the history of test cricket or the match winning performance in the recent Jamaica test or….the list goes on.

Once a Sri Lankan commented on his surety of line and length against Murali, “He plays everything with his bat, why the hell on earth he needs those pads?” or Danish Kaneria wondered on his skill of facing the Rawalpindi Express, “What disheartens a fast bowlers is when a batsman plays his fast rising delivery from behind where others play. This means the pace and bounce is not surprising enough for him.”

Surprisingly, he has always been the second best performers till the last few years. When he scored a mammoth 180 against Australia in Kolkata, Laxman’s 281 took the limelight. When he scored 148 on a cloudy day in Hedinglay, Tendulkar and Ganguly’s attacking centuries made us forget him and there have been many more cases like these. But he kept disheartening bowlers by his impeccable defense, non penetrable concentration and mostly in control and faultless shot selection and execution. In a way it has been good for him. The weight of billions expectation was weathered by Tendulkar’s and Ganguly’s where he kept improving his skills and concentration. And we hardly realized our increasing dependence on him. He was a failure in 2000 in Australia; we lost by 3-0. He failed against Australia in 2004-2005 in India; we lost by 2-1. He departed early in Karachi; we lost even after a first over hat-trick by Pathan.

I have not seen Sunil Gavaskar play, but Dravid seems to be the best batsman India has ever produced especially in tests. And we all accept it in silence although we still voice out Tendulkar’s name. But no one has won/saved us as many matches as Dravid has done in the last decade, are it any form of the game. Last win, was yet another feather in his cap.

9 comments:

Spiff said...

I really hate it when people compare sachin and dravid right now...when sachin is injured ad not playing for the last year and dravid is in the form of his life....where were this comparisons when both were playing and in decent forms...i never heard ne1 saying dravid was better before 2003....
so please start comparing when sachin is back....

Vibhash Prakash Awasthi said...

yeah, bt dravid has improved...jst see the number of matches dravid has won/saved for us....nt even tests bt also ODIs....tendulkar could be termed as the most flamboyant batsman, but darvid is more reliant...and reliance wins/ saves u tests, nt flamboyance

Spiff said...

look at the records...u cant make such a sweeping statement like tht...and mebbe u shud look at stats like % of runs scored in winning testmatches..

how do u define testmatches saved...dont talk like some idiotic reporter of ToI...

Vibhash Prakash Awasthi said...

yeah go do tht.....tendulkar cud never win us a test match outside india....dravid has done it in australia, pakistan and windies....and if u quote hedingley...if tendulkar scored a ton..dravid's ton set a platform for tht....multan was more of sehwag's triple ton thn his 194*

gaurav said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
gaurav said...

Dude, no one ever doubted Dravid's ability, atleast in Test Matches. I distinctively remember that on India's tour to South Africa in 1996 when India used to bundle out for under 100 almost every innings, thanks to Donald and De Villiers, Dravid used to be the top scorer with 30 something not out everytime. From tht moment only, he has been compared with the best in the world. Tendu etc are overhyped just becoz they r more flamboyant than the Wall. But, technically Dravid has long been recognized as the best batsman in the modren era.

Also, for God's sake, dont compare him with Tendu.

Anonymous said...

This time, I saw it myself that you wrote something new:)!

Well, I dont follow cricket day and night as you do - so, I bet the stats. must be all great and you are right, Dravid never got the recognition which he deserved.

Simply, the fact that he made Indian team mindset change that they could win matches without Sachin being in the team, though its a different fact that India was not winning enough matches with Sachin being in the team!

Great going Dravid and great going on ur blog, hope to see more news on Dravid!

and the count says - 130, you are not doing so bad:)

kirti mishra said...

are bhai thodi frequecy badao posting ki.

Anonymous said...

nice post ...by the way which team in IPL do u ppls support

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