Not Just Another Brick In The Wall




Rahul Dravid - Not just another brick in the Wall

Rahul Dravid – Not just another brick in the Wall

June 20-24, 1996:

After England piled up a score of 344, the Indian batting order looked fragile once again after Lewis and Mullally reduced them to 202/5 leaving two debutants at the crease. Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid built a partnership that established their place in the Indian middle-order for the next decade. Although Ganguly stole the limelight with 131, Dravid himself scored 95 of 267 deliveries as India piled up 429 and drew the match.

Fast forward fifteen years:

344 no longer is a big score in the first innings of a Test. Fragile and Indian batting order doesn’t fit in the same sentence any more. Ganguly has retired from the game as India’s most successful captain and is now a full time commentator. But Dravid?

Also Read: India Tour Of England 2011 – Complete Schedule

Dravid walks into bat in the second over of the second innings with the pitch at Kingston doing all sorts of things. Mukund fell to a rash shot while Laxman had a rare double failure. Kohli, Raina and Dhoni fell without much of a contribution while Dravid watched silently from the other end. But as he has done all throughout his career, he played the role of a savior yet again. Guiding Amit Mishra and protecting him from strike, Dravid brought up his 32nd century as India set West Indies a daunting total to chase. When Raina finally castled Bishoo on the next day, celebrations sparked off among the team while Dravid just took a stump to savour another victory away from home.

This has been Dravid’s story throughout his career. While the others were flashy and scored quick runs, Dravid built his innings the hard way. While wickets fell, you could still breathe as long as Dravid was at the crease. Blessed with text book technique, you could rely on Dravid to play for your life.

Initially considered slow for ODI cricket, Dravid transformed his game and accumulated over 10,000 runs and became one of the best finishers in the game. But he is remembered more for his exploits in the longer version of the game. Along with Sachin, Ganguly and Laxman, he formed the formidable quartet that helped India rise to the top of the world rankings. His partnership with Laxman in the Kolkata Test is considered to be the greatest partnership of all time. Dravid was always considered a team player – a fact that is highlighted by his 80 plus century partnerships. He also agreed to take up wicket keeping responsibilities during the 2003 World Cup so that the team could afford to play an extra batsman.

While the earth keeps getting older and the veterans start decreasing in value and when older players are being replaced by the younger ones, there seems to be no cracks appearing on this Wall. He is not just another brick in the wall. He is the Wall himself!

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Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

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