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Rahul And I

by Victoria-Minerva

It’s not easy being a Dravid supporter. Without either a mob following, or even widespread civilian recognition, perhaps it isn’t that easy being Rahul Dravid. This is especially so since March 2007, when Dravid-lead India crashed out of the Caribbean disaster that the World Cup was. Though that was followed by a decent tour of England where India and England shared the spoils of the Tests and ODIs respectively, for Dravid personally, the scrunity was getting sharper and the screams of opposition, louder.

Dravid’s batting began to fall from its pristine average. In hindsight, perhaps it was a stroke of genius that subsequent to that tour, he relinquished captaincy for reasons that are obscure till date, for Dhoni’s boys who went to the T20 World Cup as nearly a club side returned home with the trophy. Dravid’s batting in the subsequent series against Australia didn’t flatter either. One public ignomity followed the other.

Dravid was dropped from the ODI side, and labeled as “not adding value” by the then chairman of selectors, Dilip Vengsarkar. Then in Australia, while Dravid took on the much despised role of opening the innings, and did the “dirty work”, it was only in Perth, that we saw an innings of Dravid’s standards. From them on, there was a century against South Africa, but it was mostly downhill from there on: Dravid’s batting average began to dip, the quality lacking and the stability vanishing. Half centuries were grinded through and centuries hard to come by and interspersed by long intervals of time.

Nervousness and pressure to perform seemed to be taking over one of India’s most solid batsmen. Some of us asked why, still fewer waited in patience. After the tour Sri Lanka, when Indian batting line up as a whole failed to deliver, Dravid was seen as among the chief conspirators. Many among the patient ones gave up hope, yet, a few, mind you, very few (in comparison to the garrison of Ganguly fans) held on the tiny ray of hope that the phoenix will rise again. It would only be a matter of time.

“He’s still got it, he just needs to dig it out” was our argument. We silently wished, and merrily cheered as every Test innings showed signs of revival and fluency of old.

Today, Dravid has been given another opportunity to dig it out; to show the rest of the folk what it means to be solid; to reiterate to the world that every brick in the wall counts. While it is certainly a time to rejoice, it will be shadowed by a sense of wariness, for there are still many voices who have labeled his selection in to the ODI squad as a backward move of the selectors. Dravid will want to prove his worth yet again and perhaps that when you have taken a step astray, moving backwards may not be bad at all!

Go Dravid, show us you steel yet again. Even if we don’t take to the streets, you probably will know that we are there cheering you albeit with tiny voices.

Victoria also blogs at VM's Randon Ramblings


RajaB said...

Immaculate... VM welcome back on bored !!

"Go Dravid, show us you steel yet again"

That "steel" should be "concrete" right ??!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, RajaB. Definitely, concrete indeed.

straight point said...

classic vintage stuff like dravid himself...VM!!

tho he don't have to prove anything to anybody...he has grown beyond that its we the 'fans' who make our heroes to go for 'agni pariksha'

having said that i sincerely hope that he comes good coz otherwise there will be calls on his test spot as a fallout...which will be very unfortunate...

Anonymous said...

Thanks, SP.

True, there's no real need to prove anything. But, any sportsman will feel the need to, don't you think?

I think (and hope) that this ODI inclusion might actually help his Test innings. Maybe the spontanity will return to it.

Som said...

I rather disgree that Dravid has nothing to prove. From a fan's perspective, you are as good as the last series and we like it or not, it's not going to change.

I'm not the one who is overtly optimistic that Indian cricket's future is in safe hands, not even in ODIs, let alone Tests.

I'm afraid once Dravid, Laxman, Tendulkar retire, India would hardly be a force in Test cricket to reckon with.

Not to mention about that we would not have a single decent slip fielders, thanks to Robbing Singh's (copyright SP) vision.

Unlike you all, I believe Dravid has a lot to prove in Lanka -- that he is still better than the Rainas and Rohits, that age has not eroded his craft and that you still can contribute in one dayers without those ugly hoicks.

straight point said...

som...if dravid will play in srilanka or for that matter in prove a point or can say with reasonable safety that it will be counterproductive on him...

he should go there in relax frame of mind and do what he is selected provide stability not competing his place with 'ugly hoicks' of raina's and rohits...coz had that been the case he would not have got selected in first place...

and thanks for attributing and acknowledging my (copy)rights... :)

Anonymous said...

i think dravid is a world class batsmen
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Gaurav Sethi said...

Dravid should be ok. And if he isn't, be ok with that too.

I'm curious about the MSD-RD relationship, been a while they played together.

vmminerva said...

@Som, I agree with your point that Indian cricket is not in safe hands. Barring Gambhir (maybe it's too soon to exclude him as well), there isn't another batsmen that I can confidently say can really grind out the longer version.

@SP, true, going in with this "i want to prove" mentality will be counter productive, irrespectively of what you do (batting, coding or sweeping). One tends to get so focussed on proving that they forget what they're trying to prove. But there are always exceptions.

@NC, if you been by that it's been a while since we've seen India play a Test match, yes.

Megha said...

very well said VM...looking forward to some assured strokeplay...