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Rahul Dravid: Living in the past?

by Gaurav Sethi

I’m with a French girl in the Highlands. She’s with a Scotsman who’s dived for scallops. Jethro Tull’s “Living in the past” starts to play:

I’m thinking Rahul Dravid. His return to one-day cricket: what’s wrong with it?

In this piece SP talks about among other things, how Dravid’s selection is a one off thing.

In my opinion, it’s too early to call. Other than four slots – Sachin, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Bhajji, the others are up for grabs.

These four are the face of Indian cricket, and regardless of form dips will make it to 2011. Sachin will negotiate any dips with unavailability through injury or rest. He will play ODIs when on top of his game – the plan with Sachin is simple, target 2011.

MSD should be captain for 2011, who else is there? Yuvraj is the superstar, and Bhajji has found his own niche. Basically these players will make it to 2011 in spite of a bad run.

Now coming to Gambhir and Sehwag, our most attacking opening pair – doubt they will open in 2011. It could be either Sachin/Sehwag or Sachin/Gambhir, or who knows, Sachin/X.

Over the last year, in spite of their strong chemistry on top (in tests, T20, IPL), both Gambhir and Sehwag do not open when Sachin plays ODIs.

It is here the cracks have started to appear – both Sehwag and Gambhir, in spite of their brilliance can be fragile, and like any batsman, prone to dips in form. Also they’re no national icons like Sachin or MSD.

Injury or no injury, Sehwag was treated like a bellboy in the Twenty20 World. Now picture anyone treating the laadsahibs like that? Why does Viru always end up looking stupid – why is he vilified while the stars are continuously deified?

Gambhir too has had a remarkable dip in limited overs’ form, and without Viru’s comfort at the other end, is a totally different player.

Raina though in the form of his life, has far less equity than Rohit Sharma. Playing with CSK and MSD helps; Chairman of Selectors, Srikanth, if not help, will at least give him a fair run. But there's that short ball taboo.

Yusuf Pathan? Does even Yusuf know how long he will last? So there you have it, four batsmen, who on the face of it should make 2011, but then so can Dravid.

Finally what could swing it Dravid’s way is the ability to bat 50 overs – how many of the kids know how to score a hundred? Dravid’s done it 12 times, add to that, 81 half centuries.

As Sachin will vouch, ODIs, at least in the sub continent, you can play from memory. Now let’s see whether Darvid’s memory is that of an elephant’s.

On a different train of thought, you can also read: Has Rahul Dravid returned for Sachin Tendulkar?

1 comment:

straight point said...

after reading your piece i have come to conclusion that it will take many people to go out of form...out of find a place for 38 year old world cup squad...