Saturday, December 20, 2008

'The Wall' finally stands tall

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Rahul Dravid scored his 26th hundred in Test Cricket and silenced all his critics. It could have been just another century for the man who has done it several times in the past. But it was not, it was a special innings as Dravid had his back against the wall. It is always a treat to watch any player when he comes from behind to silence his critics.

The restrained manner in which Dravid celebrated his hundred talked a lot about his character. It showed that 'The Wall' doesn't not need to prove anything to anybody. After all the stylish right hander has scored more than 10000 runs in both forms of the game. Cricket fans like me were surprised at his lack of reaction after the ton. This particular trait may be sets him apart from many others and earns him respect around the globe.

Before the start of this Test Match many self styled cricketing experts were crying for Dravid's head. There were talks of dropping him down the order and some even wanted him out of the playing eleven. Indeed there are youngsters waiting for their chance but you do not get a Rahul Dravid everyday. He has answered all his critics in his Dravid like style by playing a class knock of 136.

The team management and captain MS Dhoni have to be applauded for showing faith in his abilities. Many people wanted Dravid to be pushed down the order but Dhoni allowed him his favourite number three spot and Dravid. In Gary Kirsten India finally have a coach who is low profile and helps people overcome their slump form unlike Greg Chappel who believed in spoiling careers of individuals.

In the end it is not fair to advice a Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly or a Sachin Tendulkar when to quit the game. They know it for themselves when to call it a day. Sourav Ganguly showed that even in India cricketers prefer a nice farewell rather than being sidelined from the game. As for Dravid's critics well they have to find a new target for some time.


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