Last two days have been marred with the evils of match fixing hounding the gentleman’s game in India where cricket is more than game- it’s a religion.
But away from all the allegations, somewhere on the internet there was some thing for test match fans like me to read. Ever since Sachin Tendulkar scored his last century against South Africa in March 2011, every time he has stepped out to play, the focus has been on the century of centuries, rest seems to be irrelevant, at least for the media.
These days every time they play or even when the reports featuring their antics on the field appear, they come as a brutal reminder, a fear that may be this could be the last few of their heroics of these legendary batsmen comes along.
Was it the last time we were watching these two greats pile runs at Eden Gardens? How many more such innings together?
Miles apart from any such apprehensions I am sure these two players take each innings on its merit and more often than not deliver the same result.
But the mere thought of having an Indian test squad without Dravid and Laxman at No.3 and No.5 sends shivers down my spine. Over all these years they have amassed 21,542 runs and 53 centuries, most of which have ended on winning notes or have saved team India from disgrace of defeat.
Imagining a test series without them is nothing less than a nightmare.
For as long as they are around anything is possible in a test match, whatever be the situation.
For when the Wall takes on to the field there assurance comes along. Even when he is stretches forward and leaves the first ball out side off stump you lean back comfortably in your seat knowing that the stride will be later followed by text-book cover drives when fielders are mere spectators and it’s the ball boys who come into the picture.
New ball or old, bouncy wicket or cracking track when the ever composed Dravid connects the red cherry right in the middle of the bat on front foot with steady head, fans can hold their heads high. That is why 32 of 36 times when he has scored in three digits India has been in safe heavens.
On the contrary though the wristy Hyderabadi is not the most confident starter in the game, few bouncing deliveries played rising up on the toes and a couple of flicks towards mid wicket and you know that he means business. He quickly changes gears and in a matter of a session or two takes the team in a comfort zone.
What makes him truly special is that he has taken India out of trouble the most number of times in the fourth innings the most testing time in the game.
The most recent example of his heroics being the Mohali test against Australia- Laxman’s favourite opponents when he played an inning most can’t and won the test match playing with tailenders.
What makes them truly special is the fact that they perform in the most testing times against the fiercest opponents.
Like true disciples after all these years they compete with self and try beat their own feat of snatching victory from jaws of defeat. Over the years the duo has never hogged limelight or had a great fan following, but in heart of hearts when it comes to test they are the only incredibles in the team whom the fans can put their faith in.
But with each passing inning I wonder what next for without them there are few in the team who can punch lusty blows, but not anyone who can play they gutsy innings these two can.