Tag Archives: Rahul Dravid

The fear of not having the Wall or VVS innings to save a test match

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.

For a change yesterday was great to read about two stalwarts of Indian cricket who what I think haven’t got their due; Rahul Dravid ‘the wall’ and the ‘Very Very Special’ VVS Laxman.

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.

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Australia rises from the Ashes, India faces stiff Porteas challenge

Cricket is in.

With Australia rising from the Ashes to make a strong comeback at Perth in the game’s biggest rivalry to Jacques Kallis slamming his maiden test double ton to challenge India’s no.1 spot in Test Cricket and the likes of Rahul Dravid and Irfan Pathan failing to make it to the probable’s for Indian squad for 2011 World Cup, there is a lot for a cricket crazy fan to be glued on to the internet.

Internet for watching any of these events live is a distant dream for me right now, but nevertheless the World Wide Web keeps fans like me posted in a football crazy nation like England.

Unpredictable game

Barely 48 hours back had the Britsh media ‘almost’ declared that their team was going to reclaim the urn.  As the OZ put up yet another lacklustre performance the bait was enough for the British scribes to paint the town red.

However, the age-old cliché the game is far from over till the last delivery held good. True to its nature the game turned on its head with out of form Mitchell Jhonson coming to the party, invaluable 62 runs and six Englishmen to his name, the Queensland pacer brought the five-day format back to life.

It’s the sheer unpredictability that stumps players and fans alike; you never know what can happen in a test match. I remember listening to a spirited NDTV journalist stating “England is all set to win the Perth test.”

Stick to basics and never jump the gun, sports is such a great leveler.

No.1 challenged

While OZ has brought life back to Ashes, in South Africa the Porteas yet again showed why they are one of the most challenging sides in world cricket. Riding on a high of victories Indian team got a wakeup call.

Kallis, with his maiden double ton once again showed his class, though I wonder why he remains the unsung hero at world stage.

Even after this performance if he is not counted amongst the league of extraordinary batsmen like Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting, there is something wrong with the pundits of the game.

All eyes now on the formidable Indian batting line up to prove their mettle, batting on two days will be a test of their Test skills and testimony that they are worth the no.1 slot.

Wall sidelined

After all that seeing the likes of Munaf patel ahead of Irfan Pathan in the World Cup hopefuls makes one wonder the acumen of Selectors. As for the wall despite being an ardent fan I think it’s time he hangs his boots as far as the ODI’s are concerned, tough I’ll miss the  ever reliable sheet anchor at no.3.

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