Ranji Trophy, 2009-10 November 17, 2009

Watching the Wall

I wasn’t too far off from the reality when I wrote that the presence of players like VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid has a mesmerising effect on the players, especially the youngsters
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Hello folks

I wasn’t too far off from the reality when I wrote that the presence of players like VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid has a mesmerising effect on the players, especially the youngsters. In our recently concluded match against Karnataka, Dravid scored 78 on a difficult pitch. He, as usual, made batting look easy, which left most of us awestruck.

The ball was darting around, and everyone was getting beaten at least a couple of times every over. But here was Dravid, always taking a long stride forward to the balls that were pitched up, and then either playing with the sweetest spot of the bat or allowing it go to the keeper. One of us would ask the keeper if the ball had stopped moving, but the answer would always be that Dravid is just making it look like that.

Our bowlers rarely bowled a bad ball to any of the Karnataka batsmen - except Dravid. Somehow bowlers kept dishing out half-volleys regularly. Obviously it wasn’t going down well with our team because he kept dispatching them to the fence. But I knew that it was very difficult to keep all your faculties under control when someone you have always admired is standing only a few meters away.

Bowlers were seen trying to bowl “wicket-taking” deliveries, which of course is never easy. While our strategy was to stick to the basics, bowl in good areas and have patience, it was only human to think that it would perhaps take an extraordinary ball to dismiss The Wall.

We even thought we would tell Dravid that if he got beaten twice off the same bowler, he should treat it as getting out and must walk back to the pavilion. One of our bowlers even told the umpire after an unsuccessful appeal for a leg-before decision that “if he’s managed to breach the defence to hit the pads, he should be given out regardless of the fact that it was sliding down the leg side”.

And when he eventually got out, the celebration was worth watching. A look at the bowler was enough to tell you that he had just earned himself the lifetime bragging rights of telling his parents, friends and kids that he dismissed Rahul Dravid.

Fans will always be fans and admire almost everything about the person they are in awe of. One such batsman described his emotions after he nicked one to Dravid standing in first slip. He said, “The moment I saw the ball heading in Rahul’s direction, I started walking back. He has hands as big as a bucket.” To that someone added that when Dravid takes a catch you can’t even hear the voice of the ball hitting the hands. Another person said, “He makes the act look so simple, while we begin to feel edgy the moment we see the ball heading our way, especially in the slips for a fast bowler.”

Obviously we, the Delhi Squad, didn’t make our emotions visible to him because that would have meant disaster for our team. Still that didn’t stop us from enjoying the moments we spent is his company.

Cheers

Former India opener Aakash Chopra is the author of Out of the Blue, an account of Rajasthan's 2010-11 Ranji Trophy victory. His website is here and his Twitter feed here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mahadeva Chandra on January 5, 2010, 13:03 GMT

    John Wright summed up the value of this great batsman. Asked to choose the top 5 batsmen he would like to have in his team, his response was R.Dravid, R.Dravid, R.Dravid, R.Dravid, R.Dravid. :-)

  • Sunil on December 18, 2009, 7:42 GMT

    There are no words to explain about this legend. SImply we can say "THE WALL" of Indian Cricket.

    Keep going Dravid ! All the Best.

    Thanks, Sunil

  • Praveen Gangula on December 18, 2009, 6:17 GMT

    Really i agree with what akash has said. Rahul was much better player than sachin.He was not at all selfish and a perfect team man . you can find a replacement for sachin but it is highly impossible to get a replacement for dravid.

  • abhis on December 18, 2009, 6:01 GMT

    he is one of the great player in the world

  • maddy on November 25, 2009, 16:55 GMT

    really dravid is great plyer once agin what he is by scoring continous two 100's .......wall can not be broken.....

  • vignesh on November 25, 2009, 8:26 GMT

    I never thought that mr.reliable is not only the best test batsman but also a great one day player and a great t20 player too...if any one have any doubt u guys go through the one day history what he possesed...what a gentleman india has..as a indian i m very much proud of having dravid as my role model..i hope u toooooo...

  • vignesh on November 25, 2009, 8:15 GMT

    I read all the comments posted by u guys..its 100 per true that a champion like my dravid has not got any reward even from media(then how can he get attention the selection panel)...even he is more consistent n techniquely strong than any other batsman in cricket arena...he took just 13 years to hold as many records he has..i hope hereafter the entire attention on my lovable dravid only so that we would see him in ODI soon...he is the true legend n suitable role model for all of u...

  • Zeeshan Ahmed Siddiqui on November 24, 2009, 6:50 GMT

    Who is the best batsman, either it is Dravid or Tendulkar. From runs point of view, there is no difference between both players. When Dravid will play 263 innings, he will score near to 12400 runs in test cricket.

    From my personal oberservation, you may not agree with it is that Dravid has better quality of century as compare to him. He scored 177 runs against Sri Lanka but from which position he took the inning to which position is important.

    Another factor is that Tendulkar has scored 10 centuries in 55 innings against Australia as compare to his 2 century in 50 innings. He scored 6 centuries in 30 innings in Australia and Dravid only one in 24 innings. In this portion Tendulkar is better.

    Home versus away record of both players are excellent but Dravid away record is better than home. So he is better in this point.

    So in my opinion, it is very difficult to judge excat who is better as both players have different qualities as compare to each other.

  • Rahul singh on November 22, 2009, 23:14 GMT

    How much more dravid have to do for team india so that he get his due?since 1996 he is bailing out his team from trouble.dhoni is commenting dat dravids fielding is not gud,then how he has taken those 186 catches in tests n 195 in odi?sachin and saurav has always ovesshadowed dravid but now slowly everyone is realising dat dravid is indias best test batsman of all time.whole nation is with u RD.u keep on playing those classy shots n keep on entertaining us.we want a triple century frm u.fuck off dat sachin dhoni yuvi biased media n carry on wid gud work.gud luck rahul

  • J. Johnson on November 21, 2009, 21:10 GMT

    As a South African, I have alwys admired Dravid as a true World Class performer. He is evergreen and a still a perfect role model for many of us in our club. Many of us feel, he has more class and style than the great Tendulkar. Dravid is a guarenteed Wall. Great watching him back in action.

  • Mahadeva Chandra on January 5, 2010, 13:03 GMT

    John Wright summed up the value of this great batsman. Asked to choose the top 5 batsmen he would like to have in his team, his response was R.Dravid, R.Dravid, R.Dravid, R.Dravid, R.Dravid. :-)

  • Sunil on December 18, 2009, 7:42 GMT

    There are no words to explain about this legend. SImply we can say "THE WALL" of Indian Cricket.

    Keep going Dravid ! All the Best.

    Thanks, Sunil

  • Praveen Gangula on December 18, 2009, 6:17 GMT

    Really i agree with what akash has said. Rahul was much better player than sachin.He was not at all selfish and a perfect team man . you can find a replacement for sachin but it is highly impossible to get a replacement for dravid.

  • abhis on December 18, 2009, 6:01 GMT

    he is one of the great player in the world

  • maddy on November 25, 2009, 16:55 GMT

    really dravid is great plyer once agin what he is by scoring continous two 100's .......wall can not be broken.....

  • vignesh on November 25, 2009, 8:26 GMT

    I never thought that mr.reliable is not only the best test batsman but also a great one day player and a great t20 player too...if any one have any doubt u guys go through the one day history what he possesed...what a gentleman india has..as a indian i m very much proud of having dravid as my role model..i hope u toooooo...

  • vignesh on November 25, 2009, 8:15 GMT

    I read all the comments posted by u guys..its 100 per true that a champion like my dravid has not got any reward even from media(then how can he get attention the selection panel)...even he is more consistent n techniquely strong than any other batsman in cricket arena...he took just 13 years to hold as many records he has..i hope hereafter the entire attention on my lovable dravid only so that we would see him in ODI soon...he is the true legend n suitable role model for all of u...

  • Zeeshan Ahmed Siddiqui on November 24, 2009, 6:50 GMT

    Who is the best batsman, either it is Dravid or Tendulkar. From runs point of view, there is no difference between both players. When Dravid will play 263 innings, he will score near to 12400 runs in test cricket.

    From my personal oberservation, you may not agree with it is that Dravid has better quality of century as compare to him. He scored 177 runs against Sri Lanka but from which position he took the inning to which position is important.

    Another factor is that Tendulkar has scored 10 centuries in 55 innings against Australia as compare to his 2 century in 50 innings. He scored 6 centuries in 30 innings in Australia and Dravid only one in 24 innings. In this portion Tendulkar is better.

    Home versus away record of both players are excellent but Dravid away record is better than home. So he is better in this point.

    So in my opinion, it is very difficult to judge excat who is better as both players have different qualities as compare to each other.

  • Rahul singh on November 22, 2009, 23:14 GMT

    How much more dravid have to do for team india so that he get his due?since 1996 he is bailing out his team from trouble.dhoni is commenting dat dravids fielding is not gud,then how he has taken those 186 catches in tests n 195 in odi?sachin and saurav has always ovesshadowed dravid but now slowly everyone is realising dat dravid is indias best test batsman of all time.whole nation is with u RD.u keep on playing those classy shots n keep on entertaining us.we want a triple century frm u.fuck off dat sachin dhoni yuvi biased media n carry on wid gud work.gud luck rahul

  • J. Johnson on November 21, 2009, 21:10 GMT

    As a South African, I have alwys admired Dravid as a true World Class performer. He is evergreen and a still a perfect role model for many of us in our club. Many of us feel, he has more class and style than the great Tendulkar. Dravid is a guarenteed Wall. Great watching him back in action.

  • Kumar on November 20, 2009, 0:51 GMT

    If I have to choose one batsman to bail me out of trouble, I would go with Rahul Dravid. If I have to choose one batsman to go for a wild shot (say, an improbable win), I would go with Virender Sehwag. If I have to choose one batsman, period, I would go with Brian Lara.

  • Ashwath on November 19, 2009, 12:50 GMT

    Mr. Chopra This has been an absolutely insightful and lucid column from you. It is quite refreshing to hear from a player own mouth the thought process while they are plating and their feelings. I have always enjoyed your column for their simplicity and clarity. Your style of writing seems to resemble another stodgy opener who is now cricketing correspondent for the times. On a selfish note please dont give up writing as I really enjoyed your book and would love to read another.

  • Eric Anand Noronha on November 18, 2009, 17:54 GMT

    Rahul Dravid's true commitment and love for the game has got him so far in test cricket. I would pay to watch him bat anyday, even if it means watching him bat in the nets as well. He has been the true gentleman of Indian Cricket (with due respect the great Sachin). I have been a great fan and admirer of Rahul Dravid for the sheer calmness and elegance in his batting and the discipline and temperment as well. His batting is an art that not no one else would be able to replicate. For his batting will always be like a beautiful dream. He is my hero.

  • ravishankar on November 18, 2009, 15:47 GMT

    All i want to say is the great Rahul Dravid has missed just one test in his career that too as he was down with fever and sore throat. All the scores, the number of matches won of his broad blade especially overseas, the fantastic technique which overcomes all odds, are not even recognised. It is SRT all the way.

  • Nair Ottappalam on November 18, 2009, 11:30 GMT

    I agree with Akash's statement on Rahul. He has always been an unsung hero in the shadow of someone or other. Nothing to take away from Sachin, but i suppose he is overrated at the expense of Rahul Dravid and others. Many a times when the other end fell apart, Dravid had single handedly created the "WALL" to protect team India. 11000 test and 10500 ODI runs just speak of his talents. The entire media was concentrating on Sachin's 20 yrs of international cricket, while Dravid's contribution took a back seat. We had had spectacular performances in the past from Laxman, Sehwag etc. but again media cries for Tendulkar. Let's just watch team India performing and recognise the performances of all the individual players (including non sachins). Kudos to Rahul Dravid.

  • S.R. SHANKAR on November 18, 2009, 10:51 GMT

    Dear Akash I have been a cricket follower since 1960 and I am yet to come across a complete cricketer like Rahul Dravid in technique,attitude, devotion, fitness and composure .The wide spread admiration for him in our cricketing circle was infectious to my sons one of whom adores him The discerning bloggers have said it all As a personality and technically sound cricketer he is the role model Amidst the irresponsible media and part of cricketing fraternity which includes the ex-chairman of selectors,it gives us great relief to read the admiration from a level headed cricketer like you. Your articulation has been as great as Dravid's cricket and your modesty in appreciating him despite being opponent in a match is worth emulating We pray for long life for our idol as well as blogger of your tribe Looking forward to more from Dravid's bat and your pen

  • Anonymous on November 18, 2009, 6:05 GMT

    hey nice article to read.

    Legend of cricket

  • shelsea valmont on November 17, 2009, 20:17 GMT

    my captain love u treat the people good so they can treat you good too I want you to celways be on the team as west Indies captain.

  • srikanth on November 17, 2009, 13:38 GMT

    It is indeed shameful of our media not to pay due respects to one of our legends. In this craze of T20 people just don't understand cricket. This is not the first time dravid has bailed out india. Remember it was 81/4 in adelaide and he produced a 270 there and India went on to win. Remember the two difficult half centuries he made in west indies to win. Remember the 148 he made in headingly on a difficult wicket. Don't forget he was the partner of VVS in that famous partnership. If catches win Matches he is the world record holder for most no. of catches. No test match has ever won without any partnerships. Indeed he holds the world record for most no. of 100 run partnerships. Still our media can't recognise this. Because in India millions watch cricket, but only few people understand this in the right sense. My salute to the greatest servant of Indian cricket.

  • Rajendra (WEST INDIAN) on November 17, 2009, 13:06 GMT

    You were always one of my favourites,great knock from a top class player u r in the record books.

  • Kunal Talgeri on November 17, 2009, 13:01 GMT

    Hay Aakash, some of us are really waiting for you to make a comeback to the Indian team: Test and 50-overs (as Dravid recently did). So, if I may say so, CUT OUT THE AWE FACTOR! You are as good as a Dravid, technically and in the mind. So as much as I like your writing, please stop sounding like a retired international. And make your way back. If there are no opportunities as an opener, you have the game to even serve India at No. 3. So don't miss out! Dravid made a comeback recently, so can you!

  • Chandru on November 17, 2009, 12:48 GMT

    What a classic knock Dravid Played! By calling him a Wall it hurts him. That is why this 185+ made in a day should reveal he is Top Class stroke maker. HE HAS TO PLAY IN ONE-DAYERS. Srikanth - are you hearing me ?

  • Sundararajan on November 17, 2009, 12:44 GMT

    Rahul Dravid, ever the perfect gentleman ! He bails out India, scores a rapdi-fire 177 not out on the first day, coming in at a precarious position---and merely says at the interview--" I do not hink about selection mattes---I play the game each day as it comes...or words to that effect ! India lost two of the one-day matches against Australai by 3 runs and 4 runs---and MSDhoni acknowledged thatthe batting had let the team down inthe overall series ! And, despite Radhul Dravid's excellent batting in the IPL< and despite teh selectors wanting him on the fast pitches of New Zealand and South Africa, he was dropped for the Australai one-day series ! Fifth highest aggregate in Test, great catcher, ever the team-man, the gentleman, and never givcen his fair due---he should be treated on par with Tendulkar----will the selectors ever learn at all? May God bless you Rahul Dravid ! YOU have made all of us proud and blessed to see you play ! All the best ! Continue to do your best!

  • selvam on November 17, 2009, 12:43 GMT

    Time and again,rahul proved that he still remains the backbone of renowned indian batting line-up. Its really unfortunate that we could not have his consummate services at the middle order in limited over cricket for whatever reasons being stated. But the fact remains as any batting order needs rock solid consistency regardless of the time frame under which the cricket played. None other than this man only can give that sort of stability to any kind of batting line-up. Kudos to jammy and wish he plays couple of more years before I give up watching cricket.

  • Kool Kat on November 17, 2009, 12:20 GMT

    It is obvious that the truly knowledgable recognise Dravid as India's MVP. I would not blame Cricinfo, as they are a commercial organisation, fully knowing that an article on 17000 runs in ODIs attracts more eyeballs than the most valuable 11000 runs ever compiled in Test Cricket. Dravid was the House leader at St. Jopseph's school,Bangalore, whose motto is Fide Et Labore - Faith and Toil. What a Player.

  • Anuj Tela on November 17, 2009, 11:49 GMT

    I think this 150 score was a tight slap on the face of selectors.. The way he was shown the exit door from One Day squad was absolutely ridiculous.. he has changed his batting style as per requirement.. the way he played last IPL was awesome.. He is truly a gr8 batsman.. Hats of to you WALL... n somewhere I compare you with wall of CHINA... :)

  • Muralidharan on November 17, 2009, 11:24 GMT

    Aakash, that is a wonderful tribute to a great player...one of the greatest in the game. He is an epitome of patience on the field. Rewards are there for every one to see. He has carried 'Team India' on his strong shoulders on numerous occasions. He does not have to prove any thing else to anybody. He has been a wicket keeper and did the duties loyally and lent the much needed balance in the team. He has batted in almost all positions in the top and middle order and accumulated mountains of runs... with pure grace, technical correctness and what not.....As lovers of the game, we should take a bow to this great soul...on and off the field. Young and upcoming cricketers should look upto this man and take a leaf out of his book. If even one or two players can emerge as strong as this, in the generations to come, then there can nothing be a better tribute than that...Let us salute him and his deeds on the field. Rahul you are a great ambassador of the game.

  • Sharath on November 17, 2009, 11:21 GMT

    Except in Sharjah in 1998, I do not remember Tendulkar as the one to lead us to Victory. But, on innumerable occasions, we have seen Dravid at the end of the match, celebrating a victory or havin saved a match. His comment that he will judge his innings of yesterday only based on the outcome of this match speaks volumes about his attitude to batting, for the team. He is in a similar situation to what Vishy used to be in when Gavaskar was cornering all the glory for individual batting records while it was usually Vishy who was the saviour for the team. Dravid's approach to the game is similar to that of Anil Kumble - don't give up easily. Kudos to a truly great player who is probably the last in the mould of a truly gentleman cricketer.

  • Surya Prasad Paudel on November 17, 2009, 11:21 GMT

    Rahul is a extra ordianry crickter.He is not only genious but also fit. He is a cricker who knows his ability and duties. We are proud of you.May you keep on playing like that for India and we keep on admiring you.

  • Shaz Khan on November 17, 2009, 11:08 GMT

    i was 4 wen i started following cricket in 1992... once i met adam gilchrist and he asked me "where r u from?" i said "i am from meerut"..he said "don't have ne idea bout the place"...i replied "u lost tests at eden garden and at adelaide oval because two bats from meerut proved too much for ur world class bowlers"...he smiled and said "i will never forget the name meerut now, i retired because an edge from the same bat was dropped by me"... thanks dravid and laxman for making me proud of my small city...

  • Sanjay on November 17, 2009, 10:54 GMT

    Good article, Aakash. Really liked your website and your article on Sachin Tendulkar.

  • pankaj on November 17, 2009, 10:40 GMT

    Its really unfair n dravids case dat selectors are blnd towards his performance... he has been consstent for a long time now... we hope to see him in the oneday squad soon... the inns he played aganst lanka was worth watchn more than twice.. esp the varites of strokes... cheers to rahul!!!!!

  • Krishna on November 17, 2009, 9:53 GMT

    To start o fwith,it was a treat to watch him at his fluent best.After being reduced to 32/4 in the first 10 overs,then to reach 385/6 at Stumps is quite remarkable.It was not consolidation or brutal couter attack but good sensible batting.Picking the singles and doubles and punishing the bad balls and even good balls at times. Every one says that 20/20 cricket is here to stay or 20/20 is the next big thing.But still I think Test Cricket will remain the biggest of them all.Limited overs cricket and 20/20 may create stars but Test cricket creates legends.Men with character,composure and determination can only survive the gruelling 5 days. Dravid has proven once again that he has it in him to continue at this level for many more years to come.All his achievements have been over shadowed by the Laxmans,Gangulies etc.Only person who can claim to have out played him on every surface is Tendulkar.I think it is time that Dravid gets his due as the technically best batsman India has seen.

  • satyan on November 17, 2009, 9:27 GMT

    Since 1980 I have been following cricket from radio commentary to TV. I think Dravid has emerged as a best and pivotal Number 3 batsman in the world. It's a tricky position and the recokening of India as a good Test team is due to Dravid and Sachin. I am absolutely convinced that he would have scored the same amount of runs even during the times of Garner, Roberts, Holding, Marshall during their peak. Across time he would have emerged. Hats off to him!!!

  • hari krishna on November 17, 2009, 9:25 GMT

    can some one write an article on our very very special lakshman please

  • Anonymous on November 17, 2009, 9:22 GMT

    I guess the reason Dravid (and also Laxman ), is not a darling of the media could be due to his uncharismatic nature. Even his celebration on the field is muted and low-key. But, let us forget about the media and just enjoy his batting while he is still playing. Good article, Aakash. It is always nice to know what the players are thinking during a match.

  • hari krishna on November 17, 2009, 9:18 GMT

    wow what a fantastic display by rahul and what a pathetic display by our selectors for not picking him up for the onedayers against the australians the results would have been completely different had dravid played against the australians.

  • Praise Alex on November 17, 2009, 9:11 GMT

    Dravid is a cricketer beyond words can describe. His records speaks volumes about how he plays. Look at the number of century partnerships he has been involved all of which have summed upto world records. To win matches partnerships are reqired. His Strike rate on way to the 177 runs scored shows that it is not that he cant play in ODI or T20. He truly did prove a point yesterday in the knock he played. It showed in his celebration (the aggression) after he crossed the century. Controlled Aggression is what he has shown. No use to power without control. Hope Sehwag & the other young guns learn from him to Stay on as the Sun & shine... not be a lightining streak that comes & goes away. Hope Dravid can stay on for few more years & prove some points to the critics who are ignorant of Cricket. He is truly in a League of his own. May you continue to be the shining light for the youngsters in the coming generations.

  • Ravikant on November 17, 2009, 9:10 GMT

    I am an admirer of Rahul Dravid and the way he conducts himself on and off the field.All the above have written about his varied contributions to Indian cricket. I wish to add about his services behind the wicket. He has stood behind the wickets umpteen number of times in the ODI's. Keeping wickets is like driving a car. You just cannot afford to relax and take your mind or yuor eye off what is happening on the field.After such a strenous display behind the stumps,Dravid would play like a king once again whilst batting!We are indeed privileged to have a player like Dravid amongst us.I secretly pray that he would be once again in the India ODI Team!His services were sorely missed during the recent series against Australia.I am confident he would have made a difference to the final result of the series.Players of the likes of Kohli,Jadeja etc cannot hold a candle to him and comparisons with such players(one of the bloggers above)are an insult to Dravid!!

  • Purnima Malhotra on November 17, 2009, 9:02 GMT

    Well written Akash! It was indeed a pleasure to watch Dravid bat on a difficult pitch like the one at Roshanara and still make it look like batting paradise. The only ball he was beaten was the one which eventually dismissed him and you correctly pointed out the joy on the bowler's face! He was delighted and more than that proud to have dismissed The Wall! I hope he managed to get the ball autographed from Dravid! ;) I couldn't help comparing the stances and the defense of almost all the players in comparison to Dravid. No offenses meant, but that man stands class apart! His timing throughout that game was so perfect that it almost frustrated the Delhi squad.

  • J. Sriraman on November 17, 2009, 8:46 GMT

    I agree wth most of the comments. For me, Dravid is the number 1 batsman for India and best No.3 ever in the world. I also feel bad that his contribution is not being recognised by the powers that be. That is alright. The cricket fans at least recognise him. On innumerable occasions, he has saved India from agony and defeat. He is a selfless person and has always batted at positions asked of him unlike Tendulkar who is allowed his preference to open in One dayers and No. 4 down in Tests. Dravid is a disciplined human being and I have always seen him as an excellent role model for today's youth. In fact, I tell my son to be determined and good like Dravid. I seek God's Blessings for Dravid in the future also so that he can surpass all possible records in batting and fielding.

  • Gopi on November 17, 2009, 8:44 GMT

    If not in Sachin era - Dravid would have been something different from what people are thinking now.

  • Richard on November 17, 2009, 8:39 GMT

    There is no doubt that Dravid is the best batsman India has ever produced. He has scored in every country where cricket is played, And I agree that he has not been given the due respect and attention like some of the others (check girish comment). Even Sachin owes some credit to Rahul for the amount of runs he has made as he know that Dravid is there at the other end and he can play openly and with a peace of mind with NO PRESSURE AS Dravid absorbs all the pressure himself.

  • Jamie Dowling on November 17, 2009, 8:37 GMT

    Dravid is elegance personified. One shot he played off the back foot yesterday was so perfect I could only gasp in admiration even though I've seen him play so many shots like that. Sublime elegance, almost old fashioned in its execution. Is that why Rahul doesn't get the plaudits he so richly deserves? Have so many of us forgotten the old fashioned values and characteristics that made cricket a reflection of life as in "that's not cricket" when something is wrong?

    I'd love our little lad to have Rahul Dravid as a role model. There can be no higher praise from here.

  • Aakash on November 17, 2009, 8:29 GMT

    @Hari...since you mentioned the Spirit of the Game...I needed to reply. The light was very bad and umpires stopped play because it was dangerous to the fielders. We had a fielder standing at short leg and umpires, rightly, didn't want to compromise on his safety. Dr. Iyer...pls check my article on Sachin 'An Ode to the Master' on www.cricketaakash.com/bloggers in the iOpener section.

  • Anonymous on November 17, 2009, 8:27 GMT

    Dravid gets 11000 runs and NOBODY CARES; the MEDIA just ignores; the GREATS dont comment; even CRICINFO is SILENT; why is he being IGNORED? One silly comment by Sachin was all over the TV channels last evening; whereas Dravid steering India out of trouble, was not even noticed. The "little big boy" gets all the adulation and fame; the "big little Wall" has to do his work in absolute SILENCE!!!!!!!!!

  • Girish Kulkarni on November 17, 2009, 8:09 GMT

    I was watching last evening's news channels - NDTV, CNN-IBN and Times Now - from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. Not one of these channels said anything much about yesterday's Test and Dravid's innings - it was completely downplayed. On the other hand, mention the word Tendulkar and it was all over these channels for the last 3 days. Why this bias? Why cant they recognise and acknowledge the greatness of Rahul Dravid? Even the Cricinfo Website hardly has any good write-ups on yesterday's match; no quotes from the so-called greats... NOTHING. WHY? WHY? WHY??

    Dravid is true gentleman of cricket. Even Sachin can't match his character and personality.

  • akshay on November 17, 2009, 8:05 GMT

    yes he should be included in odi squad there is no one in odi team to stand on wickets for long allr hitters only main cause of loss against australia

  • Pawan Khatawane on November 17, 2009, 8:04 GMT

    He is great!! I have seen very few batsmen like Dravid having known where exactly their all three stumps are, and particularly the “off stump”. He is technically very strong, and scores plenty runs through gaps, though he is not used to hit big sixes. It is pleasure to watch when he reaches nicely upto the ball, shows full face of the bat to the ball, and drives handsomely. He always reminded me of Vishi.

  • Aamir Akhund on November 17, 2009, 8:00 GMT

    Rahul Dravid....what can one say about him....He is the only true king in the Indian lineup....

    I dont think he has been given enough credit for his services to India......which is a shame when we see average/ pathetic players being called champions and god know what not......

    The amount of runs he makes specially when the baby blues are in trouble is just amazing.... i dont think that Tendu, Ganguly and sewag put together have ever given the kind out fight that we associate with dravid..

  • Denzil Mathews on November 17, 2009, 7:51 GMT

    Dravid came to the scene in an International match against Sri Lanka in Singapore where he failed miserably with the bat in the entire series. But on the Tour to England he really shone in the series. Was unlucky to miss a ton there and was overshadowed by Sourav Ganguly's performance. But Dravid accelerated his career in International cricket and rose to the pinnacle of Test Cricket. 13 years have passed and he without doubt is the Number 1 Test Player in the world today. Even Sachin and Ponting i would say are a class apart but Dravid is the Wall. Kudos to Dravid for a scintillating century against the Lankans.

  • saad on November 17, 2009, 7:38 GMT

    Rahul Dravid is the wall. His Stance,shot selection, Forward Defence, a little bit of shuffle in the crease is near perfect. he has wonn india more matches then sachin has and in less matches being played as well. im a pakistani and am in awe struck of his batting everytime he plays. he is the immovable rock.. well played on the 177

  • TellasisPatel on November 17, 2009, 7:36 GMT

    Rahul Dravid is not only a great player, but also a great person. He presented two Bangaladeshi batman with his bats after they unexpectedly played well and defeated India. I do not know of any sports-figure who would behave as graciously as Dravid did after suffering one of the worst defeats. I am one of his many fans and admirer.

  • DP Malik on November 17, 2009, 7:33 GMT

    Watching Dravid in such a good flow I was thinking, does he not deserve to be in one day side also. At least he is far better than Virat Kohly or Ravindra Jadeja who were the main culprit for recent series lost against Australia.

  • Karthik Subramanian on November 17, 2009, 7:19 GMT

    If there is still a batsman who plays the game in the old fashioned traditional way and achieves excellence in the modern era, it has to be Rahul Dravid and Kumar Sangakkara. With players of such technical brillance scripting innings of sheer class and substance, Test cricket is here to stay irrespective of T20 or Gully cricket... Now it would be great to see Sanga show his class to provide a classic contest in Motera.

  • Anonymous on November 17, 2009, 7:08 GMT

    For a man who has been a silent crusader and has been ever in the shadow of his more spectator friendly colleagues, the laurels mean nothing. Clinical and devoted to the game his approach is simple, never give up. Epitome of concentration when the cherry is behaving in an unruly fashion, a true monk, a zen master, he has been everything for the team from a makeshift wicketkeeper to an opening batsman on difficult tours. Mild mannered and soft spoken, he is perhaps last in the the league of the extraordinary gentlemen who made batting look like poetry. If you ask me to name the person I would like to bat for my life in testing conditions, it has to be Dravid.

  • Neel on November 17, 2009, 7:02 GMT

    Great article. It once again proves one thing... Dravid is THE BEST BATSMAN India has ever produced. Number of test and one dayers he has won for India by staying till the end is just speaks for itself. Instead of jumping up and down for Sachin's 2o years of cricketing years, we should celebrate Dravid's 10 years of cricket as in that period he has won India atleast twice the number of matches Sachin has won for India.

  • achanta satyanarayana on November 17, 2009, 6:49 GMT

    NO one can beat dravid type shots .He is playing the shot, in the shots one ball be not flying it is a very critical batting.........

  • Krish on November 17, 2009, 6:48 GMT

    Must have been mixed feeling for the Delhi team in that match...after such an excellent performance yesterday, it was quite disappointing that the news channels did not cover Dravid adequately...and they never paid much attention to Rahul's record of test catches either. My view is that there is no one in media to build a brand for Rahul, pretty much like what Gavaskar and Shastri did for Sachin.

  • Senthil on November 17, 2009, 6:46 GMT

    A good article by Akash. Dravid is a great player and India is fortunate to have a player like him. I think that he should have been included in the ODI team against the Ausssies. Yesterday his strike rate was better than Dhoni. I hope that India will go on to win this match and make Dravid's innings a memorable one.

  • Parth Jethwani on November 17, 2009, 6:37 GMT

    Hi Aakash, well i absolutely love the Dravid bats and the point you made about his slip catching was an interesting one too.But i just wonder about the way he bats in the ODI's because you do need a healthy strike rate there and the only problem i had with Dravid was his rate of run scorig which i think is certainly developing.this test innings looked to me as if dravid exactly did what he wanted to and unlike some of his recent innings he didnt get bogged down by the bowlers.I wish him well for the future.

  • Kool Kat on November 17, 2009, 6:21 GMT

    Nice article Aakash. I had the privilege of watching a Ranji match of Dravid in Mumbai. He scored a ton of runs and the Mumbai captain, Amol Mazumdar, had similar words of praise. Dravid is indeed a magnificent ambassador of the game. Though the media continues to ignore him (pandering to the lowest category, as always), true lovers of the game know that he is a player of absolute class. A true legend.

  • Sekhar Sridhar on November 17, 2009, 6:20 GMT

    I read somewhere that Sachin Tendulkar advises upcoming players to learn the art of batting from Rahul Dravid.Is it true? Did you notice his strike rate yesterday,BTW? Was not the typical Dravid we used to watch at Kolkata 2001 or Adelaide 2003.Effect of T20? Who cares-he saved the team from a disastrous start and that's what mattered in the end.

  • Hari on November 17, 2009, 6:08 GMT

    Everything is fine. What happen to "Spirit of game" during last session of that match during Ranji. Only Karnataka played with spirit of game. You could have played last session and go for win or loose kind of match instead of going for mean DRAW.

    Hari.

  • Vinod on November 17, 2009, 6:06 GMT

    I was watching last evening's news channels - NDTV, CNN-IBN and Times Now - from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. Not one of these channels said anything much about yesterday's Test and Dravid's innings - it was completely downplayed. On the other hand, mention the word Tendulkar and it was all over these channels for the last 3 days. Why this bias? Why cant they recognise and acknowledge the greatness of Rahul Dravid? Even the Cricinfo Website hardly has any good write-ups on yesterday's match; no quotes from the so-called greats... NOTHING. WHY? WHY? WHY??

    My salutations to this man Dravid who stands tall amidst all the mayhem around him!!!!!

  • andydas on November 17, 2009, 6:04 GMT

    Thats the way to go Dravid, there is a man who is a doer, makes no noise about it

  • Arnab on November 17, 2009, 5:47 GMT

    Hey Aakash, While you have been doing a good job, this article is not upto the mark. The themes of paragraph 2 and paragraph 3 are contradicting each other. In one, you talk about good balls being left out and in other you talk about half volleys. Somehow, you were not able to dramatize it well enough. Or was it that you wanted to capitalize on the latest Dravid century and push this article in a hurry?

  • Anonymous on November 17, 2009, 5:44 GMT

    'The Wall' is back with a bang.Great innings under testing conditions..As usual this was the man who bailed out india from deep trouble..Hats off to his commitment,perseverence..

  • avinash chandra on November 17, 2009, 5:42 GMT

    dravid known 4 his stoneblocking the wicket and taking india thru in any kind of situtation.... once again proving his mettle in scoring when the team required the most and in most adverse conditions by his 177 against the lankans...... remember he even wore the big gloves for the team when india didnt hav a wk who cud bat until the arrival of ms dhoni.... he opened the innings ...when no one including schinn tendulkar was reluctant to open in tests against pak.... for a true indian cricket fan he will always be greater than anyone else.....

  • Dr.M.S.A.Iyer on November 17, 2009, 5:25 GMT

    Though am a mad fan of S.R.T, I have always felt that Rahul Dravid was one man who never got his due from attention which was mostly showered on The Master and sometimes on less mortals off the side. But all the while The Wall is still doing what he does silently. Bail India out of Trouble. We are indeed blessed to have two such out of World greats in our side. I don't remember any team had that kind of cushion. Because when Border was there S.Waugh was n't such a force. Same in case with Punter and his predecessor. But for our side, two technically accomplished greats at number 3 & 4. Salutes to The Wall. Also Aakash, I ld like to read an article u write on SACHIN. U had been his teammate and got to see some of his greatness from the side.

  • Vineet on November 17, 2009, 5:13 GMT

    Only time dravid missed a test match was at ahmedabad itself. He was down wit fever and had to be admitted to the hospital.. It was to be his 97th test in a row. Unfortunately he could not. Somewhere read an article that he so wanted to play in that match that he wanted to get discharged n head to the stadium. Jus finished reading his biography. One must say that what he has achieved now is no surprise to anyone because he was determined to make it big since his school days. Hats off to you..!!

  • farida on November 17, 2009, 5:08 GMT

    A brilliant cricketer admired by a West Indian. India you have to be proud of him!

  • Aswin on November 17, 2009, 5:06 GMT

    Dravid should retire on high note.

  • Shefali on November 17, 2009, 4:48 GMT

    Hi Aakash, I guess only someone like Dravid would look make batting look so easy on a green top you guys had in Delhi, and use all his experience to help the karnataka boys. I'm sure watching him was a lesson for the Delhi team as well as well as inspiring. To some extent that knock against Delhi on a difficult wicket helped early on yesterday when the ball was moving around. Wonder how Karnataka will do in the upcoming games without Dravid in the middle order. Hope you enjoy the test.

  • Raft on November 17, 2009, 4:44 GMT

    Well Akash, there is another fact which i guess most of the cricket pundits are missing out... apart from the tons of runs, Rahul has scored and his batting perfection and display... i am left to wonder, about this guys fitness. He is 36 years old and i don't remember the last time when Rahul has missed a match because of fitness issues, when all around him Team India, everyone has missed matches for some pull, strain, muscle cramp blah blah... agreed no one loves like to go down with injury. This shows his commitment and to be always match fit. An extraordinary gentleman.

  • Anonymous on November 17, 2009, 4:40 GMT

    good work! Dravid has been my favourite player for the past 10 years, and i am only 16! I followed all India's tests due to him, and even enjoyed the golden period which u were part of (New Zeland at home, Australia and Pakistan away 2003-04). This is a lovely tribute to the great man, who unfortunately hasn't been doing too well in the past few years. His average dropped from 58.75 to 52 but he has just been dismissed for a fantastic 177! How i wish he made a double! But the important thing is that he bailed India out of trouble again...

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  • Anonymous on November 17, 2009, 4:40 GMT

    good work! Dravid has been my favourite player for the past 10 years, and i am only 16! I followed all India's tests due to him, and even enjoyed the golden period which u were part of (New Zeland at home, Australia and Pakistan away 2003-04). This is a lovely tribute to the great man, who unfortunately hasn't been doing too well in the past few years. His average dropped from 58.75 to 52 but he has just been dismissed for a fantastic 177! How i wish he made a double! But the important thing is that he bailed India out of trouble again...

  • Raft on November 17, 2009, 4:44 GMT

    Well Akash, there is another fact which i guess most of the cricket pundits are missing out... apart from the tons of runs, Rahul has scored and his batting perfection and display... i am left to wonder, about this guys fitness. He is 36 years old and i don't remember the last time when Rahul has missed a match because of fitness issues, when all around him Team India, everyone has missed matches for some pull, strain, muscle cramp blah blah... agreed no one loves like to go down with injury. This shows his commitment and to be always match fit. An extraordinary gentleman.

  • Shefali on November 17, 2009, 4:48 GMT

    Hi Aakash, I guess only someone like Dravid would look make batting look so easy on a green top you guys had in Delhi, and use all his experience to help the karnataka boys. I'm sure watching him was a lesson for the Delhi team as well as well as inspiring. To some extent that knock against Delhi on a difficult wicket helped early on yesterday when the ball was moving around. Wonder how Karnataka will do in the upcoming games without Dravid in the middle order. Hope you enjoy the test.

  • Aswin on November 17, 2009, 5:06 GMT

    Dravid should retire on high note.

  • farida on November 17, 2009, 5:08 GMT

    A brilliant cricketer admired by a West Indian. India you have to be proud of him!

  • Vineet on November 17, 2009, 5:13 GMT

    Only time dravid missed a test match was at ahmedabad itself. He was down wit fever and had to be admitted to the hospital.. It was to be his 97th test in a row. Unfortunately he could not. Somewhere read an article that he so wanted to play in that match that he wanted to get discharged n head to the stadium. Jus finished reading his biography. One must say that what he has achieved now is no surprise to anyone because he was determined to make it big since his school days. Hats off to you..!!

  • Dr.M.S.A.Iyer on November 17, 2009, 5:25 GMT

    Though am a mad fan of S.R.T, I have always felt that Rahul Dravid was one man who never got his due from attention which was mostly showered on The Master and sometimes on less mortals off the side. But all the while The Wall is still doing what he does silently. Bail India out of Trouble. We are indeed blessed to have two such out of World greats in our side. I don't remember any team had that kind of cushion. Because when Border was there S.Waugh was n't such a force. Same in case with Punter and his predecessor. But for our side, two technically accomplished greats at number 3 & 4. Salutes to The Wall. Also Aakash, I ld like to read an article u write on SACHIN. U had been his teammate and got to see some of his greatness from the side.

  • avinash chandra on November 17, 2009, 5:42 GMT

    dravid known 4 his stoneblocking the wicket and taking india thru in any kind of situtation.... once again proving his mettle in scoring when the team required the most and in most adverse conditions by his 177 against the lankans...... remember he even wore the big gloves for the team when india didnt hav a wk who cud bat until the arrival of ms dhoni.... he opened the innings ...when no one including schinn tendulkar was reluctant to open in tests against pak.... for a true indian cricket fan he will always be greater than anyone else.....

  • Anonymous on November 17, 2009, 5:44 GMT

    'The Wall' is back with a bang.Great innings under testing conditions..As usual this was the man who bailed out india from deep trouble..Hats off to his commitment,perseverence..

  • Arnab on November 17, 2009, 5:47 GMT

    Hey Aakash, While you have been doing a good job, this article is not upto the mark. The themes of paragraph 2 and paragraph 3 are contradicting each other. In one, you talk about good balls being left out and in other you talk about half volleys. Somehow, you were not able to dramatize it well enough. Or was it that you wanted to capitalize on the latest Dravid century and push this article in a hurry?