England v India, 2nd npower Test, Trent Bridge, 2nd day July 30, 2011

A Dravid day at Trent Bridge

In the toughest conditions of the series so far, he has come through as the toughest batsman on both sides
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The grey skies at the start of the Nottingham Test had slotted first day into what English cricket folk call a "bowling day"; as the clouds parted on Saturday and sunlight flowed over Trent Bridge, naturally it was the advent of that other phenomenon: "batting day."

For this Test match, surely, they needn't have bothered with the descriptives. In terms of batsmanship, the first two days of the Trent Bridge Test have both just been, quite simply, Dravid Days.

The wicket at Trent Bridge is known for its propensity to swing. The theories behind that phenomenon include the Duke's ball, the new stands built at the ground, the airflow around them, the neighbouring river Trent, the sky, the clouds, the weather, everything and nothing. Wherever the swing came from, Rahul Dravid's response to it, and his second Test century of the tour, came from skill, memory and cussedness.

In the toughest conditions of the series so far, Dravid has come through as the toughest batsman in either side. In passages of play when the bowling has been unrelenting and spells in which the ball has darted, jagged, leapt and thrown flying kisses at the bat's edge, Dravid has been instinct and calculation in perfect sync.

With this 34th century, he has now drawn level with Sunil Gavaskar and Brian Lara, to go with his No. 2 spot on the list of all-time Test run-scorers. If there ever was a poll conducted to identify the most hardy and considerate of international batsmen of this age, Dravid has a very good chance of topping it. In this series already, he has done whatever he is capable of: opened, batted at No. 3, kept wickets, fielded at slips - and he will say with his droll humour, also dropped a few. Asked a question about his ability to bowl after his century, he laughed and said, "If I bowl, my shoulder will come out off my back."

On this tour of England, it is a shoulder his team has leaned heavily upon. Of all the India batsmen, he has adjusted the quickest in England, looked the most composed and scored the most heavily. India still find themselves gasping because he has had very little company. He was out in an outrageously flashy manner, a wild, short-game cut off Tim Bresnan, as out of place in his innings as pink hot pants would be at an awards presentation. Given that his partners had been unpredictable in the last 10 minutes, and four wickets had fallen for six runs, it was hard to blame him for going for broke.

It is worth remembering that his first-innings century at Lord's had been rendered paltry because of a similar effort from the rest. So maybe, if Dravid is seen attempting reverse hits or Dilscoops at The Oval, we'll know how the Indian batting has gone in the rest of the Test matches. After Harbhajan Singh was out, he said he wanted to go for the runs, the extra 20-25 runs that could all add up at the end. Essentially, Dravid wanted to borrow from Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann's ninth-wicket approach on Friday. "I thought let me do what they did and the first one I tried went into third man's hands ... that's just Test cricket, it happens."

Dravid's second century of the tour had begun with a bruising hour of play on Friday evening. He was hit on his wrist, jammed in the fingers, worked out, worked over. He had kept batting through two more sessions, sometimes hobbling, sometimes cramping but always pushing forward. He was hit in the wrist again this morning, and after the initial spasm, his hand lost sensation for a few overs. What Dravid never lost was the purpose of what he had to do: bat one ball at a time.

In his epic innings - and he's one of the few who has produced regular epics as against memorable stanzas - Dravid can often bat like a clock that ticks over reliably. Tap. Single. Back again. Forward. Defend. Dot ball. Beaten. Dot ball. Forget. Off stump. Leave. Dot ball. Late. Nudge. Two. Soft hands. Kill. Dot ball. Width. Cut. Four. Ball after ball, over after over. The craftsmanship does not lie on the surface. Dravid's batting is not the stylish face of the clock, it's the moving parts inside. He called Nottingham one of his better hundreds because of the "hard-working, fighting" aspects of it that he said he "really enjoyed". He said the conditions in Headingley back in 2002, when India batted first on a green track to put up a total that set up victory, were tougher, but the bowling in 2011 was far more demanding and precise.

He emerged with VVS Laxman on a bright morning and within three overs they cracked four consecutive boundaries. Two each, off rare lapses from Anderson and Broad, that erased the dread that had built up last evening among the small but vociferous Indian fans at the ground.

The partnership hummed along like it always has, at varying paces. The two men farmed the attack cleverly, Dravid facing Broad and Laxman against Anderson, with few singles, several twos and the quick boundary at a juicy sighter. Laxman melted the conditions - driving, pulling and cutting savagely to score his second half-century of the series. At the other end, Dravid was in his own bubble of concentration, found often at the non-striker's end shadow-practising the leave as much as he did the forward defence. Andrew Strauss's team believes it's all the leaving from Dravid that the England line-up should take a cue from when they bat on Sunday.

Broad later said Dravid's wicket, off Bresnan, had been his favourite in a day when they fell in a clatter and had included his stunning hat-trick. "He [Dravid] has been so hard to bowl at in this series." Dravid's game is based on technical classicism and attached to it is the awareness of how valuable a wicket can be. Unlike items on the English retail market right now, Dravid's wicket in this series is not going to be on discount sale.

In Nottingham, there was measured driving, his runs earned by tucking balls away off the pads, countering the swing by playing the ball late and easing them through to third man. Closer to his century, the new ball nearing, Dravid saw the slower bowlers and the sun come on, and decided to show off the rest of his repertoire of shots: a back-foot cover drive, a glide through slips, and Swann, in particular, was taken apart, going for 42 in 37 balls to Dravid.

After more than six hours of batting against the swinging, darting ball, Dravid put all the acclaim in perspective. "I played and missed a lot in this game. I could have nicked the first one and people would have said he's not leaving well. When you get beaten you have to fight back. You have to say, 'As long as I'm here, I'm going to make it count,' and not try to do something silly."

If Dravid's batting this series was to be set to music, it could possibly be to Elgar, in both its pomp and circumstance. This is his last tour of England, a country where he has always enjoyed playing his cricket; he has scored five centuries (average 73.18) here and soaked in its best traditions. His grim, beautiful fights in these two Tests for India have also carried with them gratitude for the grounds he is playing on.

In Nottingham as he tried to push his team ahead in the contest run by run, inch by inch, he was also giving the crowd his farewell masterpiece. Dismissed in an unDravid-esque manner, he walked back through stretching shadows and the golden light of a dipping sun. Having shaken off his own annoyance at his dismissal, he raised his bat to all sections of Trent Bridge as he neared the gate. Then he disappeared up the steps into a pavilion that is 125 years old, with an honours board that will have his name up a second time. When Rahul Dravid leaves Nottingham, he will leave a part of his best self here.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | August 2, 2011, 23:38 GMT

    @zxaar, "All you are worried is why Sachin did not score those 20 runs". You got me wrong. That's not what I'm all worried about. He didn't TRY to score. He may or may not succeed in scoring those 20+ runs. No problem even if he doesn't succeed in getting those 20+ runs. He didn't go down FIGHTING. He preferred to go down by HIDING. That was a horrible feeling I got in the stomach when I watched him do that. That's my grouse. Did Dravid succeed in upping the ante at Trent Bridge in the first inning? NO. It was like all the ill-luck fell on India that the players started to fold and then a well connected upper cut from Dravid had to exactly find the fielder. That's everything going against India all of a sudden as a script. Did Dravid succeed in his endeavour? NO. Did he try? YES. Read the reasons given by Dravid for going for aerial play all of a sudden, "I thought let me do what they did and the first one I tried went into third man's hands". He could have taken a single instead.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | August 2, 2011, 23:13 GMT

    @zxaar, I watched that match against SA. It was Sachin who called for a tight single from the non-striker's end on the 5th ball. Go figure. And even IF the 11th batsman calls for a single towards the end of the over from the striker's end, specialist batsmen deny it from the non-striker's end to keep strike. Not the case with Sachin though. Why? And the 11th batsman we are talking about here is Jaidev Unadkat, a new kid who isn't even a proven tailender like Ishant. Go read the commentary or watch the footage. The kid was visibly shaken by Steyn and Morkel and you want me to think that the new kid asked Sachin that he wants to bat? Good for you. Yes Dravid, VVS, Gambhir anybody could score those 20+. But, they are gone. You can't change that. And Sachin's actions were tasteless. A loss by fighting gallantly is as good as a win. Bowing out timidly with a personal record against your name is worthless.

  • POSTED BY zxaar on | August 1, 2011, 22:40 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas , It was the 11th batsman who asked Tendulkar that he wants to bat and NOT to be shielded. What makes you so sure that this is not the case. Calling other blind does not make you right. If Dravid showed more responsiblity we would not be facing innings defeat. But you are okey with Dravid not performing. All you are worried is why Tendulkar did not score those 20 run.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | August 1, 2011, 20:34 GMT

    @zxaar, just another clarification. Sachin is no ordinary batsman and so is Dravid. I'm no Sachin fantic to take such cheap potshots at other players. On the other hand look at how Sachin fanatics call Dravid - dozen a dime player, ordinary rescue player, players like him will come every now and then, so called wall, snail, turtle, plays slow because he is selfish etc etc....I take pleasure in praising every foreign player as well if they play well because I enjoy cricket and it doesn't have to come from the willow of Dravid alone. Try as hard as you may all to paint Dravid as selfish, now that the true colors of your paper 'god' are out in the open. Nice Spin. When you can't show a paper 'god' in good light, throw mud on the most honest cricketer that India has ever produced. Good for you all. My main grouse against Sachin - he is selfish and that makes him timid. He should come out of it and try to play honestly like Dravid. It's hard. But nothing wrong in trying to play like Dravid.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | August 1, 2011, 20:11 GMT

    @Ganchu, that timid Sachin can't even come at no.3 let alone opening. VVS had to be airlifted and placed in front of him as no.3. But Sachin cried hoarse and ran to the media when he was asked not to open in ODIs. Simple, he doesn't want to risk his average and wicket under testing conditions. Our hopeless captain doesn't have the guts to move this 'elephant'. See how much Indian team will suffer because of Sachin and his selfishness. Why am I not surprised! If Dravid is gone, Team India has to lose. Nobody saves India. The result will be a foregone conclusion. So, no pressure whatsoever and Sachin scores a century. Too bad, he is not even able to score inconsequential centuries now. He should retire and let an honest younster like Pujara play in his place. Look at his pathetic strike-rate in this series. Pujara can play at a much better strike-rate ;). Wasn't strike-rate the basis for rabid Sachin fanatics to keep dissing Dravid without understanding Dravid's role in the team?

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | August 1, 2011, 18:14 GMT

    @zxaar, nobody is a nut to ask Sachin to bat the whole day. He didn't show any intent to save innings defeat by scoring those 20+ odd runs on the final day. No problem even if he couldn't succeed. He didn't show any intent. That's the whole point. You Sachin fanatics are blind. Don't ask me to be blind.

  • POSTED BY Ganchu on | August 1, 2011, 17:33 GMT

    Now where is Tendulakar ? By taking rest from west Indies what he has acheived ? He never comes to the rescue of india.It is a selfless act by Dravid to takes the gloves from Dhoni and also to open the innings. Why can't Tendulakar open the innings in test matches.If he can open in One day format then why not in test ?

  • POSTED BY zxaar on | August 1, 2011, 9:04 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas , so the india's so called greatest batsman Dravid can not even score 10-20 runs in SA and you are asking so called ordinary batsman Tendulkar to bat whole 5th day with #11 batsman. That too when SA has to bat again. These dravid fanatics are the most unreasonable fans on face of earth.

  • POSTED BY Sukumar_Kantri on | August 1, 2011, 7:20 GMT

    Dravid once again proves he is the wall. His partnerships with Laxman and Yuvi had been good and the most needed. Once Yuvi got out at 267... Indian collapse started and ended thier innings at 288. Dhoni should have given more support to dravid by staying in crease for another 10-20 overs which would have made India score 350+ and stay on top and that would have made the real diff by adding pressure on England...

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2011, 7:13 GMT

    Dravid i like second Vishwanath, who always stood between collapse and India. But our media is so biased, Sachin's failure to score Century at Lords was more important for them than Dravid's scoring it. See headings of some newspapers next day. Will media stop highlighting certain achievements and ignoring certain achievements and be fair.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | August 2, 2011, 23:38 GMT

    @zxaar, "All you are worried is why Sachin did not score those 20 runs". You got me wrong. That's not what I'm all worried about. He didn't TRY to score. He may or may not succeed in scoring those 20+ runs. No problem even if he doesn't succeed in getting those 20+ runs. He didn't go down FIGHTING. He preferred to go down by HIDING. That was a horrible feeling I got in the stomach when I watched him do that. That's my grouse. Did Dravid succeed in upping the ante at Trent Bridge in the first inning? NO. It was like all the ill-luck fell on India that the players started to fold and then a well connected upper cut from Dravid had to exactly find the fielder. That's everything going against India all of a sudden as a script. Did Dravid succeed in his endeavour? NO. Did he try? YES. Read the reasons given by Dravid for going for aerial play all of a sudden, "I thought let me do what they did and the first one I tried went into third man's hands". He could have taken a single instead.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | August 2, 2011, 23:13 GMT

    @zxaar, I watched that match against SA. It was Sachin who called for a tight single from the non-striker's end on the 5th ball. Go figure. And even IF the 11th batsman calls for a single towards the end of the over from the striker's end, specialist batsmen deny it from the non-striker's end to keep strike. Not the case with Sachin though. Why? And the 11th batsman we are talking about here is Jaidev Unadkat, a new kid who isn't even a proven tailender like Ishant. Go read the commentary or watch the footage. The kid was visibly shaken by Steyn and Morkel and you want me to think that the new kid asked Sachin that he wants to bat? Good for you. Yes Dravid, VVS, Gambhir anybody could score those 20+. But, they are gone. You can't change that. And Sachin's actions were tasteless. A loss by fighting gallantly is as good as a win. Bowing out timidly with a personal record against your name is worthless.

  • POSTED BY zxaar on | August 1, 2011, 22:40 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas , It was the 11th batsman who asked Tendulkar that he wants to bat and NOT to be shielded. What makes you so sure that this is not the case. Calling other blind does not make you right. If Dravid showed more responsiblity we would not be facing innings defeat. But you are okey with Dravid not performing. All you are worried is why Tendulkar did not score those 20 run.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | August 1, 2011, 20:34 GMT

    @zxaar, just another clarification. Sachin is no ordinary batsman and so is Dravid. I'm no Sachin fantic to take such cheap potshots at other players. On the other hand look at how Sachin fanatics call Dravid - dozen a dime player, ordinary rescue player, players like him will come every now and then, so called wall, snail, turtle, plays slow because he is selfish etc etc....I take pleasure in praising every foreign player as well if they play well because I enjoy cricket and it doesn't have to come from the willow of Dravid alone. Try as hard as you may all to paint Dravid as selfish, now that the true colors of your paper 'god' are out in the open. Nice Spin. When you can't show a paper 'god' in good light, throw mud on the most honest cricketer that India has ever produced. Good for you all. My main grouse against Sachin - he is selfish and that makes him timid. He should come out of it and try to play honestly like Dravid. It's hard. But nothing wrong in trying to play like Dravid.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | August 1, 2011, 20:11 GMT

    @Ganchu, that timid Sachin can't even come at no.3 let alone opening. VVS had to be airlifted and placed in front of him as no.3. But Sachin cried hoarse and ran to the media when he was asked not to open in ODIs. Simple, he doesn't want to risk his average and wicket under testing conditions. Our hopeless captain doesn't have the guts to move this 'elephant'. See how much Indian team will suffer because of Sachin and his selfishness. Why am I not surprised! If Dravid is gone, Team India has to lose. Nobody saves India. The result will be a foregone conclusion. So, no pressure whatsoever and Sachin scores a century. Too bad, he is not even able to score inconsequential centuries now. He should retire and let an honest younster like Pujara play in his place. Look at his pathetic strike-rate in this series. Pujara can play at a much better strike-rate ;). Wasn't strike-rate the basis for rabid Sachin fanatics to keep dissing Dravid without understanding Dravid's role in the team?

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | August 1, 2011, 18:14 GMT

    @zxaar, nobody is a nut to ask Sachin to bat the whole day. He didn't show any intent to save innings defeat by scoring those 20+ odd runs on the final day. No problem even if he couldn't succeed. He didn't show any intent. That's the whole point. You Sachin fanatics are blind. Don't ask me to be blind.

  • POSTED BY Ganchu on | August 1, 2011, 17:33 GMT

    Now where is Tendulakar ? By taking rest from west Indies what he has acheived ? He never comes to the rescue of india.It is a selfless act by Dravid to takes the gloves from Dhoni and also to open the innings. Why can't Tendulakar open the innings in test matches.If he can open in One day format then why not in test ?

  • POSTED BY zxaar on | August 1, 2011, 9:04 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas , so the india's so called greatest batsman Dravid can not even score 10-20 runs in SA and you are asking so called ordinary batsman Tendulkar to bat whole 5th day with #11 batsman. That too when SA has to bat again. These dravid fanatics are the most unreasonable fans on face of earth.

  • POSTED BY Sukumar_Kantri on | August 1, 2011, 7:20 GMT

    Dravid once again proves he is the wall. His partnerships with Laxman and Yuvi had been good and the most needed. Once Yuvi got out at 267... Indian collapse started and ended thier innings at 288. Dhoni should have given more support to dravid by staying in crease for another 10-20 overs which would have made India score 350+ and stay on top and that would have made the real diff by adding pressure on England...

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2011, 7:13 GMT

    Dravid i like second Vishwanath, who always stood between collapse and India. But our media is so biased, Sachin's failure to score Century at Lords was more important for them than Dravid's scoring it. See headings of some newspapers next day. Will media stop highlighting certain achievements and ignoring certain achievements and be fair.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2011, 6:54 GMT

    Like Dravid I hadn't seen such a powerful cricketer in my life. Thanks Dravid.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2011, 5:52 GMT

    Dravid is the best test batsman of 1st innings and laxman of 2nd innings, i hope both of them combine and give us a memorable victory.. best of luck dravid.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | August 1, 2011, 4:28 GMT

    @Emancipator007, I registered with cricinfo recently. So you couldn't see me for SA series or for the demolition of Sri Lanka in Ahmedabad by Dravid in 2009. Next, I guess I don't have to mention when did Gavaskar score 166 and on which page in Indian Express was Gavaskar's photo published to prove that I watched cricket for 30 years. I never liked him for his politics. So, yes, I didn't miss him then and I don't miss him now. Next, you might call yourself an unrelenting critic of Dravid but there's a better phrase - fair weather friends. So, do me a favour and stop telling me whether I can be sentimental about Dravid or not. Regarding Sachin, yes his disgraceful handling of the tail in SA was the final nail in the coffin for people like me to shun him. Seen nuff of his anitics by then. I have seen some 'critics' and rabid Sachin fanatics on cricinfo taking cheap potshots at Dravid. So, Sachin will be pulled up, without fail, when he fails or hides behind others in the batting line-up.

  • POSTED BY SouthPaw on | August 1, 2011, 4:28 GMT

    Take a bow Rahul Dravid! Forever, India's honest, hard-working, successful, yet very humble cricketer (much like Kumble), the younger guys like Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh, and new comers like Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, etc., should take a leaf or two out of his book.

  • POSTED BY Fifthman on | July 31, 2011, 21:39 GMT

    It would be cruelly unfair if Dravid were to be the sole Indian centurion in two consecutive defeats, but that is what is looking most likely now. Dravid is the bedrock of this Indian side, while Tendulkar flatters to deceive.

  • POSTED BY khiladisher on | July 31, 2011, 13:57 GMT

    DRAVID HAS SHOWN WITH HIS LAST THREE GREAT HUNDREDS THAT HE IS THE GREATEST BATSMAN EVER TO HAVE PLAYED TEST MATCH CRICKETIN TOUGH AND DEMANDING CONDITIONS-SWINGING AND SEAMING WICKETS AGAINST VERY GOOD BOWLERS.-HIS RECORD IN THE SEAM-SWING WICKETS OF ENGLAND IS AN AVG OF 74 SCORING 1200 RUNS - ALSO SCORING AROUND 1550 RUNS AGAINST WI,AT AN AVG OF 66 FACING AMBROSE,WALSH,BISHOP,EDWARDS,TAYLOR AND THAT TOO IN WEST INDIES -ALL KNOW THAT SWING BOWLERS REALLY PROSPER IN NEW ZEALAND-WHERE DRAVID HAS SCORED 800 RUNS AT AN AVG OF 64-SO DRAVIDS RECORD IN THESE CONDITIONS ARE 3500 RUNS IN 35 TEST MATCHES AT AN AVG OF 70-WITH 10 HUNDREDS AND 20 FIFTIES.WHAT A CHAMPION PLAYER-ALSO ALWAYS PLAYING FOR THE COUNTRY AND NOT PLAYING FOR THE RECORDS-OPENING THE BATTING-DONNING WICKET KEEPING GLOVES ALL SELFLESS ACTS -NOT WITH AN EYE FOR RECORDS FOR SURE-LONG LIVE RAHUL YOU MAKE HUMAN BEINGS AND MANKIND PROUD.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | July 31, 2011, 13:54 GMT

    After a great partnership between Dravid & Yuvraj, it was sad to see the Indians collapsing like nine pins. They even gave a hat trick to Broad, the same guy who was hit for six sixers in an over by yuvraj, not too long ago. Tendulkar has played very poorly and in a irresponsible manner. India relied on him so heavily for batting. It is Dravid & Laxman who are carrying the batting thru' with Sachin getting out to rash strokes each time. Sachin shoud watch Dravid and try to take some responsibility for his world #1 batsman tag. At the moment Tendulkar is batting worst than Broad, who led his team to remarkable come back twice. It looks like India is heading for a second straight defeat. After dismissing England cheaply, India should have piled at least 450 to have any chance of tying the series. Instead they head for 2-0. Sehwag & gambhir's absence is badly missed due to injuries. Now Tendulkar & Dhoni are also absent l due to irresponsible batting.God help India!.

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 13:35 GMT

    One more classic innings by the Wall! He has saved India from blushes many a times and won the matches many a times! He may not be a lone fighter ... but his team-work with rest has always got India (or TEAM India) - the results they wanted! Hats off to common man's God - the Wall! (I am leaving media made God to make 150 centuries and play forever..)

  • POSTED BY crictime11 on | July 31, 2011, 13:06 GMT

    i reaaally want him to retire... the guy's 38 yet he's still showing loads of talent... i'd be lying if i ddn't say i was a bit jealous and wanted a 'dravid' on our team

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 12:45 GMT

    Just heard Wasim Akram say he talked to Asad Rauf about Dravid's batting and he said that Dravid was simply at a much higher level than the rest. That was endorsed by Geoffrey Boycott as well. Alan Wilkins said that The Wall does not do justice to Dravid. He said something stronger is needed to describe him! Just a couple of thoughts on a person who is the most perfect Test batsman of all time.

  • POSTED BY gitapat on | July 31, 2011, 12:16 GMT

    If Gavaskar is Brahma, the creator and Tendulkar is Siva, the destroyer,Dravid is Vishnu the protector of Indian cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 12:13 GMT

    I am a Pakistani and a great fan of Sachin and Dravid. However, this innings by Dravid is probably his greatest. In addition, I admire these two cricketers immensely, not only due to their cricket playing acumen but also due to there general attitude, very haumble and very down to earth. Great human beings as well and great ambassadors for cricket and India. I hope and wish that we have some people across the border too where boisterousness seems to be the IN thing. Thanks Sachin and Dravid for being what you are.

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 12:07 GMT

    the wall standing tall again!!! the backbone of indian cricket for more than a decade!!!

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 11:49 GMT

    Being a die hard dravid fan I am happy

  • POSTED BY pravek666 on | July 31, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    The toughest batsman indeed, but what is really good to notice here is that green tops are making their way back in. We saw that in the West Indies and now England... but what really caught my eye is the ongoing match between Zimbabweans XI and Bangladeshis XI... the same script is being adopted there too. So i guess it wouldn't be a bad idea to confine green tops for tests only (frequent use for ODIs and none for T20s.) and make the players work hard and earn a consistent test spot (there would still be many not so talented players who would still manage to get a test cap for one or two games like in the past.)Test cricket may be given a more dominant and respectful status this way... one that it only gets out of formality these days.

  • POSTED BY pradeep_tjp on | July 31, 2011, 11:18 GMT

    To all those criticizing Dravid that he didnt play well in recent SA series and Sachin played very well, if you see all the dismissals of his were good balls and even Sachin had may close calls and LBW were'nt given. In SA when Sachin came to bat he would come in after new ball was taken care off. Sachin' average against Donald is 32. Dravid also scored 145 and 85 against same Donald and co. This is no disrespect to sachin. Dravid has got good starts in SA but was didnt get 2 centuries as Sachin has 3 there. This same case applies for Sachin in NZ where he averages 40 while Dravid in 60 to70's. New Zealand had a good attack until 2007 with Bond,Oram,Tuffey,Drum,Crains etc........

  • POSTED BY yoursnivi on | July 31, 2011, 10:54 GMT

    What a quite century from the most selfless player when all eyes are again on Sachin's 100. I like him a lot because he is not GOD(SRT). He is more human. Batting is not a natural gift for him unlike SRT. He fails at times, works hard to overcome the failure and succeeds. He doesn't have lot many shots like SRT, Shewag and Dhoni has but he has lot of patience, concentration, willingness to learn and most importantly a lot and lot of courage to fight for the country. I feel our India media has failed to give him the credit he deserves but a true cricket fan, cricket legends and the opponent's know where he should be. Saching, Lara, Ponting and Kallis scoring patterns are 2+4+6+4+2+4+…..=10000+ where Rahul Dravid's scoring pattern is 1+1+1+1+1++…=10000+ runs.. sheer hard work for his country.

  • POSTED BY Kannada11 on | July 31, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    It was really a Hard working and fighting 100, which came not so easily to him, any how again he brought the test match into balance. 50-50 chance for both the teams, lets see how it progresses from here on, Well done Wall -Dravid , Keep it going. Also thanks for Mrs.Ugra to bring us such a great Article. Thank you :)

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 10:47 GMT

    I'm just waiting for the day when i meet him. Sachin might be the so called God of millions, but Dravid is my Presiding Deity :)

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 10:08 GMT

    rahul dravid class personified!!!

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 10:05 GMT

    the wall is always the best.... wall rocks...

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 10:01 GMT

    @zxaar: "Dravid should have retired by now". R u mad or wahat man?

  • POSTED BY Bodger50 on | July 31, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    Class knock by a class bloke. Taking nothing away but he did not bat in teh toughest conditions. That would have been, day 1, session 1 of each test. He did show the rest how to manage an innings in some style.

  • POSTED BY worldchampindya on | July 31, 2011, 9:15 GMT

    When i look back at the stats, of India's test performance Dravid seems to be the most reliable batsmen, he always had a vital contribution to make whenever the team needed & Team India is still dependent on the Mr.WALL to play in the pressure games, our youngsters need to learn a lot yet.

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 9:08 GMT

    for me cricket is RD.....i love watching test matches where rahul dravid plays.....even World cup final victory comes too fainting when it is put against Rahul dravid's innings..

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 9:04 GMT

    Being a die hard dravid fan I am happy to see so many Dravid fans like me here and I cant stop myself commenting.34 centuries 12.5K runs,and i guess he is the one who is dismised btwn 90-100 atleast 10 times and manytimes between 80-100.Taking bollywood analogy if Sachin is SRK,RD is Ameer Khan.Least gifted among all greats but he had made things happen with his hardwork,dedication and temperament.Take a bow!!I seriously feel he is back and this is just the beginning.Yes He is alive ad kicking,100s and 200s will flow.At the end of his career he will be the undesputed no1.

  • POSTED BY kanik on | July 31, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    what a knock by dravid - once again shows why he is such an integral member of the team. One thing that really ticked me off about this match is that - England have now got their hate against the Hotspot because of the edge against laxman - why is then India's stand against the ball tracking technology seen as nonsensical? Its okay for the English to not like the hotspot but its not okay for India to dislike Hawkeye.

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 8:47 GMT

    He's a real test player. He's more than a wall... He's a 'Dam' for India.. !! He's better than Sachin in Test cricket for me... well done..!!

  • POSTED BY samya1980 on | July 31, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    i didnt see vasko da gama discovering india...i didnt see chandragupta mourya fighting on his horse...i didnt see babar ruling india...i didnt see rabindra nath accepting nobel...i didnt see gandhiji doing dandi march...i didnt see netaji suvash, vagat sing on the battle field for their country's survival...but i'v seen RAHUL DRAVID (yes its rahul dravid, not certain sachin tendulkar) batting for his team (not for his personal record)...did i miss much????

  • POSTED BY N.Sundararajan on | July 31, 2011, 8:28 GMT

    Sundararajan from Chennai

    It is high time people all over the world recognised Rahul Dravid for his rightful place amongst the greatest ever Test Batsmen---at the very top ! West Indies, England---2011 has been simply awesome for someone who was considered to be close to being left out ! Come on folks ! Be fair to Rahul ! There would be never another like him ! Not just as a batsman---but as a total team player ! Kapil Dev, and Rahul, on the same pedestal for their dedication, total teamspirit and devotion combined with humility ! Anyone else comes later !

  • POSTED BY ramsharat on | July 31, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    The wall is getting stronger!!! Very tough to break it..

  • POSTED BY kurups on | July 31, 2011, 7:47 GMT

    The unsung hero..what a masterpiece from The Wall!! a very tasty test cricket indeed..Dont feel like watching ODI's & T20 anymore. The Indian tail is down..with Harbajan starting the deep slide. How could not Dhoni send Ishant Sharma before Praveen??strange...captaincy is also a lot about luck and Dhoni's luck may be running out!!

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    Playing your game in any condition is a easy path which players like Sehwags, Sachin and Dhonis have chosen.....Sometimes its more challenging is to curb ur ego and play for the team according to the conditions... this is the reason why Dravid stands out of the present day cricketing heroes...

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    RD = Real Dynamite in Cool form...;-)

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 7:27 GMT

    I think its not rocket science to deduce or derive the fact that Rahul Dravid is the Most Valuable Player of Indian Cricket... be it past.. present or future.... When he wins, India seldom lost... And the true gentleman that he is, he will always be remembered as "CLASSIC" !

  • POSTED BY IndiaBull on | July 31, 2011, 7:23 GMT

    Gautam is hurt, will u open? OK Dhoni wants to bowl, will u keep? OK Slow Overrate, captain banned, will u captain? OK Sachin didn't hit 100, will u hit? OK India looks like losing, will u save the match? OK Zaheer has injury, will u bowl? emm..OK That's RAHUL DRAVID !!!

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 7:15 GMT

    In a nutshell, it might be possible to replace guys like sachin and laxman in the test team. But where are we going to find someone to replace dravid? Someone who can play an innings like this when required and bat for session after session ? With the younger indian batsmen (including Cheteshwar Pujara, who is the only realistic hope) into 20-20s big time, that is the question India needs to answer, if they are to retain their no:1 ranking for long.

  • POSTED BY vmminerva on | July 31, 2011, 7:14 GMT

    A Dravid day, indeed. Above all, Dravid's humility is unbelievable. Wishing him the very best. Hope it will be India's Test. Great article, Ugra.

  • POSTED BY siddhant328 on | July 31, 2011, 6:52 GMT

    When Rahul Dravid was not in the niche for the last two-three years, I just prayed for him to at least retire with the respect of "Mr. Responsible" as he was garlanded by his lovers and which he acquired in the midst of 1996-2008. For these 12-13 years, the province of Indian batting revolved around Dravid, in good times or in struggling times, irrespective of the fact that Indian batting order included so called greatest batsman of all times. It was very disappointing to observe that even very strong admirers of Mr. Cool were not in position to say anything during this arid time zone. Dravid was lost somewhere... But, now he is back. And I am loving Test Cricket again.....

  • POSTED BY chirag0511 on | July 31, 2011, 6:52 GMT

    PROBABLY THE BEST BATSMEN EVER TO PALY TEST CRICKET. NO COMPARISON TO THIS MANS ABILITY IN TRYING CONDITIONS. EVEN SACHIN CANNOT COME CLOSE TO THIS MAN IN TRYING CONDITIONS AND WHEN INDIA IS IN HOLE

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 6:43 GMT

    Dravid time and again is proving he is the greatest batsman of the game. He is an ageless classic and a typical test match player. And for me Test match is the real measure for anyone to decide. It is time he is given the same respect or may be more than what Sachin gets!

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 6:37 GMT

    I am a die hard Dravid fan and chances are I will stop watching cricket altogether when he retires.That said, Sachin is a class apart. Now my question to all is, if Sachin is not taken into account who is the greatest Test batsman that India has produced? Rahul or Sunil? Even a great Dravid Worshiper like me will have to say Sunil. Dravid still remains number 3, a position that he likes even in batting order!

  • POSTED BY anexpat on | July 31, 2011, 6:34 GMT

    Dravid,Laxman and Sachin are still the backbone of indian team. All those who have been critical of their longevity should ask themselves who is going to fill the vacuum if they go? No youngster has come even close to the dust of the feet of these greats. Don't forget another great who was sacrificed by the selectors to bring some youngsters in. You know who I am talking about. Ofcourse it is Ganguly. He is still far better than Rainas,Kohlis etc etc. Itn only happens once in a life time that one is privedged to watch these legends playing together.

  • POSTED BY maestro_2011 on | July 31, 2011, 6:31 GMT

    Dravid is the great man with a great temperament and composure that will always make him special from all the other batsmen of his time....A great batsmen of this era even many mighties are there....Hats off to you RAHUL.....

  • POSTED BY zxaar on | July 31, 2011, 6:29 GMT

    @ Emancipator007 , agree with almost everything you wrote. Except for the fact that Tendulkar has never sacrifized his place. If you cared to check, in his test career Tendulkar has batted at 2nd,4th,5th and 6th position. Which means he is not always playing at 4. In ODIs too, openning inning is not so easy where you are supposed to score with healthy SR. So there is no doubt that Tendulkar can handle new ball better than Dravid does. Plus no-one of you know that whether tendulkar was asked to open and HE REFUSED. This part team captain and team management decides and NOT Tendulkar. Dravid should have retired by now. He is blocking pujara's career.

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 6:26 GMT

    @ nickydude- I accepted few years ago.

  • POSTED BY CHARLA on | July 31, 2011, 6:24 GMT

    CRICINFO-PLEASE PUBLISH THIS.I WANT TO BE HEARD PRAISING DRAVID AND THAT IS AN HONOUR.the article by sarda is everything that the others commented.i too am divided what to praise-the article or dravid. thank you SARADA.coming to dravid,i am impressed with gravitas's analysis of how dravid built up his innings.it speaks if his dedication to play for his team and not for himself.if we go back and recall his innings in the past,the pattern is obvious.he respects the bowlers when they deserve it and when they are titred of him and dispirited he scores of them.there definitely is no other cricketer--past or present-who has as much cricketing sense. and,to top it all,he is a gentleman and humble. DRAVID--WE WILL REMEBER YOU--THANK YOU.

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 6:13 GMT

    Can somebody give me the E-id of Dravid as he deserves told how I feel about the greatness of his approach, application,achievement and of his permanent impregnation in our minds and hearts be we from karnataka or India

  • POSTED BY Emancipator007 on | July 31, 2011, 6:07 GMT

    @Nickydude:Short memories in era of T20 eh? Forgotten about SRT's efforts in SA just 3 Tests back?(Am not a SRT fan).Or entire 90s against better attacks? @SriUSA: Heard or read about a supreme Test class player called Sunil Gavaskar?Don't resort to hyperbole about RD only being Test class. Ponting, Kallis,RD,Sehwag have not faced half the lethal, intimidating Test attacks that Gavaskar, Richards, Border, Miandad faced and even Tendulkar in early career. @ibbani: Stop spreading false myths about Gasvakar's skill to newer, younger fans and showing bad bias. SMG played some of the best Test innings of all TIMES on bad, testing wickets:221 at Oval (1979),100 in 1974 in Eng,96 against Pak in Bangalore on the worst wicket EVER in cricket post World War 11 (1987), 121 and 90 against WI fearsome pace in 1983 at Sehwag-like STRIKE RATE!, 90 on last day on tough last day in Tied Test (Chennai , 1986), along with Amarnath ONLY one to withstand Imran's furious, reverse swing pace in 1983.

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 6:05 GMT

    Hi Dravid Although I am from BLR I was not your fan You have proved me wrong You are one of the greatest in all of cricket You have grit and deligence not to speak of role model charachter For me you are greater than Gavaskar and Tendulkar although not above Kapil You and Srinath symbolise K'takas greatness in the international arena Your achievements standout I salute you and your family to have made one for k'taka nay India like you May ur tribe increase This is an honest reaction from the bottom of my heart and not due to the euphoria temporarily around now

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 6:02 GMT

    wall still THE WALL.....

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 6:01 GMT

    SRT most hyped but low or scores rarely when required; R Dravid most under estimated but scores big when needed and luk wheres he now 1 - 2nd leading test run getter 2 - most no of test balls faced 3 - most no of test century partnerships with SRT 4 - 1st & 2nd highest ODI partnership for any wicket with SRT (331) & Ganguly (318) 5 - most no of test catches 6 - scored test centuries in all cricket grounds 7 - around 11K in ODI & 12500 + runs in test 8 - solid defence 7 stroke play when needed what else could u ask - in my view he is NO 1 batsman in world & very unfortunate he is not included in ODIs (this is india's cricket)

  • POSTED BY shrastogi on | July 31, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    Go Dravid Go. Last few years were mediocre for him by his own standards as his test average fell from 57 to 52. In last 5 tests he has scored 500 runs with 3 hundreds all in difficult conditions and there is an innings left in this test to be played. His solidity inspired Laxman and Yuvraj to bat well in the first innings. He, Laxman and Tendulkar would be huge shoes to fill when they retire.

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 5:53 GMT

    A legend. So happy that Rahul is back after such a lean time. Back to back tons against such a great team in England in their conditions! Never doubted the legend would be back!

    Now it's time for Sachin to hit back in the second innings and the next test! Come on, Sachin..prove your detractors wrong as well!

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 5:46 GMT

    Hats off to the The greatest test player of this era. He has proved his worth over and over again in the team. Had it not been for him India would be praying to get over this tour and return home ASAP to arrange tours with the minnows to retain their "No. 1" status (which to me is nothing but hype and sheer arrogance). When I first started watching him play it was "boring" because he didn't have the "charisma" that SRT has been known to carry all through his career. But as I grew older and started understanding test cricket more I found him to be the Guru of patience and grit which you must possess to succeed in test cricket. He has ruled our hearts for years and it'll be a sad day for indian cricket when he departs and makes way for young players to fill his shoes (which is nearly impossible because of influence of T20). Unless countries keep producing players of his caliber I'm certain test cricket will soon be ancient. Mr. Dhoni should thank him for saving his face again and again.

  • POSTED BY Dravid-Supporters on | July 31, 2011, 5:24 GMT

    @ Dravid_Gravitas--- Man your statements are making me more sentimental...A true genius and a great team man...Probably the last gentleman of the game...I am watching the test cricket only because of Dravid...The way he batted at Trentbridge shows our old Dravid is back, where you ball beauty, he will not get out unless Dravid gives you the wicket..

  • POSTED BY Iyer on | July 31, 2011, 5:07 GMT

    Although I am an Iyer, I bow to you Dravid! you are truly a forward class!

  • POSTED BY chandau on | July 31, 2011, 5:05 GMT

    What is it with Indian batters? They all seem to turn the gas on after 35! SRT was thought to be past his prime a few seasons ago but chas been in good form (though not in this tour ...yet), VVS almost lost his place only to keep the runs flowing still and now RD is flying the flag and can emulate Azar if he makes another century in the next match. Just goes to show age is not the defining criterion for greatness; Auzzy selectors take notice :)

  • POSTED BY Pathiyal on | July 31, 2011, 5:01 GMT

    ohhh.....too many feather's in the wall's cap. another incredible innings, amidst of total failure of his own army! vvs also played short but excellent innings, uv making use of a life. but it was a 'broad'er day yesterday. hope things will be better today :-)

  • POSTED BY nickydude on | July 31, 2011, 4:58 GMT

    With due respect, for all those SRT fans, another time, the stark basic difference bet Dravid & Sachin was on display yesterday, SRT mite be having 99 hundreds, poise, grace, & all that, but the grit which Dravid shows, is what he lacks in totality. Accept it now with grace.

  • POSTED BY donda on | July 31, 2011, 4:42 GMT

    Send this article to Ian Chappel, he wanted to retire all Indian old batsmen. Dravid showed every body today that he is still the WALL and will always remember as WALL. The pure perfection of WALL in cricket is Dravid. If he can play like that in England then he can play better in other parts of the world for next two three years easily. He is really the best of the best. awesome.

  • POSTED BY ambujkumar on | July 31, 2011, 4:34 GMT

    Dravid is simply a masterclass! no more words required...

  • POSTED BY rdharani on | July 31, 2011, 4:34 GMT

    Ugra, take a bow. Masterpiece. I'm a hard core fan of RD. But, I do not praise him now. I leave this praising task to you. And I continue to enjoy his skillful, serene batting.

  • POSTED BY DEV_ME on | July 31, 2011, 4:30 GMT

    Sharda, a decent article, that is if it supposed tobe a film review or an obituary. Too many similes and too much dramatization. Time and again I have commented (and cricinfo have not published those comments !!) that your writing is sensationalistic, on a supposedlty hard core sports website. Here facts, figures, technicalities, dpth of understanding, strategy etc. are required to be displayed. You might as well write these sensational articles in a weekly / Filmy magazine. You are making Dravid seem like a cross betweeen Gladiator and Martial Arts warrior in the wild wild west ! Breaking news - He is a technically perfect, sincere, hardworking batsmen - lets stick to that. You have mentioned about VVS pulling and cutting savagely - savagely ?! VVS is a touch and time artist, even his most savage pull is like a delicate carress. You know what is savage ? A certain Beer Keg on two feet called David Boon, that was savage. Lets bring back Sports on Cricinfo please.

  • POSTED BY nikhilbengeri on | July 31, 2011, 4:28 GMT

    This century is not for the Indian team, its not for Dravid himself and its not to save the test as well. This century is for all the critics who have written off "The Great Wall Of India, Rahul Dravid". Its jus one of those answers he gave, which will never pose any questions here after, be it regarding his temperament, his attitude, his skills to overcome pressure cooker situations or his game itself. So instead of criticising him, try and find a replacement for not only such a great cricketer, but also such a great human being.

  • POSTED BY anish_vince23 on | July 31, 2011, 4:24 GMT

    GREATEST EVER. LEGEND. I HAD TEARS WHEN HE GOT THAT CENTURY. GOOSEBUMPS. NO ONE HAS HIS CLASS.

    FORM IS TEMPORARY, CLASS IS PERMANENT. # RAHUL DRAVID

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 4:21 GMT

    An article on The Wall of Indian cricket from heart. The comments also are just too good. The glamour of Sachin, Lara, Vivian, Ponting etc has kept him and Kallis in shadow. Without such players it would not be easy for these greats to achieve whatever they have deservedly done. It is sad that those coming after and even those coming with him, played carelessly with faulty shot selection. The Test is in a see-saw stage but not as India would have liked.

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 4:12 GMT

    yesterday was dravid day, If dhoni accompanied dravid india may be in good position, in keeping & batting both department dhoni is nt doing well..I think after The legal war of advertisement Dhoni & harbhajan may be under pressure , nobody performing well..hope today harbhajan will bounce back with 3-4 wickets

  • POSTED BY GreenTops on | July 31, 2011, 4:06 GMT

    @hiladi, @RD270 Grass on the pitch can aid swing bowling by keeping the sheen on the ball for much longer. And by 'the wicket at Trent Bridge', I believe, Sharda has used it to assume not only the pitch, but the entire field and so moisture content in the air also comes into play. Like she goes on to say, the stands can create a micro-climate of sorts affecting airflow and help retain moisture causing prodigious swing.

  • POSTED BY GreenTops on | July 31, 2011, 4:04 GMT

    Sad will be the day, Dravid hangs up his boots. Having missed only 3 matches since his debut, it's hard to imagine an Indian lineup that does not have Dravid at No. 3 (or opening the batting). A truly selfless cricketer. Often under-appreciated, it's nice to see people in his corner. But I hope they're not all fair-weather friends. Though Tendulkar has more runs and hundreds (the obsession with his 100th ton is getting a little out of hand), Dravid's value to the Indian team, I feel, has been worth more. Watching him play has been a treat.

  • POSTED BY Sandeep.Oza on | July 31, 2011, 4:03 GMT

    Class... Really admired and humble person a truly a great gentalmen and a proud that he is from karnataka... We need pepole like him honest and hardworking.. the world would be a better place...

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 3:59 GMT

    People say Dravid is slow as a turtle. But he is one of the fewest batsmen who you can count on always. When he is out, you kind of know that its almost done for India. In my late teens and 20s, I always heard a Dravid tormenting Ranji sides with 100s and 200s whenever Karnataka played. This Dravid continued the same in Test cricket for India. Test cricket is the ultimate version of cricket and that is where everyone can see if you have the skills or not. To me, if you are not Test worthy, then you and I, a village cricketer, have a lot in common! Wonder if we will have another Dravid again! I seriously hope so. I also fear that once the 30 yr olds in cricket are gone, the Tests wont be interesting! Darn, I hate 20-20s!

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 3:45 GMT

    This is sheer poetry taking with a range of Similes. Perhaps the contribution of Dravid deserves an epic

  • POSTED BY SriUSA on | July 31, 2011, 3:27 GMT

    Einstein once said, the future generations would not believe that there was a man named Gandhi existed. The same applies to Dravid in test cricket. The generations coming would wonder if test cricket can be played like how Dravid plays. There were many cricketers before and playing now. You watch them and you watch Dravid. You understand the difference and what I am saying. For me he is the epitome of concentration, hard work and dedication. If you are a Dravid in any other field you are sure to achieve a Nobel Prize by now, atleast twice. Sad part is that he will be retiring soon never to play test cricket again. A compilation of all his hundreds on DVD would be a great learning and watch for budding test cricketers. Hope that would come out one day.

  • POSTED BY just_dravid on | July 31, 2011, 3:25 GMT

    wht to say abt him????? i have all the pleasure to watching him playing like this for last 15 yrs. i started to watch cricket firstly with dravid's 96 runs in lord's back in 1996. and will end this passion with dravid's last inning whenever it will come..... cricket for me is all abt dravid..starts frm dravid and end with dravid. i wish that day never come but it has to be some time.plz god give ur all the blessing to this most unselfish man for rest of his cerrear n life............all the best jammy.................

  • POSTED BY Emancipator007 on | July 31, 2011, 2:38 GMT

    2. So don't discount Sehwag's MVP status or the fact that he TOO is a CONVERTED opener and sacrificed his middle order spot. One superb characteristic RD has is his self-effacing modesty despite a stupendous Test record and he almost seems apologetic in all interviews. And Dravid never really has bothered about media adulation and the like; just goes about his allotted tasks and roles with utmost professionalism and dedication. Incidentally, this pic of RD with raised bat almost showcases the Test class of a worthy Test batsman-prim, propah and elegant in Test whites. I agree with many of the fans: SRT (who is inarguably the MOST talented batsman of all time) never sacrifices his batting spot in Tests or ODIs. Ganguly had the best average at no. 4 Tests (minimum 1000 Test runs) and also gave up his favored ODI opening spot to Sehwag for the sake of team.

  • POSTED BY Emancipator007 on | July 31, 2011, 2:36 GMT

    @Gravitas,while u enunciate your thoughts well stop the sentimental stuff regularly about Dravid and sniping at SRT whenever RD scores. Don't remember you hanging around here when India was in SA and RD floundered badly. By the way, if you have watched cricket for 30 years, how did you miss the supreme Test class batting of Sunny Gavaskar who faced more threatening, lethal attacks? On Dravid:I have been an unrelenting critic for past 3 years simply cos of his poor overseas performances against quality sides (SA twice, Aus, SL twice, Eng once). But his superb defensive technique has been his savior and one has to admire 3 classy 100s in 5 abroad Tests against good attacks (Fidel, Bishoo were good in WI).And also those rabid RD fans should remember that one TITAN Sehwag has scored nearly 8000 Test runs in the same decade as RD's success and helped his compatriots like SRT, RD, Gambhir to settle down. CONTD.

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 2:28 GMT

    Dravid a man of great determination and patience.. I loved the last paragraph written.. It was simply awesome... kudos to Cricinfo and its journalists

  • POSTED BY ibbani on | July 31, 2011, 2:27 GMT

    To all cricket lovers - SRT has scored runs in tons and thousands. But the Wall does not fall and stands Tall. Dravid is the truly the best batsmen ever. SRT is eyeing on the 100 th ton for which is known as the man behind records. in yesteryears, Gavaskar and Vishy were contemporary like Sachin and Dravid. Vishy played for team like Dravid now. Sunny played selfishly like SRT now. Vishy's 30s 40s 50s were priceless like Dravid's now. SG and SRT played heavily on falt surfaces and scored many but were invaluable most of the times as India lost or drew them. Rahul's major tons and runs are scored in India's wins. KSCA has done the best way of thnaking this cricket for his classic play by constructing a WALL of 10000 bricks in Chinnaswamy stadium. I wonder he will still play for the next England tour.

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 2:14 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas: I believe your request is not at all possible. In this T20 world do you think there will be another Dravid born?? No Chance..All the cricketers with good technique mainly Indians are spoiling their game playing T20 cricket and IPL..

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 2:14 GMT

    If Ganguly was next to god on the offside, Dravid is THE god on all screwy pitches and conditions. I salute you master!

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 2:13 GMT

    Draivd......He is showing the responsibility, that the others are not showing.

    GREAT WALL is a WALL. Nobody can break it......

    Hatsoff.......

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 2:04 GMT

    Lovely article Sharda! Your love for Cricket is evident in this article. The last line was superb and very moving, making one almost lachrymose! My son says that he will stop watching Cricket when Dravid stops playing. Was able to savour only part of Dravid's mammoth effort as I was away from the TV for some time. We can hope that Dravid, who is sheer perfection of batting, will play for a few more years. But he brushed aside the suggestion that he would be in England in 2014. So we have two years of perfection left in Cricket. We are blessed to have five of the best batsmen in Tests in our side, each having a distinct style of their own, and we are still to find a replacement for Ganguly. In future, will we ever attain the heights of batsmanship provided by all these wonderful batsmen, Dada included. The probability is very low. So let's not indulge in odious comparisons and enjoy the Cricket we have been seeing till one or more of these greats decide to call it quits.

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 1:20 GMT

    feel like on the cloud 9 and get tears in my eyes whenever Dravid bats like this out if sheer happiness....

  • POSTED BY cardshark08 on | July 31, 2011, 1:16 GMT

    I remember several Australian commentators insinuating that it was a farce for Dravid to have scored such a mammoth amount of runs in test cricket, ahead of true greats of the game. Yes, he was batting scratchily in Australia, but this tour is proving why Dravid could be considered the best modern test batsman and certainly cemented his place as a truly great player. Only Lara has carried a team on his shoulders as Dravid has, and on a less consistent basis than the latter. Only Kallis can be said to have the same mastery of concentration and technique, which is why these two are still succeeding while Ponting is faltering. A batsman who relies on the speed of his reflexes will always struggle in the twilight of his career. I'm glad that Shane Warne was commentating for parts of Dravid's innings: his appraisal of Dravid was far more just than the ignorant ramblings of some of his peers.

  • POSTED BY RD270 on | July 31, 2011, 1:05 GMT

    Ooooooops! How can a pitch swingh? Seam, cut, spin, yes. Swing, no. Otherwise an excellent article Sharda, keep up the good work.

  • POSTED BY ahweak on | July 31, 2011, 1:05 GMT

    Good article. There is very little I can add other than say that there hasn't been any batsman like Dravid in world cricket. What a hole he will leave behind in this team when he leaves, I shudder to think. Dhoni showed no respect to the guy who was battling out there.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | July 31, 2011, 0:54 GMT

    Sharda, could you please take this article off your site? The more I read it, the more I'm feeling sad. Uncontrollable. One day this man will turn his back on us, ruthlessly, will walk into the pavillion, disappear behind those walls, never to return back. The very thought is choking me with uncontrollable sadness. However hard I try not to think about it, my mind keeps thinking about it. Now that'll be the end of my 30 year romance with Test Cricket. Can this world produce just another Dravid, whichever country he may belong to, so that I can continue my romance with Test Cricket? I know, I'm asking for something near impossible. But it's a hope. Just a hope. Greed, may be. God Bless Dravid and that young boy who is taking those little steps towards harbouring ideas of emulating Dravid.

  • POSTED BY Shan156 on | July 31, 2011, 0:28 GMT

    Dravid has been England's nemesis so many times and has pillaged runs off our attack that our bowlers (and some of our fans too) would be wishing he retires soon. Hear what Broad has to say. He got more satisfaction with Dravid's wicket (by Bresnan) more than his victims. Such a technically correct player with bucket loads of concentration, with the form he is in now, it is fair to assume that he will more than likely score a century every time he strides to the crease. Rahul is Indian cricket's greatest treasure. Sachin is a genius and has mastered all formats of cricket in all conditions but when it comes to overseas tests and given toughest conditions, Dravid probably edges Tendulkar. On a pitch where every batsmen struggled and looked like getting out any minute, Dravid has compiled a masterclass. All the English batsmen and the Indian batsmen, sans Sachin and Laxman, should take lessons from this master on how to bat in such conditions.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | July 30, 2011, 23:12 GMT

    Sharda, it would be offending to any writer if I say that describing this rarest of rare genius automatically adds beauty to our articles and posts, no matter how aweful we might actually be in describing him. But honestly, your article's ending left me in tears for 20 minutes. I'm confused if I should praise you or that rarest genius Rahul 'Eveready' Dravid for your masterpiece. I would want to think that the genius of Dravid moved your heart and your heart came out with this honest masterpiece. Your masterpiece just put The Man on my screen. Did you notice that Dravid scored 26 off 94 balls but sped to 113 off 213 balls; that's 87 runs off 119 balls under these testing conditions? That's the hallmark of a rarest of rare genius who has this rare ability to go into a defensive shell and then come out of it and then again go back in. If this purest yet versatile custodian of cricket, a rarest genius, is not in Cricinfo's Legends of Cricket, then that's really a sad call. Let's not err.

  • POSTED BY on | July 30, 2011, 23:10 GMT

    India's MVP! There'd be considerable argument, with reason, regarding a host of others - Tendulkar, Laxman, Ganguly, Sehwag and of course increasingly better bowlers who've earned India victories in the last decade. But when the going gets tough, no one quite get's going like Rahul Dravid. The endearing part is, he is possibly blessed with least amount of natural cricketing gifts - however his discipline has always enabled him to channel his competitive instincts to incredible performance. No lessons are lost, no routine is skipped, and never once does he take the game for granted ..

  • POSTED BY on | July 30, 2011, 22:52 GMT

    Dravid's batting is at it's best than it has ever been. He is now quick to dispatch bad balls to the boundary and always have the score-board moving ......He has added more shots square and behind the wicket on off-side while few years back it was predominantly on the leg side and drives.

  • POSTED BY Finn92 on | July 30, 2011, 22:41 GMT

    Quite simply a class apart from most. One of the greatest ever, fact

  • POSTED BY on | July 30, 2011, 22:40 GMT

    Great innings... what a player - what a wonderful player! At times, I feel that our media is not doing justice to the contributions made by this cricketer... he has sacrificed a lot for the country and has been selfless as compared to some of the other cricketers from out country. This guy has batted at almost 6 different batting positions, kept wickets, took the maximum number of catches in test cricket and most importantly - a true gentleman playing the gentleman's game... had all these accomplishments/contributions being made by Sachin - we would have seen lot of newspapers having pages and pages of articles news channels doing special interviews etc... Hope to see Rahul continue contributing to Indian cricket teams' wins...

  • POSTED BY shilsen on | July 30, 2011, 22:40 GMT

    As someone who's considered Dravid his favorite cricketer from shortly after the first time I saw him play (and enjoy watching him bat more than any other international cricketer), I've been loving his performances in this series and against the West Indies. I'm cautiously hopeful that this signals a renaissance in his career, just like Sachin has enjoyed over the last 2-3 years, and I'll be able to enjoy watching him for a few more years. And if not, then he's left me with some brilliant memories from these last few matches to accompany all the earlier ones.

  • POSTED BY hiladi on | July 30, 2011, 22:39 GMT

    "Trent Bridge's pitch is known for its propensity to swing." Someone - preferable Ugra- explain to me how a pitch can swing the ball.

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | July 30, 2011, 22:37 GMT

    An Innings of great character & craft. Well done Rahul Dravid.

  • POSTED BY hm007 on | July 30, 2011, 22:35 GMT

    A lovely innings I thoroughly enjoyed. He could have waited for another over or two before going after the bowling because at the other end Ishant was doing OK unlike his more flamboyant lower order batsmen. Something to think about for the future, with such a fragile tail.

  • POSTED BY on | July 30, 2011, 22:21 GMT

    Dear Sharda,Please do not write such nostalgic pieces. Dravid's batting is the only reason why I watch cricket. Otherwise cricket has lost its speciality, and Federer's tennis and Barca's football are better to watch. I know, Dravid wil retire in next 2 years. But I do not want to think of that yet. Lets all enjoy his serene stroke play and elegant drives, cautious nudges and leaves, while he is still playing. We can do mourning once HE retires. Great innings and good piece of writing! Keep up the good work Dravid & Sharda.

  • POSTED BY rocket123 on | July 30, 2011, 22:20 GMT

    Finally, Dravid is showing his class, skill and ability which were on display with all force and pomp from 2001-2005 under Ganguly's captaincy when he played match winning/saving innings. People had been raising voice fo doubts against this legend since 2007. Yes, Dravid had struggled prior to 2011 in form but remember in cricket form is temp but class is permanent. I hope the way he has been batting recently, it would dampen and mute the voices of concern and doubt about this legend. And, lets not forget that he is the most valuable player in the team because he does not shy away from being in the firing line like an ordinary soldier. He opened the innings!!!!!! SRT is arguably the most gifted and talented batsman like Viv Richards but his innings have always lacked substance and nor does he make himself available for the firing line when there is a team requirement. For those doubting Dravid's status, stature and class, no more Dravid bashing to degrade the legend. Thanks.

  • POSTED BY on | July 30, 2011, 22:16 GMT

    Dravid is simply amazing. Well stated Ugra

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  • POSTED BY on | July 30, 2011, 22:16 GMT

    Dravid is simply amazing. Well stated Ugra

  • POSTED BY rocket123 on | July 30, 2011, 22:20 GMT

    Finally, Dravid is showing his class, skill and ability which were on display with all force and pomp from 2001-2005 under Ganguly's captaincy when he played match winning/saving innings. People had been raising voice fo doubts against this legend since 2007. Yes, Dravid had struggled prior to 2011 in form but remember in cricket form is temp but class is permanent. I hope the way he has been batting recently, it would dampen and mute the voices of concern and doubt about this legend. And, lets not forget that he is the most valuable player in the team because he does not shy away from being in the firing line like an ordinary soldier. He opened the innings!!!!!! SRT is arguably the most gifted and talented batsman like Viv Richards but his innings have always lacked substance and nor does he make himself available for the firing line when there is a team requirement. For those doubting Dravid's status, stature and class, no more Dravid bashing to degrade the legend. Thanks.

  • POSTED BY on | July 30, 2011, 22:21 GMT

    Dear Sharda,Please do not write such nostalgic pieces. Dravid's batting is the only reason why I watch cricket. Otherwise cricket has lost its speciality, and Federer's tennis and Barca's football are better to watch. I know, Dravid wil retire in next 2 years. But I do not want to think of that yet. Lets all enjoy his serene stroke play and elegant drives, cautious nudges and leaves, while he is still playing. We can do mourning once HE retires. Great innings and good piece of writing! Keep up the good work Dravid & Sharda.

  • POSTED BY hm007 on | July 30, 2011, 22:35 GMT

    A lovely innings I thoroughly enjoyed. He could have waited for another over or two before going after the bowling because at the other end Ishant was doing OK unlike his more flamboyant lower order batsmen. Something to think about for the future, with such a fragile tail.

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | July 30, 2011, 22:37 GMT

    An Innings of great character & craft. Well done Rahul Dravid.

  • POSTED BY hiladi on | July 30, 2011, 22:39 GMT

    "Trent Bridge's pitch is known for its propensity to swing." Someone - preferable Ugra- explain to me how a pitch can swing the ball.

  • POSTED BY shilsen on | July 30, 2011, 22:40 GMT

    As someone who's considered Dravid his favorite cricketer from shortly after the first time I saw him play (and enjoy watching him bat more than any other international cricketer), I've been loving his performances in this series and against the West Indies. I'm cautiously hopeful that this signals a renaissance in his career, just like Sachin has enjoyed over the last 2-3 years, and I'll be able to enjoy watching him for a few more years. And if not, then he's left me with some brilliant memories from these last few matches to accompany all the earlier ones.

  • POSTED BY on | July 30, 2011, 22:40 GMT

    Great innings... what a player - what a wonderful player! At times, I feel that our media is not doing justice to the contributions made by this cricketer... he has sacrificed a lot for the country and has been selfless as compared to some of the other cricketers from out country. This guy has batted at almost 6 different batting positions, kept wickets, took the maximum number of catches in test cricket and most importantly - a true gentleman playing the gentleman's game... had all these accomplishments/contributions being made by Sachin - we would have seen lot of newspapers having pages and pages of articles news channels doing special interviews etc... Hope to see Rahul continue contributing to Indian cricket teams' wins...

  • POSTED BY Finn92 on | July 30, 2011, 22:41 GMT

    Quite simply a class apart from most. One of the greatest ever, fact

  • POSTED BY on | July 30, 2011, 22:52 GMT

    Dravid's batting is at it's best than it has ever been. He is now quick to dispatch bad balls to the boundary and always have the score-board moving ......He has added more shots square and behind the wicket on off-side while few years back it was predominantly on the leg side and drives.