India v New Zealand, 1st Test, Ahmedabad, 1st day November 4, 2010

Determined Dravid overcomes the pressure

ESPNcricinfo staff
Amid pressure to deliver and intense scrutiny over his performance, Dravid's century was a defining innings in more ways than one
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These are not easy times to be Rahul Dravid. In his previous innings, on home soil in Bangalore, he walked out to replace the man who many see as his eventual successor. Cheteshwar Pujara had batted with tremendous poise and fluency for 72 and the cheers for Dravid mingled with the applause for a future star. Murali Vijay, who made a hundred in the first innings of that game, had also shown himself to be someone capable of filling any breach in the top three.

Every time Dravid fails from here on, there will be clarion calls for youth. Even when he succeeds, there will be those who say that his presence at No.3 isn't beneficial for the long-term health of Indian cricket. In a country where those in their late 20s like Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif are considered past it, what chance does a soon-to-be-38-year-old have?

This century, his 30th, won't feature in the highlights reels of his career. The opposition wasn't the most taxing and the pitch, though two-paced, was little more than benign. But for a man who has struggled since two wonderful stroke-filled hundreds against Sri Lanka at the end of last year, this was a defining innings in more ways than one.

In his previous Ahmedabad appearance, he had taken India from 32 for 4 to over 400 with a 177 that was as full of intent as any innings he had ever played. This was a very different knock. With Sehwag playing as is his wont, even on a pitch where the ball didn't come on as you'd expect on the opening day of a game, he was becalmed for long periods early on. He faced 105 balls for his first 17 runs, and was fortunate when Gareth Hopkins failed to hold on to a bottom edge off Jesse Ryder when he had just 28.

But in the hour before tea, something changed. The feet started to move more decisively, and the strokes that had previously found the inner ring started to streak away through the gaps. In a passage of play where India scored 69 runs, Dravid made 44 of them. By the time the bat was raised for the hundred that took him past the greatest No.3 of them all, Sir Donald Bradman, he had made 83 from just 111 deliveries. With Sehwag slowing down as a result of a slight jarring of the knee, it was just what India needed to keep the pressure on.

Dravid would be the first to admit that he isn't as prolific as he once was. But leaving aside the statistical anomaly that was Bradman, the law of diminishing returns has affected the greatest of No.3s. Being the pivot of the batting order comes with its own pressures, and unlike those who bat lower down the order, there's no hiding from the dangers of the new ball.

Viv Richards averaged 55.18 with 15 centuries after his first 60 Tests. In his next 61, he made nine more hundreds, but the average dipped to 50.23. Ricky Ponting has suffered similarly. When Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath brought the curtain down on a golden generation with a 5-0 Ashes whitewash in Sydney, Ponting was averaging 59.29 with 33 hundreds. In 38 games since, he has made six centuries, but the mean has dipped to 54.68.

In Dravid's case, he ended the tour of the Caribbean in 2006 with two masterful half-centuries at Sabina Park, on a spiteful pitch where even Brian Lara was made to look ordinary. At that stage, 104 Tests into his career, he averaged 58.75 with 23 hundreds. In 41 matches since then, he has made seven centuries and 13 other scores in excess of 50. But the average is 39.65, largely a result of the failure to play the monumental innings that were once his forte. Only once, at Motera last year, has he gone past 150.

Something about batting with Sehwag brings out the best in him though. In some ways, as bizarre as it may sound, they are birds of a feather. The tempos may be very different but both trust in the method that has brought them so many runs. Sehwag, who has now added 3038 runs with Dravid (average of 63.29) from 50 innings, said as much after the day's play. "Rahul takes his time when he is batting," he said. "He is batting in his own style and I bat the way I want to. It's easier. We never discuss stuff like you should score fast or slow. He bats the way he knows and I bat the way I know."

Even when batting as fluently as he did in Ahmedabad last year, Dravid has never forced the issue with unnecessary innovations or improvisation. In that sense, he and Jacques Kallis remain a last tenuous link to the old ways of Test-match batsmanship.

Another missed catch - again Hopkins, but this time off Jeetan Patel - gave him a reprieve on 92, and there was more than a hint of fatigue about the shot that cost him his wicket with the close of play in sight. The snipers may have been temporarily deprived of ammunition, but yet again the big innings had eluded him.

How much longer can he go on? South Africa lie in wait at the end of the year, the pace and swing of Dale Steyn and the height and hustle of Morne Morkel. More importantly, how do the selectors view Indian cricket's future? If Pujara and Vijay are considered ready, would a tour of the Caribbean, against a team that's been in disarray for years, be a good place to blood them? Will Dravid walk of his own volition?

In some cases, form hasn't always been the prime consideration for moving a player on. Steve Waugh, another with resolve hewn from granite, averaged 76.61 in a final year bookended by Sydney Tests. Yet, with Michael Clarke waiting in the wings, it was decided that he needed to move on. Waugh would have loved another crack at India in India, but it was Adam Gilchrist and Ponting that led Australia as the final frontier was finally surpassed less than a year later.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • srkroxx on November 11, 2010, 11:12 GMT

    like in odis we got the replacement for the 'tortoise' we have few replacements for him in tests too...pujara, kohli, vijay or we have a bowler as we hv a very deep batting now...except 2009, since 2007 he is just a liability on test team...avg very poor in 07, 08, 10...it is pointless that viru is attacking on the bowlers from one end and on the other end a batsman is looking for the safety...just pointless and drvd 100 has proved nothing....just the stats...he is not a plyer for a no. 1 team like ind...he is still a struggling plyr of a 4-5 rank team....shud be axed from here too like he was axed from odis since 2007 and team is growing without him...drvd purely dont deserve to be in this team...earlier we hv no rplacements but now he shud take retirement or be axed...!!

  • kool_Indian on November 7, 2010, 1:26 GMT

    @cricinfo author and all those guys who were bashing Rahul, Sachin and other Indian cricketers - take a break. Thank God, Indian Team management and the selectors have their heads in right place and doesnt give a hoot to these silly comments and fickle minds of some of the fellow Indian fans and anti Indians...and finally cheers to all those guys who support their Team and players in Good and Bad times!!!

  • on November 5, 2010, 16:22 GMT

    Those who say tht Dravid is selfish, hv u forgotten one of the saying of a old Indian cricketer about Dravid "He could even walk on broken glass if team want him to do so"

  • on November 5, 2010, 8:26 GMT

    For those who commented about the strike rate of Dravid in his innings, plz check the strike rates of Tendulkar and VVS today. That suggets the pitch and conditions in the early hrs of the game.. Learn to appreciate the class acts.. Keep goin Rahul.. U rock..

  • on November 5, 2010, 8:05 GMT

    and it's these contrasting features of each batsmen tht make india one unique teamand the perfect rank 1 team for now........sehwag a superb hitter , gambir gud temperament but can hit the ball well, dravid technically the best defensive batsmen , sachin a true master can play either innings, laxman wristy strokeplayer gels well with anyone , raina a gud prospect and dhoni not bad a batsmen a gud captain , and the bowlers mixture of both experience and youth doin gr8 so as long as each fill their role perfectly we r one unbeatable team.....so be proud of it don't attack on guy always .....

  • francais on November 5, 2010, 6:45 GMT

    taking nothing away from Sehwag ,do u think that was an inning of test .after 100 he was just playing so rash ,3 catches dropeed and 3 catches just fell short .while if u look at the quality of innings dravid played ,there was not a false short .the drive ,the rock solid cut to short ptch deliveries to jeetan patel i thought was the shot of the day ,and how can one replace dravid who scored 233 and 270 against the best bowling attck by someone who just scored his 1st century (vijay)that too in banglore which was a nice flat wicket ....coming to yesterday innings he was so determined not because he was under pressure but since he was middling but was not able to get gapes for the first 100 balls ,and then see wat he did in the next 100 balls ......

  • on November 5, 2010, 6:37 GMT

    hey guys just a small question no offence to sachin as he's my fav cricketer after dravid but pls today sachin scored his runs at a sr of almost 30...u all guys must have seen it...with balls 133 or something...yesterday the same dravid scored 39 from 139 balls abt 6 balls differencel..........but all criticised dravid for being too slow selfish...but when saching played this innings no one';s told a word......may i know the reason pls ......is this selfishness ??? no cos he's GOD right?? so pls pls stop this humiliating criticism when one plays well......this pitch is not easy to bat on tht's why sachin laxman dravid took some time to get used to it.......and dravid once he got used to it got his next 80 runs in some 110 balls......so tht's how we play a class test innings...pls guys learn it and respect it don't criticize a player who's done so much for the country

  • on November 5, 2010, 6:18 GMT

    Dravid has done well .... its a tough pitch to score freely yet he hung around and gave INDIA some runs.... please dont compare him with sehwag...sehwag can win us a match but cannot save it if things go wrong...each player has a role to play and driavid does and did wat he does the best.... he will play well in SA and silence the critics just like sachin did tats how gr8t batsmen are! they let the bat do the talking 4 them

  • spin_king4 on November 5, 2010, 5:29 GMT

    @snowsnake... at the moment i am writing tendduklar and laxmans strike rates are below 40 well below team and dravid, does that mean they should be dropped...get real your states are meaningless and worthless

  • on November 5, 2010, 5:26 GMT

    People were talking rubbish about Dravid's Strike rate yesterday.And today Sachin is scoring at a similar rate and nobody will criticise him and there won't be any articles written about Sachin's low scoring rate. Why is this double standard even after Dravid proved himself as one of the greatest modern day cricketers? Even the commentators who think themselves as pundits won't open their mouth to criticize about Sachin's SR. This is what happening in Indian cricket for past 2 decades. Dravid deserves more recognition than what he is getting now. We need Dravid's solidity for the middle order atleast for sometime before the youngsters take charge. And a great sportsman like Dravid will choose the right time to hang his boots rather than being thrown out.

  • srkroxx on November 11, 2010, 11:12 GMT

    like in odis we got the replacement for the 'tortoise' we have few replacements for him in tests too...pujara, kohli, vijay or we have a bowler as we hv a very deep batting now...except 2009, since 2007 he is just a liability on test team...avg very poor in 07, 08, 10...it is pointless that viru is attacking on the bowlers from one end and on the other end a batsman is looking for the safety...just pointless and drvd 100 has proved nothing....just the stats...he is not a plyer for a no. 1 team like ind...he is still a struggling plyr of a 4-5 rank team....shud be axed from here too like he was axed from odis since 2007 and team is growing without him...drvd purely dont deserve to be in this team...earlier we hv no rplacements but now he shud take retirement or be axed...!!

  • kool_Indian on November 7, 2010, 1:26 GMT

    @cricinfo author and all those guys who were bashing Rahul, Sachin and other Indian cricketers - take a break. Thank God, Indian Team management and the selectors have their heads in right place and doesnt give a hoot to these silly comments and fickle minds of some of the fellow Indian fans and anti Indians...and finally cheers to all those guys who support their Team and players in Good and Bad times!!!

  • on November 5, 2010, 16:22 GMT

    Those who say tht Dravid is selfish, hv u forgotten one of the saying of a old Indian cricketer about Dravid "He could even walk on broken glass if team want him to do so"

  • on November 5, 2010, 8:26 GMT

    For those who commented about the strike rate of Dravid in his innings, plz check the strike rates of Tendulkar and VVS today. That suggets the pitch and conditions in the early hrs of the game.. Learn to appreciate the class acts.. Keep goin Rahul.. U rock..

  • on November 5, 2010, 8:05 GMT

    and it's these contrasting features of each batsmen tht make india one unique teamand the perfect rank 1 team for now........sehwag a superb hitter , gambir gud temperament but can hit the ball well, dravid technically the best defensive batsmen , sachin a true master can play either innings, laxman wristy strokeplayer gels well with anyone , raina a gud prospect and dhoni not bad a batsmen a gud captain , and the bowlers mixture of both experience and youth doin gr8 so as long as each fill their role perfectly we r one unbeatable team.....so be proud of it don't attack on guy always .....

  • francais on November 5, 2010, 6:45 GMT

    taking nothing away from Sehwag ,do u think that was an inning of test .after 100 he was just playing so rash ,3 catches dropeed and 3 catches just fell short .while if u look at the quality of innings dravid played ,there was not a false short .the drive ,the rock solid cut to short ptch deliveries to jeetan patel i thought was the shot of the day ,and how can one replace dravid who scored 233 and 270 against the best bowling attck by someone who just scored his 1st century (vijay)that too in banglore which was a nice flat wicket ....coming to yesterday innings he was so determined not because he was under pressure but since he was middling but was not able to get gapes for the first 100 balls ,and then see wat he did in the next 100 balls ......

  • on November 5, 2010, 6:37 GMT

    hey guys just a small question no offence to sachin as he's my fav cricketer after dravid but pls today sachin scored his runs at a sr of almost 30...u all guys must have seen it...with balls 133 or something...yesterday the same dravid scored 39 from 139 balls abt 6 balls differencel..........but all criticised dravid for being too slow selfish...but when saching played this innings no one';s told a word......may i know the reason pls ......is this selfishness ??? no cos he's GOD right?? so pls pls stop this humiliating criticism when one plays well......this pitch is not easy to bat on tht's why sachin laxman dravid took some time to get used to it.......and dravid once he got used to it got his next 80 runs in some 110 balls......so tht's how we play a class test innings...pls guys learn it and respect it don't criticize a player who's done so much for the country

  • on November 5, 2010, 6:18 GMT

    Dravid has done well .... its a tough pitch to score freely yet he hung around and gave INDIA some runs.... please dont compare him with sehwag...sehwag can win us a match but cannot save it if things go wrong...each player has a role to play and driavid does and did wat he does the best.... he will play well in SA and silence the critics just like sachin did tats how gr8t batsmen are! they let the bat do the talking 4 them

  • spin_king4 on November 5, 2010, 5:29 GMT

    @snowsnake... at the moment i am writing tendduklar and laxmans strike rates are below 40 well below team and dravid, does that mean they should be dropped...get real your states are meaningless and worthless

  • on November 5, 2010, 5:26 GMT

    People were talking rubbish about Dravid's Strike rate yesterday.And today Sachin is scoring at a similar rate and nobody will criticise him and there won't be any articles written about Sachin's low scoring rate. Why is this double standard even after Dravid proved himself as one of the greatest modern day cricketers? Even the commentators who think themselves as pundits won't open their mouth to criticize about Sachin's SR. This is what happening in Indian cricket for past 2 decades. Dravid deserves more recognition than what he is getting now. We need Dravid's solidity for the middle order atleast for sometime before the youngsters take charge. And a great sportsman like Dravid will choose the right time to hang his boots rather than being thrown out.

  • on November 5, 2010, 5:01 GMT

    @SnowSnake: I admit you are good at crunching numbers.Now we have Statsguru,everybody can crunch the numbers.Taking overall career StrikeRates and deriving some theory that "Rahul is ruining India's" winning chances,is really interesting. A test match itself is an individual piece, averaging them and deriving something is just humours me. Is your run rate theory consider the individual match where batsman saving the losing match, where run rate can be zero also. Less runrate also possible when building a 'wall' in an indivudal match Also have consider the team SR is some 50+ because there are 80+ and 40+ together with some 20+ and less than 10.It is only possible that every batsman's average is same as team's average only when all are having same rate? Is it possible in team game? Then Sehwag also should bat with only 50+ SR, if he bats with 90 SR, team will be high and all others SR will be looked below the team SR. Before we crunch numbers,can you answer all these as per your theory

  • on November 5, 2010, 4:51 GMT

    @SnowSnake: I admit you are good at crunching numbers.Now we have Statsguru,everybody can crunch the numbers.Takin g overall career StrikeRates and deriving some theory that "Rahul is ruining India's" winning chances,is really interesting. A test match itself is an individual piece, averaging them and deriving something is just humours me Is your run rate theory consider the individual match where batsman saving the losing match, where run rate can be zero also. Less runrate also possible when building a 'wall' in an indivudal match Also have consider the team SR is some 50+ because there are 80+ and 40+ together with some 20+ and less than 10.It is only possible that every batsman's average is same as team's average only when all are having same rate? Is it possible in team game? Then Sehwag also should bat with only 50+ SR, if he bats with 90 SR, team will be high and all others SR will be looked below the team SR. Before we crunch numbers,can you answer all these as per your theory

  • cenitin on November 5, 2010, 4:31 GMT

    @Ravichakra..contd....one thing I want to ask do you also consider how often a batsman scores a century ? One batsman scoring 4 centuries in 10 matches and his team win/draw all 4 matches other scores 7 centuries and his team able to win/draw 6 matches. True if you see the win/draw % then first player is superior but I like to know who helps his country more often and thus consider second one better. for your knowledge i provide you this figure for both batsman. Sachin scores 48 century in 169 matches that is 1 century in every 3.52 match whereas same figure is 142/29 = 4.89 for Dravid. Sorry this data is 1 month old. Also now look out of 48 Sachin centuries, in 38 matches IND able to win/draw..Sachin helps his team to win/draw every 169/38 = 4.44 match with his century whereas Dravid helps his team to win/draw every 5.07 matches with his century.Now tell me who is more oftem help his team.Its a big misconception that Sachin never contribute for team. Give credit where its due.

  • cenitin on November 5, 2010, 4:13 GMT

    @Ravichakra....You are not a Dravid's fan but you are Sachin bashers. Dravid is just a medium for you to disrespect Sachin. Rahul doesn't need fan like you. I think I am better admirer of Rahul than you. I totally agree that Rahul is not the best batsman in the world but one of them. But there are many batsman better than him that doesn't make me disliking him. I don't want to prove wrongly to anybody that he is best. I just want to enjoy his batting . Respect the facts/stats. May be Dravid is better in some aspects but overall I rate him less than Sachin. You don't believe in averages Why ? it may be not the full proof way but still very effective measure of batsman class and batting. But you don't want to consider the avg its OK. Lets see the figure you believe . That is how many times a player helps his team to win/draw by scoring a century. you mentioned IND never loss when Dravid score a century. ..gr8. I wish Dravid score many more centuries and IND wins more matches. contd

  • on November 5, 2010, 4:01 GMT

    Guys, every ball need not be a scoring shot. When a player like Sehwag scores, the average moves up. Study what happens when Sehwag fails (and he is no demon abroad) - A Dravid is required to stem the rot, a Sachin to stabilise and step up the rate, a Dhoni to steal the singles and guide the tailenders. This is what has made India number one. A stability is required and Dravid still has some steam left. Even Sachin was subject to questions as to retirement a couple of years back! Let's watch what happens in SA.

  • BMayuresh on November 5, 2010, 3:58 GMT

    Its a test match and as usual The Wall has successfully passed the test. Agreed that he is having a hard time these days but this innings shows his caliber. Even SRT was in a rough phase but I think Rahul is not in that bad shape as SRT was during his bad time. Overall there is plenty of cricket still there for the Wall and this inning surely promised the same. Lets wait for SA tour and he will show his mettle there against the best pace attack these days. About the youngsters they will have to fight the way out like these greats did in the past, remember Gold is what it is after coming out of the Furnace. The Fab4 has and so will be the way for the NXT GEN.

  • on November 5, 2010, 3:46 GMT

    Cricinfo give dravid a break..is Dravid played many match saving and winning innings many time...let him play his last two years..stop comparing dravid with pujara...Dravid is far more better techniqually and mentally...so better stop attackin Dravid u morons

  • on November 5, 2010, 3:40 GMT

    @SnowSnake.. number crunching might be important for us all the time, but not for the team. Each guy has a role and he has to fulfill it. Dravid's is to hold fort. My attitude towards a test match might be different from yours, in the sense that I consider it important for a match not to be lost before we push for a win.

    It's nice that the economics u talked about, isn't taken that seriously in cricket. Because if everyone thought about strike rates, averages and their affects, there wouldn't be an exciting draw, which is special to only test cricket.

  • rahulvnair on November 5, 2010, 3:32 GMT

    everyone who criticise dravid should remember, that there were lot of players who came to the team and once called 'Next Sachin','Next Dravid','Next Wall of India' and all. I don't see many of them anywhere now. Admit the fact that there is only one 'Great Wall of India' . No offence to younger players. But one 50 or one 100 somewhere sometime even if made in so 'tensed'condition can't replace the stature of dravid. I am sure he knows more than anyone when to stop playing.

  • mytendulkar on November 5, 2010, 3:23 GMT

    1. I've gone through all the articles and while some have taken the pain of bringing up the strikerate, what they seem to have forgotten was the match situation. u hav sehwag going guns and Dravid did the right thing to get his eye in where the pitch was two-paced. 2. Youngsters have did well but remember, they cannot replace the masters. we are not looking for replacement bcoz had we looked for replacement of Gavaskar, we would never hav found Sehwag 3. Talking about Tendlya's contributions to Test Cricket merely in terms of numbers is unfair. look at what he has done to the game. well, someone has written that he is chasing records as was also said by the famous Chappells - You know what happened next. Agreed that others would have been bigger stars if not for Tendlya but boss, he is the BEST ever. 4. we are going to miss the wall, the master and VVS a lot. you wont find any others who performed so well and yet are humble. Gentlemen, enjoy what they have to offer.

  • rocket123 on November 5, 2010, 3:16 GMT

    I make a polite request to all those who are so disposed to belittling and berating Dravid. I am from Pakistan and can not bear both Indians and Pakistanis ridiculing their heroes who stood the test of times in cricket arena. Regardless of my origin, I can say without a hint of exaggeration that Dravid is the one who made India what it is today. Of course, Laxman and Ganguly have their valuable contributions. And with all due respect to the truly complete batsman (Tendulkar), he has learnt now to do what Dravid has done before (win and save matches). His majestic innings of 270 and 233 against power packed bowling are yet to be matched in class and technique by any Indian batsman. His 222 at against England is an innings which is truly a class act that saved the match. His 177 against Sri Lanka when 32 for 4 read the score line showed his vinatge days glory. Please do not put down the legend of cricket. Thank you.

  • on November 5, 2010, 3:11 GMT

    dravid is a great player. We need him in south africa.. Those pitches pujara will surely fail. Just for a 50 in single innings we cannot drop a player who had scored 30 hundreds .. Vijay should soon come in main eleven. His stands shows what a player he is. As a back up opener he had played well. He is desperately unlucky to miss in main eleven even after scoring 139 against aussies.. Go by form wise. Last 6 tests gambir failed.. Still how many chance do u think need to be given to him... Raina will sure face his test against short stuff in pitches in south africa. Yuvi should not be taken for south africa. In australia he played 2 tests . He failed n got dropped.. Badrinath should be given a chance. He is 30 now. still scoring runs in domesic. Scored a 56 on debut under pressure. Plz dont take amit mishra. He is useless in team. He had got a lot of chances.Aswin is doing well...

  • SURESHCHETTIYAR on November 5, 2010, 3:07 GMT

    Its shame to compare Rahul Dravid with any youngster in present indian team.Everybody is so obsessed by One Man Sachin.He deserves it .But wats the point in hitting someone even when he scores a century. No yougster can can replace him.He is a Legend.Its a shame on the editor to compare Dravid with spineless-Yuvraj/Kaif/Raina/Pujara(how come with only one fifty he can replace a man who has saved Indian Team for a decade?)

    The persons talking about strike rate in Test match should remember last years Ahemadadbad Test India were at 32/4.Wher all the bigg hitters and young team went? Hats OFF to you Rahul-For fighting not only the opponents all your bloody critics

  • on November 5, 2010, 3:03 GMT

    Similar comments were made about Tendulkar a few years ago when he was in patchy form. He seems to have risen like a Phoenix from the ashes. Fickle Indian cricket fans have very short memories.

    A player like Dravid should at least be given the chance to retire on his own terms. After all that he's done for Team India, that's the least we could do for him.

  • SURESHCHETTIYAR on November 5, 2010, 3:01 GMT

    Its shame to compare Rahul Dravid with any youngster in present indian team.Everybody is so obsessed by One Man Sachin.He deserves it .But wats the point in hitting someone even when he scores a century. No yougster can can replace him.He is a Legend.Its a shame on the editor to compare Dravid with spineless-Yuvraj/Kaif/Raina/Pujara(how come with only one fifty he can replace a man who has saved Indian Team for a decade?)

    Hats OFF to you Rahul-For fighting not onlt the opponents all your bloody critics

  • on November 5, 2010, 2:56 GMT

    @Akm Dhl, Totally agree with you. People like Dravid make the game really boring to watch. Pls retire, you are 38 years old.

  • Sunrays on November 5, 2010, 2:12 GMT

    @Snowsnake - Let's do numbers as you suggest. An ideal team has players that take risks so as to set up a win and players that have to ensure a fighting chance when these risk-takers fail. To demonstrate the point - the best way is to look at number of failures (possibly <10?) for different types of batsmen. But I am not sure how to find it. So I took a surrogate - the number of ducks per (innings-not outs). Sehwag has a duck rate of 8.2%, Dravid has 3.6%. For the record Laxman's is 7.6% and Tendulkar's 5.6%. These are not numbers to suggest superiority of one batsmen over another. A Dravid 10 typically is a partnership of over 30 runs for the wicket. Even if you look at the article analyzing his "failure" from 2007 - he has the highest number of balls per dismissal. A Dravid's role is to fail less - in the hope that at least one of the others are successful to complement this for a win. If Dravid is the same, there will be more losses - more wins also may be. But more losses surely.

  • Racyrao on November 5, 2010, 2:02 GMT

    Who is this ESPN cricinfo staff writing all this garbage. If he has the guts he should disclose his identity. I have a strong feeling that this website is being used for political means to destroy the cricketing career of a legend. Agree that Rahul has been having a lean patch but the ability to come out of a lean patch time and again is the hallmark of this great batsmen. If there was this kind of scrutiny over every performance, Sachin's career would have ended a few years back. Hard to find someone who has had to make so many sacrifices for the team. What these jokers cannot understand is that it is easy for a batsmen to regain form if you are in both one day and test team as you have more number of chances to bat. Still, guys like Laxman and Dravid have been so consistent. I would love to see that Dhobi just play test cricket and earn his place based on his batting ability.. We all know his pathetic wicket keeping skills. He is the biggest flat track bully.

  • kittutrichy on November 5, 2010, 1:48 GMT

    It is unfair to compare Dravid with player like Pujara. He has done tremendous job for Indian Cricket. He is a legend. Age should not be the matter for selection. As long as he is doing well, we should let him play. In my opinion, we need players like Rahul, even for one day squad.. everyone who knows cricket very well, will accept it..

  • Vittal77 on November 5, 2010, 1:23 GMT

    Many great innings of Dravid is over shawdowed by innings of other mordern day hitters...but u know the foundation for those innings and an Indian is because of the WALL.Most of the times Dravid's innings are silent killer's for the opposition. always a a blaster should be accompanied by a clamer ...thatz wat Dravid does ...A PERFECT TEST CRICKETER for any test pitch ...there is no other in the world who can provid so much reliability to save a test match with his innings.

  • tendravid on November 5, 2010, 1:00 GMT

    Hello all,

    Agreed his SR was 45 but it was better than his career strike rate of 42. Why this comparison with sachin. Dravid would be the first to admit that sachin is the greatest. The question is not whether sachin is greater but the truth is Dravid on his own is a darn good player one of the greatest warriors of all time. Forget comparisons and just look at this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wdP6oUcs0w&feature=related the 180 he scored in eden was worth a million. In any case the guy is a champion despite his shortfalls he has scored nearly 12000 runs just 2000 behgind sachin and sachin is 10 times more talented so lets give credit where its due. hats off Champion. Keep Going Dravid. You willscore against SA too. The article is a good one but premature. Dravid will rock

  • AshokSrinivasanIamThatIam on November 5, 2010, 0:49 GMT

    It is worthless and Stupid to Compare Dravid with Vijay and Pujara. He , The Wall is full of Determination. Can anyone play like Dravid in pitches which are not good to batsmen?. By Seeing One or Two Matches of M.Vijay , You are Comparing with Dravid. He has Proved all the Things. He is a Perfect Cricketer and a Perfect Stroke Maker. Whether Dhoni is Playing Cricket?. Make Dhoni to See the Matches of Dravid in videos, and how he is playing?.

  • on November 5, 2010, 0:32 GMT

    dravid.....useless fellow in indian cricket team,should retire immediately.

  • Lahori_Munde on November 5, 2010, 0:20 GMT

    @Akm Dhl - Yes we fan do not want him to retire in foreseeable future atall. He is a legend and the back bone of Indian batting.

  • HatsforBats on November 5, 2010, 0:14 GMT

    Snowsnake I have no idea what you're on but I want some. Yes, a strike rate is important in all forms of cricket, that's why despite their comparable records, I would always take Ponting or Lara (both with SR near 60) over Kallis or Dravid (SR under 50). But players like Kallis & Dravid have built their careers on holding up one end to stop collapses, not being the counter-attacking batsmen like SRT/Lara/Ponting. But both roles are important. With regard to Bradman, you are just wrong. He was known as an attacking batsmen and a quick look at his stats will show that his SR is approx. 58. And when he scored a double or triple century his SR goes up to 67. If you have stats cricinfo doesn't we would all love to see them. And if youthink that is slow, well, good luck to ya

  • MillionairePauper on November 5, 2010, 0:04 GMT

    Even if you fill the entire other 10 members in the team with pujaras or vijays, they cant compete with single DRAVID, so stop playing the comparison game and be respectful and give some time and space for the legends of this game until they say its time to move on, and cricket is an emotional game than anything else so dont play with the emotions of hundreds and thousands of fans, or they will blow you out...:-))))))

  • Hardy_1984 on November 4, 2010, 23:53 GMT

    he is class player his temperament great i love to watch Dravid great

  • on November 4, 2010, 23:37 GMT

    Snowsnake, Dravid pulled his strike rate up to mid 40's by the end of play. Why should he stray from the norm and play an agressive game (alien) to himself when Sehwag at the other end is making mary. You have done the numbers and that is great but you forget that there are two batsment batting at a time and overall rune rate is an aggregate of both batsment and not just Dravid.

  • on November 4, 2010, 23:32 GMT

    To Akm Dhl

    NO!, you fans have to put up with him untill you/selectors find an able replacement. Pujara, Kohli, R.Sharma, M.Vijay ARE NOT able replacements. Just wait untill the likes of Sachin, Dravid, Laxman and Sehwag retire. India = back down 5-8 in test rankings.

  • SilentVoyager on November 4, 2010, 23:31 GMT

    @Snowsnake: Dude, please don't publish fake numbers. India's avg. strike rate after 443 test matches including all the 266 players is ~ 47.15. And FYI, it stands 3rd on the list only after Sri Lanka and West Indies (excluding World XI). Don's strike rate is not 39 but around 58. And when your team is losing wickets and folding for less than 200 or 300 runs, it's not the SR which matters, but the amount of runs you score. Because low scoring test matches are not affected by SR. And, Dravid was the epitome of Indian batting in tough conditions along with SRT and VVS. So, please don't give fake numbers. If you want to know how to use cricinfo statsguru, ask me.

  • ajitht on November 4, 2010, 23:24 GMT

    how can cricinfo compariing DRAVID WITH OTHER.....plz dont compare dravid with other new player bec he is legend of cricket....and wall of indian cricket......if u guys know about cricket very well than dont talk about stupuid thing indian wall...DARVID

  • RogerC on November 4, 2010, 23:12 GMT

    In spite of all their greatness, Dravid and Laxman should retire. Dravid got his test opportunity at the age of 21. He replaced Sanjay Manjrekar who still had 5-6 years of good cricket left at that time. India shouldn't become like the West Indies of 80s and Australia of recent past where good players play on till they are 40 and denying the chance for next generation. Its true that Pujara or Vijay won't have the same class as Dravid or Laxman, but they will eventually become good if given chances at the right age.

  • manasvi_lingam on November 4, 2010, 23:06 GMT

    @samdroy: You are correct in saying that McGrath may have made a difference. But, at that point, Lee and even Gillespe were in excellent form before the series. And Warne?? Seriously. If Warne had been around, we could have actually won the series instead of drawing it. Warne has been able to "help" the Indian batsman more than any coah has - seeing him brough immense confidence to Sidhu, Laxman, Tendulkar, Azharuddin, etc. Better not complain about Warne not being there - since he was a very average bowler against India, though a genius against other teams.

  • on November 4, 2010, 23:04 GMT

    i would like to say that at the end of the day pitch was much slower than it has to be since master was finding difficult to bat on i guess Dravid batted beautifully in these conditions.......

  • SnowSnake on November 4, 2010, 22:43 GMT

    Hi guys: I am not belitteling Dravid or Bradman. I am just stating the facts. Here is the reason why strike rate matters. At 50% strike rate your team is scoring 3 runs per over. Anything below that scoring rate is ruining the chances of winning the test game. Strike rate does not matter if you are playing timeless tests. Now, if dravid scored at a higher rate than India's overall average runs/over then his individual marginal contribution is greater than team's overall average scoring rate. Most economist will tell you that when an employees marginal contribution is lower than organizational overall average then employee is not worth that much. So let's compare, shall we? India's average strike rate: 61%; Dravid 45.81%; Shewag 86.93%; Gambhir 51.21%. With the lowest strike rate, you would EXPECT a high score, otherwise Dravid would be a total drag on the team. I have crunched the numbers, please do the same if you were to criticize me.

  • cricketisagame on November 4, 2010, 22:33 GMT

    SNOWSNAKE.... When you bat at number three on a first day after loosing a wicket, who cares your SR?? You must be joking..well..what's your SR and records...perhaps more than Don's.... SAI PRASAD... I am waiting for the SA series and will make you eat your words the way Afridi ate the ball...

  • on November 4, 2010, 21:59 GMT

    liked the determination..as always.. he took more than hundred balls for his first 20..still he hanged there,battled and ended the day with a 100..kudos

  • on November 4, 2010, 21:54 GMT

    Does that mean we the fans have to put up with him for another forseeable future? Give us a break. Please have a pettiotion (signs) - "Please Retire!"

  • on November 4, 2010, 21:52 GMT

    That was an awesome innings from R.Dravid. I dont see how you can compare a veteran and legend of 100+ tests to the likes of Vijay and Pujara. It is pointless and disrespectful. I for one do not have any faith in Raina/Dhoni coming in later in the order. Rahul's presence provides solidity to the Indian innings, you get the feeling that as long as he is there everything will be fine as runs will eventually start to flow from him blade. The man is a class act and and it will be hard to find an able replacement. I am 100% sure the likes of Vijay and Pujara will fail on testing tracks abroad in England/RSA/Australia. They are your typical flat track bullies. Leave R.Dravid alone, he still has alot to offer. He is not a natural talent like Sachin,Sehwag but the man is pure class and posseses a brilliant temprament. He has scored big runs on tracks where your precious Sehwag, Pujara, Vijay would be made to look ordinary.

  • dr.saurabhg on November 4, 2010, 21:47 GMT

    seeing the current crop of youngsters i really feel our FAB FIVE ( SRT, RD, VVS, DADA n VEERU) are actually worth their weight in PLATINUM or even much more.....we r those who even want to kick Gambhir out... not long ago he was being carried on our heads.. Pujara may have made a fifty but he was never compact or assured in tht innings also.... Raina has a well known Shortcoming n u ll see it once we reach SA.... Yuvi really let it slip else he was one gud one....probably the only one gud is KOHLI... he is far better than Pujara... i wish Rohit cud be more consistent n ya Rahane may try.... but none is even close to these big guns.... it ll be big GAPING HOLE once they retire...

  • on November 4, 2010, 21:22 GMT

    Dravid you beauty! Will someone please put him in the ODI team for the WC!

  • JoseBautista on November 4, 2010, 21:04 GMT

    this guy is amazing. even if he is slow, he still deserves a world cup spot 'coz this guy could change any game that India is losing into a winning game. I will be surprised if he is not in the wc2011 squad for india. That just means that the selectors are idiots.

  • on November 4, 2010, 20:51 GMT

    I think answer to every critic lies in one single non scoring shot... Forward Defence...by Dravid. Long foot forward and he kills the ball, ball start thinking that why on earth was it delivered by the bowler, only to die... Someday Dravid will have to go, but let him enjoy his stay, he need not prove anything to anyone... just let him play the way he want, like we are allowing Sachin to play...

  • on November 4, 2010, 20:41 GMT

    How low can Cricinfo go? Comparing Dravid with Pujara, and then considering the exits of Yuvraj (yes, indeed) and Kaif to the supposed decline of Dravid.. Guys, give him a break.. If you are not able to praise him, refrain from complaining about him. He is certainly not excess baggage like certain other people in the team.

  • on November 4, 2010, 20:15 GMT

    LOL......don't b stupid...!! y picking on dravid......!! he knows his game....he does play his role in the team......!! after reaching No. 1, you may thnk itz bcoz of sehwag's...dats we are here....!! sehwag did help us in winning matches.....but dravid is the one... who makes sure we don't loose a game....!!! he has been doing that for sometime now.....!! and in south africa he'z' a must....watch out for him.....!! v do have talented young players....... dont forget what happened to TEAM INDIA at Zimbambve.......v lost all games against them.....!! Its always a perfect blend of experienced nd new players...... first let raina cement his place...dont judge by few innings around the sub continent.....!!

  • cricket__fan on November 4, 2010, 20:15 GMT

    Dravid should retire for the future of Indian cricket like Nasser Hussain did for Andrew Strauss.

  • on_the_level on November 4, 2010, 20:12 GMT

    Rahul Dravid should be rested for the next two tests, with Pujara being given an opportunity. But Dravid should be in the team for the SA tour, where his experience and technical skill will be vital for India.

  • avis1001 on November 4, 2010, 19:57 GMT

    Hey man!!! He did A century today - let him savor that please !!!

  • on November 4, 2010, 19:56 GMT

    Rahul Dravid needs no lawyer in me. His words will shut up every one. Least said, Rahul is not a man to drag on.. When he felt he was not ready for T20, he said so otherwise he would have been captaining the WC winning side. I think India needs Dravid and the competition is between Vijay Pujara and Raina and that too only if Raina fails in SA. Dont throw away Gambhir yet, he is the opener generations had prayed for. Earlier Indian openers struggled to go into double figures. As for Rahul.. Watch out for the Wall. And please please include him in bowling outfitsWC squad.. you wont be embarrassed to see India getting all out to a barrage of bouncers. Against all top pace bowling outfits, have Sehwag Sachin and Rahul as our top 3 in WC and may be then we wont smash 350 but 300 would be pretty sure

  • afdbbodigundu on November 4, 2010, 19:51 GMT

    Who the F*** is the Editor? Please don't write any such articles again. @Shoeb_Texas: it is not the Best joke of year. It is bes joke of Decade.

  • on November 4, 2010, 19:47 GMT

    Rahul Dravid must be recalled for the WC he has already proved his class in IPL playing for BRC.of course in test cricket without Dravid,laxman,Sachin we cannot imagine how Indian cricket will go long way..........the trio must play atleast they are 40 yrs...

  • OutdoorMiner on November 4, 2010, 19:31 GMT

    Dravid will know when to retire and should be allowed to go on his own accord. An all time great.

  • ravichakra on November 4, 2010, 19:17 GMT

    @Satadru Sen Is Dravid chasing any record that he should carry on selfishly? In crunch situations, you will only find a Dravid or a Laxman bat. It pains me to see how short the public memory is. The article itself talks about it. 32 for 4 with Viru, Gambir, Laxman and even Sachin gone. Who bails out the team - Dravid with a 177 and saves the match. This was just end of last year. People always talk about how Sachin has scored this year - how many have resulted in victories or saves for Team India - just one, the last test. Why is Dravid always singled out? @Thiagrajan - I think you need a crash course in basics of cricket to probably understand that Dravid and selfishness are not associated. Time and again, he has played for the team's cause more than even Sachin. Testimony to that is the fact that India is yet to lose a Test match where Dravid has scored a century. Isn't that better than chasing a dream of century of centuries?

  • DADA on November 4, 2010, 19:16 GMT

    @shivbt, I don't think even Raina will agree to you statement. Finding a good number five or six test batsmen is tougher than finding a good number three.Now that yuvraj has come and gone lets see how many more come and go. Dada's ability to bowl medium pace was really handy when we played outside the subcontinent. i wish he had bowled more. I am not even mentioning his captaincy sills.

  • on November 4, 2010, 19:08 GMT

    What is cricinfo thinking,i really can't understand.when he is in lean phase u say that its time to quit and allow else people to occupy his place.So when he is regaining his touch u brought another conclusion that he is very slow and again throwing at him. Is this the way a legend is being treated,the man with generous attitude than any other cricketer in the world...cricinfo i say u r loosing badly

  • NagarajaG on November 4, 2010, 19:07 GMT

    This article has a sick tendency of taking a dig at Dravid and pull him down at the slightest opportunity! Look at what happened to Kumble - when he was still going great guns, there was one impressive performance from Amit Misra and people started talking a,bout replacement for Kumble. And Kumble retired during that series. Now see where Amit Misra is! Even in IPL matches, Kumble is performing far better than Amit Misra as a bowler and could have played many more useful innings for India! Same thing is happening to Dravid also! Pujara's arrival is good news no doubt! But it is foolish to compare him to Dravid based on one innings! Except for Sachin, Sehwag and Laxman, who is there in the Indian team who can face genuine quality bowling? And when it comes to ODI, it is only sachin and Sehwag! When you look at freak bowling and batting performances in recent SA-Pak, Aus-SL series, one feels Dravid must be there in the Indian ODI squad till the world cup 2011.

  • ravichakra on November 4, 2010, 19:04 GMT

    Cricinfo does not have the balls to write against Sachin. Even the comments written against him are moderated and removed. One point to which I agree greatly and every Dravid fan should is "Not every player is measured with the same yardstick - Why?" Where there calls to drop Sachin when he scored just 116 runs from 8 innings in the SL tour on the previous occasion?

  • ravichakra on November 4, 2010, 18:59 GMT

    @ Samdroy, first of all you mentioned that Dravid was a big flop against quality bowlers like McGrath / Shane Warne except for the Calcutta Test. For your information, that test was the defining moment of India's Test playing abilities. How much did Sachin score in that match ( 10 in both innings). In 2003-04 series both bowlers were missing again, so how much did Sachin score in the Adelaide Test that India won? Don't belittle others performances especially if they have been towards a winning cause unlike Sachin's that have been always for a losing cause. @Cenidin - Averages are a poor means to compare players. The point about Dravid is that India learnt to win overseas which was more dependent on Dravid's performance than on anybody else's in the team including Sachin's. Fact of the matter is - India are yet to lose a Test match where Dravid has scored a century. Long live the Wall both on and off the field!

  • on November 4, 2010, 18:54 GMT

    i just want to know one thing .........dravid scored 77 he waas criticsed ......dravid scored a century today still being criticised so wht do u guys want from him pls do tell ....

  • on November 4, 2010, 18:53 GMT

    Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman will go some way yet. The men who might replace them could be Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma respectively. I see Kohli maturing into a prolific batsman of the highest order.

  • on November 4, 2010, 18:41 GMT

    Its whimsical to talk of retirement at this juncture when the bench-strength is yet to face its real test - batting abroad, out of one's comfort zone. I would be very interested to see what the Pujaras and the Kohlis do come the bouncy tracks of SA, and the minefields of WI. Rahul Dravid is, and will remain an asset. And he is not the guy who will hang around, trying to get by. Many times I think we don't deserve a class act like his.

  • nlabhe on November 4, 2010, 18:38 GMT

    @Snow Snake: If you are in favor of the likes of Pujara or any other youngster, I appreciate your thought of having a talented bench strength. However, in a test cricket, it doesn't matter if you sore a century at a SR of 100 or 45. A ccentury counts for a century and thats how Sachin is on the verge of his 50th century.

    At the end of the day, its how many centuries you account for makes you a great cricketer nowadays and not by the strike-rate. I am happy Dravid added one in his account today despite of the SR of 45.00. Moreover, the reason for the slow innings maybe Sehwag at the other end was progressing the SR of almost 100. So, to hold on other end firmly, he paced his innings with situation demands.

  • nlabhe on November 4, 2010, 18:38 GMT

    @Snow Snake: If you are in favor of the likes of Pujara or any other youngster, I appreciate your thought of having a talented bench strength. However, in a test cricket, it doesn't matter if you sore a century at a SR of 100 or 45. A ccentury counts for a century and thats how Sachin is on the verge of his 50th century.

    At the end of the day, its how many centuries you account for makes you a great cricketer nowadays and not by the strike-rate. I am happy Dravid added one in his account today despite of the SR of 45.00. Moreover, the reason for the slow innings maybe Sehwag at the other end was progressing the SR of almost 100. So, to hold on other end firmly, he paced his innings with situation demands.

  • on November 4, 2010, 18:36 GMT

    The tragedy of India has always been its short term memory. Rahul Dravid - 233 and 72* to win in Australia, 270 to win in Pakistan, those couple of half centuries on that treacherous wicket to win in WI. And people who get a kick out of every edge that goes for four soon forget his value. As Navillus points out http://senantixtwentytwoyards.blogspot.com/2010/10/i-like-whatever-has-been-posted-on-this.html tells us the reasons why Indian fans who make the most noise never really appreciate this man. I salute The Wall

  • kadampan on November 4, 2010, 18:29 GMT

    Replacement is good to have. But those who are crying for replacing with young players may want to think about Australia. All the senior players retired at almost same time and where are they now. Before the match winning knock against Australia many were thinking about same for Laxman. He has shown how experience counts even with Injury. Now they can't talk about him, next target is Dravid. All I can see is Sachin, Laxman and Dravid all are going away near future. But they should go atleast in one year intervals. Other wise we can see India's fall as Australia.

  • on November 4, 2010, 18:28 GMT

    ah man when i see some ppl talking without proper info it hurts ppl saying dravid gambhir out of form for seasons wonder where tht came from when dravid was the top scorer with almost an avg of 83-84 in the yr 2009 .....gambhir also was in stupendous form last yr.......so pls don't talk abt silly stuff guys......and don't talk abt selfishness u guys will tell such stuff but as sehwag himself told it was tough batting as the ball was keeping low ...coming slow on the bat ...so dravid kept himself composed rather than losing wickets and piling the pressure...if u see sachin has also strted slow 13 runs of some 48 balls so don't judge just cos his name is dravid he knows wht role he has to play in the team .so cut it off ...now i'm very happy abt his performance got in rhythm kept goin once hereached the 30's he strted moving with quite a pace ...well constructed innings i must say wht temperament speaks volume of his class....hoping he'd continue this form and as usual never give up

  • shivbt on November 4, 2010, 18:23 GMT

    @Pooja Saks------Firstly dada is a past Raina is a perfect replacement for dada and has made complete justice for his position in hte team Incase of Dravid, dada is not even close to what Dravid has achieved India has to struggle to get replacements for the legends- Sachin and Dravid

  • SaiKrishna-RKR on November 4, 2010, 18:21 GMT

    Hmmm..After seeing india and Rahul batting today i was really expecting an article on this and here it is...after reading it i wanted to know the author but could find only as ESPNcricinfo staff... I am really feed up seeing articles which criticizes Rahul batting..i am really feeling bad that how come Cricinfo having matured writers can compare Rahul to Pujara that too with just one innings...Rahul trough out his career has been shadowed by some one else success..Now he is having a lean patch and people are ready to talk about his position and capabilities where he has proved more than many occasions what he is worth of... please talk about gauti, dhoni who are doing bad and still easily in the playing XI.. India needs rahul and its really really tough to replace him and no one are near to that either...

  • on November 4, 2010, 18:12 GMT

    - Loved the Innings ... Go on Dravid ... wish ya the best.

  • SnowSnake on November 4, 2010, 18:11 GMT

    @Brehan95: Strike rates matter. If you use a cuttoff of 50 and then look at Bradman's average, you will realize that he has only played about 20 innings above that strike rates. Higher strike rates lead to high probability of losing your wicket (monotonic increasing relationship). Low strike rates indicate a batsman's inclination towards self preservation and increasing average. By low, I mean below 50.

  • Shoeb_Texas on November 4, 2010, 17:58 GMT

    Pujara. vs. Dravid ---- Best joke of the year. The writer was scared to put his name. But he wrote nicely to put the wrong ideas!

  • CricketConnect on November 4, 2010, 17:52 GMT

    I think, Dravid has played yet another determined knock. He scored the runs with same pace of his career SR 42.41. He was being compared with Sehwag and considered slow in producing runs or lack of confidence on several occasions of today's game, but he played very deterministic inning. The first half of 1st day was very important for India to hold wicket after losing Gautam and David was very cautious in 1st half, but later he placed his inning superbly in his style.

  • cenitin on November 4, 2010, 17:50 GMT

    @A.AK .I don't understand why people disrespect other player while supporting there favourite player.I am big fan of RD too and want him in SA But to comment that he is the only player which saves the team overseas is not acceptable at all. You mentioned SRT is having poor record SA. Agree his avg is 40 only. Less if you compare with high standard he set but still better than Rahul whose avg is 32 in SA. You mentioned Rahul as the best overseas player but you ever checked the avg of Sachin and Rahul in countries like Aus, SA, Eng and SL. All are having different conditions and all are the next 4 best team in the world after India.Sachin avg is better at all of this places except Eng where sachin avg is 62 and Rahul 65. Rahul is a class batsman no doubt about it. One of the pillars of India batting specially in overseas.But it doesn't mean he is only batsman.There are other too who have been performing for last 20 years. Btw personally I will prefer Rahul over any youngster for SA tour

  • on November 4, 2010, 17:46 GMT

    Why would you want to only talk about Dravid? There's Tendulkar as well who's a veteran. How much beneficial is he for the future of Indian Cricket? We dont talk about Tendulkar just because he's Tendulkar? I hate this injustice with other players. During Tendulkar's era there were many great players India has produced, the likes of Azhars, Gangulys, Dravids, Laxmans. But everyone appluads Tendulkar and not others. I think these palyers might just feel unlucky to be born in Tendulkar era.

  • on November 4, 2010, 17:43 GMT

    He may be past his best, but perhaps we might need Dravid in South Africa. Experience counts!

  • on November 4, 2010, 17:42 GMT

    i just simply agree with vicky patel.

    World cup needs dravid.

  • SamRoy on November 4, 2010, 17:35 GMT

    I don't know where @nlabhe gets his facts from. The fact of the matter is Dravid failed against Mcgrath apart from the epic 2001 eden gardens test. Mcgrath played only in 1999-2000 series where Dravid was a massive flop and averaged around 17 (not a single 50 forget 100); in the 2001 series against India in India and the 2004 series in India when again Dravid majorly flopped. @nlabhe in 2003-04 Down Under neither Warne or McGrath were there (Warne -- Mama's slimming pills ban; Mcgrath -- ankle injury). If they were there it would have been very difficult for India to come up with the performance they displayed down under in 2003-04.

  • on November 4, 2010, 17:32 GMT

    What a stupid article .. why is that the author feels its always Dravid who is getting older.. why dont you write the same thing about Sachin ? oh yes. I forgot you cant write against the GOD.

    If you still think his feet is not moving watch the recordings of first innings of the Delhi test against Australia , I bet you will change your opinion.

  • Iftekharul_Hasan_Siam on November 4, 2010, 17:30 GMT

    i think this article is rubbish. the writter somehow don't like rahul dravid & which is which is why he indirectly featured about rahul dravid's retirement. is he trying to give warning that he will not play well? i believe even dravid's coach isn't in doubt that he will not perform in tour of south africa. then why this article is written. i want to tell to the cricinfo staff that - if you want rahul dravid to retire specificly write that. seriously writting, reading this article is just a waste of time.

  • New_Wind on November 4, 2010, 17:30 GMT

    If India wants to groom youngsters then this tour is the easiest one. They shud rotate players like Sehwag, GG, Vijay each play 2 tests. Sachin, Dravid, Laxman also each play only 2 tests and give chance to Raina(3), Pujara(2) and may be Rahane(1) a chance. Same with bowling. We can try Irfan in 1 test and Mishra or Ashwin in 1 test.

  • iammadhu on November 4, 2010, 17:28 GMT

    kumble was forced out.. similarly ganguly.. dravids time is near.. but on series like south africa, it will be foolish to not have dravid..

  • on November 4, 2010, 17:24 GMT

    yet again DRAVID proved tht ...no one can replace him @no.3!!!!... aftr a slow strt he picked up so perfectly..tht e1 a sachin wd have struglled thr.... hi's strike rate aftr he past his 50 ws awesome.. n tht gives a sign tht he is completely fit fr the ODI'S!

  • on November 4, 2010, 17:23 GMT

    Being a long long long time Dravid fan, I would hate to see him go, but still one cannot deny this fact that Dravid have to eventually make way to other youngsters... But I do hope Dravid leaves the pitch on a high. Dravid you were and are one of the greatest player to wear the blue jersey. We all love you.

  • on November 4, 2010, 17:22 GMT

    The writer along with many others.. Here's something for you... Do not just make a hypothesis and look for stats that confirm ur bias... Here's a stat that will surprise many..

    Since Dec 2008... Dravid's average 60.59 Last 12 months... Dravid's average 58.86

    In this period, he's just had one bad Sri Lanka series earlier this year... The Aus series was an average series (Avg of 37)...

    He's been MORE prolific in the last 24 months than his career average... Point made.. Case closed... Go Home...

  • Redbacks_Bite on November 4, 2010, 17:20 GMT

    @ Sai Prasad, You just contradicted your own thoughts. Out of his last four innings before this test, he scored 73,0,1,3 and I believe he was Not Out in the last inning. Do you think 73 runs in an inning is a bad score? And you think Australia is Bangladesh? If so, I am not sure what to say. Australia still has formidable bowling attack. Dravid has just scored century. And I bet this man Dravid will be the savvier for your team in SA.

  • on November 4, 2010, 17:18 GMT

    why is AGE made such a huge factor here? So what if he is 38? He may still be healthy enough to compete for another 5 yrs...and give the young blood a chance in the ODIs and see what they come up with. Remember Dravid was a good(adaptive) ODI player. A few innings here and there arnt enough to put these young blood ahead of Greats like Dravid (one of the truly best in the games history). If Dravid is left out for even 1 game ahead of a new guy, there's no turning back if the replacement backfires.

  • Farce-Follower on November 4, 2010, 17:08 GMT

    Ridiculous article...RD is simply one of the most valuable players still...the flamboyance and the hype may be missing, but the numbers still add up. What a poor appreciation of cricketing nous...Cricinfo - you have lost it here.

  • Redbacks_Bite on November 4, 2010, 17:08 GMT

    @Navillus- Top Class comment Pal. Dravid is deserves lot more then he is given in this comment section. The man has been the true fighter for his country and saved his team numerous time. He is going through lean phase and he had to take his time to get his game and confidence back in order. Also when Sehwag was blazing, he wanted steady partner at the otherend and Dravid did that job to perfection. It was an excellent inning by Dravid and I wish the man very best for the rest of his career. I bet the history will write Dravid as one of the best #3 to play Test cricket.. @ Matthew Jackson- loved your comment.:)

  • on November 4, 2010, 17:05 GMT

    much needed innings fr dravid. . .he was struggling wit his form fr a long time.surely he'll be out of pressure.

  • on November 4, 2010, 17:04 GMT

    much needed innings fr dravid. . .he was struggling wit his form fr a long time.surely he'll be out of pressure.

  • sskris1 on November 4, 2010, 17:03 GMT

    @Navillus?: Well Said. I don't know what's with some of them here who are criticizing Dravid. He is truly an assett, gentleman of Indian cricket. No one can come close to match his temperament, his technique (especially in playing short balls) and his determination. Cricket is not about striake rates alone and 20-20 is not true cricket. One cannot rely on batsmen with strike reates > 75 in test matches to save matches. Sehwag is great player and an opener, but when it comes to batting oon Day-5 in India with their back against the wall, it's Dravid, Laxman are the ones to carry through, not even Tendulkar. Let the man play his game and there is a reason why he is called "The WALL". Go Dravid

  • rocket123 on November 4, 2010, 16:58 GMT

    This article is so vague and fails to convey the point according to its caption. It seems like that the writer was hinting at the inadequacies of Dravid's who is still the bulwark of Indian batting line-up. Since Dravid gave up captaincy, he lost his midas touch. But the fact remains, he has been the architect of many great indian wins and draws in precarious situations. During those times, the greatest batsman whose stats are by all means better than any modern great and arguably the best of past greats never played a defining innings those times when India was riding a wave of becoming a formaidable team. I do not think it is fair to pick on the great like Dravid or to push for his quit. We all should ask one question before we stand up to criticise him, does Dravid have anyhting to prove? At least I will answer it as "NO". You have already taken him out of ODI time which was an uncalled treatment to the great. So please let him have his time in the middle as long as he plays

  • on November 4, 2010, 16:58 GMT

    Dravid is one of the finest batsman india has produced. I think he still has has a lot to offer. I hope he is treated with dignity and respect.

  • on November 4, 2010, 16:58 GMT

    i accept the fact that dravid is at the edge of his career.. everybody thinks that a replacement is ready.. it may be vijay, or pujara, or kohli or rohit.. but i think none other than dravid himself is the best person to make this decision. he is the best among more than 100 cricketers of his times when it comes to making decisions for the benefit of the team.. many of his best innings have been a rescue act or of a similar kind. he is a true team player.. we relied on his batting all these yrs with a staggering conviction which we never shared with anyother player. its time for us to believe in his exit strategy as well..

  • on November 4, 2010, 16:57 GMT

    wht a stupid article in the 1st place......... U question the caliber of DRAVID thn u mus b jokin...... who in these dayz u see playin such a fightin innings...... tak sehwag fr instance ... if he doesnt score fr 10 balls thn he goes fr a big shot n gets out...... dravid s nt lik tht..... He has a vry gud temperament and technique....He stil has many yrs left in him.......So don ever ques his performance til he calls it quit....

  • on November 4, 2010, 16:55 GMT

    Dravid has been a great player and icon to many of us..he should be given a graceful exit as when he decides to quit...

  • on November 4, 2010, 16:46 GMT

    hi, rather than replacing dravid, it is time to change batting order. bring laxman at number 3 and get dravid at 5. laxman is in great form and has much better strike rate against dravid. also if dravid bats at 5, he will benefit on the good starts given by sehwag, laxman and sachin. it will benefit team also.

    pujra, murali vijay, virat kohli, rohit sharma, they shd be groomed in 20-20 and 50-50. only when they are successful there, give them chance in test match. also we shd try to have diff players for all 3 formats so that maximum players get the chance to represent india.

  • on November 4, 2010, 16:44 GMT

    i dont know y people talk that much about dravid, talk about dhoni, his wicketkeeping is poor n he is not scoring runs too, in 1day also he play 4 himself only, he is just in team bcoz of his luck, n for players like pujara n vijay, thers a lots of time 4 them. and i dont know y players like rohit n ravindra n srishant r doing in a team. thay are really useless. i think that if v have too win world cup, dravid should b there in a team. he is the classic player. the legend. keep playing Dravid.......

  • on November 4, 2010, 16:44 GMT

    much needed innings fr dravid. . .surely he'll be out of pressure

  • CricketLover8666 on November 4, 2010, 16:32 GMT

    Is this writer crazy? than take away sachin laxman ponting hussey kallis and everyone who are around 35 because they are not getting younger and regarding replacement just because replacement (haven't proved their calibre yet though i believe pujara might replace dravid or sachine sm day) is there it doesnt mean we replace . We will replace only whn smone better thn thm is available.thats it.

  • on November 4, 2010, 16:29 GMT

    I think the only thing Dravid was determined was to prevent Pujara/Vijay from taking his place .. it was a very selfish innings compromising momentum through majority of the first day (Ryder said at the end of the day that India should have got 400 for the start they got, and felt happy India had kept itself down to 330). Perhaps a youngster/debutant playing this way to get back to form could have been pardoned but having played so many years of cricket it was a shame trying to get back to form this way, sacrificing team goals and blocking his way when sehwag had the opposition on mat!!!

  • gentlemans-game on November 4, 2010, 16:22 GMT

    What is the point of this article, anyway? Among Indian batsmen, Rahul Dravid is the third highest in aggregate runs against SA in SA (behind SRT and SCG), and second highest against SA in India (behind Sehwag, ahead of SRT). No more need be said. I am looking forward to seeing him in action against SA in SA very soon. He is one of the few class acts left in test cricket. India will need his services on the fast bouncy tracks in SA. Stow the talk of his retirement.

  • Navillus on November 4, 2010, 16:11 GMT

    Dravid is an asset to the team and has been so for fourteen years. The ones who bay for his blood after a lean phase without reflecting on the years of service the man has rendered Indian cricket actually cut a defining snapshot of the memoryless property of the Indian cricket fan. This man redefined Indian cricket's landscape by bringing professional efficiency into the game. A very moving tribute to the man can be found at http://senantixtwentytwoyards.blogspot.com/2010/10/i-like-whatever-has-been-posted-on-this.html . It is men like Dravid and Kumble who have redefined the culture of losing in spite of superstars into winning with quiet efficiency.

  • brahan95 on November 4, 2010, 16:08 GMT

    @snowsnake

    Its really a foolish thing to think about strike rates in Test matches. This is not a do or die contest.There is no use getting strike rates more than 60,etc. Other than Sehwag no one has been successful.

    And more over Don Bradman's strike rate is not 39. He was supposed to be a attacking batsmen and he is the only one to score 100 in each innings of a day,which is not possible if you are slow. SO AVOID WRONG INFORMATION.

  • aji4udear on November 4, 2010, 16:05 GMT

    Today Dravid showed the world what experience counts . Even when he was struggling in the initial stages he showed skills of temperment and skills of patience . I think Pujara and even Gambhir has to take a lot of the lessons if they have to replace Dravid . But what the good part is that India have a balanced team and bench strength mixed of youngsters and seniors . Youngsters will have the chances and if they grab they are gonna be the futures of India .According to me Pujara ,Kohli, Gambhir and Raina will be the future of Indian Cricket .

    And to the Master .The whole Indians want to see Sachin on the field and not him retiring . Its obvious that how long he plays India will be on the dominance on every counts .

  • gaithersburgman on November 4, 2010, 16:01 GMT

    Not sure how many Indian Criketers actually read such articles. It appears that this article was written with the simple aim of filling the pages. Rahul has proven himself time and again, and has been one of the mainstays of the winning team. We are in a period of Indian Cricket Rennasaince. Let's stop bickering if an individual has a bad patch. There are others to make up for it. Replacing Yuvraj for Raina was a good move. Yuvraj was sluggish on the field, indifferent in his batting and ineffective as a bowler. Raina is everything Yuvraj is not. Raina is energetic, composed when he has to be and mature beyond his age. Just enjoy the journey Indian Cricket is having today. It may not last for ever. It may even end sooner, if we try too many changes at one time.

  • nlabhe on November 4, 2010, 15:59 GMT

    Its easy for a lay man to compare apples-to-apples. And hence Pujara seemed to be the ultimate option against dravid untill yesterday. Dravid is the most complete technically complete test cricketer in the world. Many came and scored a load of runs, but each and every shot that Dravid play is associated to a practically obvious technique which made him confidently face some of the fierest fast bowlers in the cricket history.

    I am not offending Sachin's achievements, but Dravid is the most successful batsman against McGrath due to his sound batting technique.

    It wasn't easy 10years in the past to earn a statu of 'The Wall' when team India was a pathetic performer and never climbed ICC rating above No.4 or No.5. Don't get me wrong but Dravid has been a silent match-winner for India where he contributed without significant scoring but with significant confidence to win.

    Do not pick over Dravid with the likes of pujara or sharma again!

  • 11Noobs on November 4, 2010, 15:59 GMT

    Dravid scored 20 from 100 odd balls. From there on he scored 80 in the next 120, a strike-rate of 67. I thought it was a good recovery, though at one time I was worried he would waste 100+ balls only socring 20 odd. I don't understand why most fans want a team of Sehwags. Not every cricketer can score with a SR of 100+ and the sooner people drill that into their heads, the better. A SR of around 50 isn't too good, at the same time isn't too bad. Overall a good 'fightback' of an innings.An inform Dravid is the best asset India can have when touring SA.

  • on November 4, 2010, 15:51 GMT

    "Oh woe is me! I'm Indian cricket, and I have to decide between an aging generation of superb talents, and a new group of highly talented youngsters."

    Look. I'm a New Zealand supporter, and I have no sympathy whatsoever. If India want to drop Dravid in favour of the new guys, well, we'd take him in a flash. If India wanted to keep Dravid and let Pujara and Vijay wait, then we'd take them. If Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif have missed the boat, crowded out between two generations of talents, perhaps we could have them?

    Of course, international cricket doesn't work that way. But the fact is, Indian selectors have to choose between the great and the potentially great. Spare at thought for our selectors, whose decisions are just as hard, but for less happy reasons.

  • on November 4, 2010, 15:41 GMT

    Well Dravid and Gambhir have been having a lean patch for several seasons now. Gambhir averages 27 in his last 12 test matches and Dravid's record is even worse. Even against Australia his scores were 73, 0,1, 3. You cannot pick a player on past records. Its present form that matters especially considering the fact that we have to tour SA in a month's time!

  • sameer997 on November 4, 2010, 15:41 GMT

    Well played Rahul!!! It might be a slow one but a very neded one to answer the critics you are facing.I am sure you will be a big replacement after a few years and we seriously need you in South Africa and Englad go Dravid

  • A.Ak on November 4, 2010, 15:40 GMT

    I dont understand why people think about Pujara. He hasn't proved anything in this level. He is only 22. Many people who had great average in domestic circuit failed miserably in top level games. There is no replacement for Dravid. He is the only person who can save india in overseas. If Dravid fires, then ONLY India can register their first series win in SA (remember Sachin has a poor record there).

  • Samgen on November 4, 2010, 15:36 GMT

    I remember reading a similar piece on Sachin couple of years ago as to ' how good he WAS', how his body is no longer able to cope with the demands of the game and that there are youngsters who can not quite replace him but still are the way forward. Now we know what Sachin has been to Indian cricket int the past year. I am not saying these guys can go on forever but to say that a proven performer can be replaced with a one match old player and another player who has not been tested against good sides, shows the bias and immaturity of the author. Gambhir was to be the next big thing in Indian cricket and Dhoni was the guy who could do no wrong. What is their average in last ten matches? Any player with decent talent can score well in first few matches but to sustain it once opponents have worked out his weakness takes a lot of talent and determination. We will get our replacements for Dravid and Tendulkar but let us not rush with our judgements and make fools of ourselves.

  • on November 4, 2010, 15:30 GMT

    Rahul has been the best #3 for India in test cricket. He belongs to the league of cricketers who were responsible for the #1 Test ranking (Sourav, Kumble,Laxman, Sachin). BCCI is not like CA. He deserves to leave only when HE wants to. Period.

  • on November 4, 2010, 15:27 GMT

    "Cheteshwar Pujara had batted with tremendous poise and fluency for 72 and the cheers for Dravid mingled with the applause for a future star."---- I remember when Amit Mishra got his debut in place of injured Kumble and got 5 wicket every body said that Kumble should step down as Amit Mishara will take his place. Now look at Amit Mishra, 10 test and 26 wicket - I don't think anyone thinks that he be Anil kumble anymore.

    Pujara just played a good innings, there is still a chance (may be 5% chance) that he will be a real replacement of Rahul Dravid, who knows! But please don't pressurize Dravid to retire for Pujara, many Pujara will come and go, before we will see another Rahul Dravid.

  • Wall_Master_Specialist on November 4, 2010, 15:02 GMT

    What a man, what a player, I dont want him to retire soon........but can't help.....age does it all....I dont know about the future ....but I want to see him playing in SA

  • on November 4, 2010, 14:58 GMT

    Dravid continuing to play is rather pointless and selfish. He's a great player who has nothing left to prove or achieve, and is only occupying a slot that should go to Pujara or Vijay. It's like Kapil Dev continuing to play on and on while Javagal Srinath carried the drinks. At least Kapil had a good excuse, as far as chasing a record can be considered a good excuse.

  • on November 4, 2010, 14:49 GMT

    No point in change for the sake of change. Pujara and Vijay may stumble in a tough situation and India may start losing. What then? Will Dravid be asked out of retirement?

    Bring in the youngsters to bring the masters a break, as needed, and blood them in one-days, as is the policy. Tendulkar and Dravid are mature enough, and humble enough, to know when it's time to move on. Don't push. But then again, in India, that may be too much to ask for.

  • doobya on November 4, 2010, 14:49 GMT

    I dont understand this obsession with youth...Stop picking on Dravid... he has had a better average than gambhir for rest of the year... also.. pujara has scored only once... do u really think he is ready to replace dravid?

  • on November 4, 2010, 14:43 GMT

    Whats the idea of this article are u being appreciative of dravid or what .....and if the likes of murali vijay and pujara are so ready why not do the honors by taking them to SA ......Also India hasnt found a suitable replacement to Dada till date and u are looking for a replacement for the class of Dravid ......first find one for Dada ,then for Gautam Gambhir ...then talk abt Dravid!!! Sachin also went thru a lean patch for years and has come back why single out dravid

    And ne how the bag is full with youngsters (t-20 products)...then please start by taking them to SA and not some hapless place like WI ...though I am sure if they go there u'll still be looking at Viru ,Laxman and Sachin to bail u out

  • SnowSnake on November 4, 2010, 14:39 GMT

    Dravid is taking a lesson from the play book of Don Bradman (scoring centuries at low strike rate). Sorry, Dravid a century at a strike rate of 45 (as opposed to Don's average strike rate of 39) is not good enough these days. This is not a timeless test.

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  • SnowSnake on November 4, 2010, 14:39 GMT

    Dravid is taking a lesson from the play book of Don Bradman (scoring centuries at low strike rate). Sorry, Dravid a century at a strike rate of 45 (as opposed to Don's average strike rate of 39) is not good enough these days. This is not a timeless test.

  • on November 4, 2010, 14:43 GMT

    Whats the idea of this article are u being appreciative of dravid or what .....and if the likes of murali vijay and pujara are so ready why not do the honors by taking them to SA ......Also India hasnt found a suitable replacement to Dada till date and u are looking for a replacement for the class of Dravid ......first find one for Dada ,then for Gautam Gambhir ...then talk abt Dravid!!! Sachin also went thru a lean patch for years and has come back why single out dravid

    And ne how the bag is full with youngsters (t-20 products)...then please start by taking them to SA and not some hapless place like WI ...though I am sure if they go there u'll still be looking at Viru ,Laxman and Sachin to bail u out

  • doobya on November 4, 2010, 14:49 GMT

    I dont understand this obsession with youth...Stop picking on Dravid... he has had a better average than gambhir for rest of the year... also.. pujara has scored only once... do u really think he is ready to replace dravid?

  • on November 4, 2010, 14:49 GMT

    No point in change for the sake of change. Pujara and Vijay may stumble in a tough situation and India may start losing. What then? Will Dravid be asked out of retirement?

    Bring in the youngsters to bring the masters a break, as needed, and blood them in one-days, as is the policy. Tendulkar and Dravid are mature enough, and humble enough, to know when it's time to move on. Don't push. But then again, in India, that may be too much to ask for.

  • on November 4, 2010, 14:58 GMT

    Dravid continuing to play is rather pointless and selfish. He's a great player who has nothing left to prove or achieve, and is only occupying a slot that should go to Pujara or Vijay. It's like Kapil Dev continuing to play on and on while Javagal Srinath carried the drinks. At least Kapil had a good excuse, as far as chasing a record can be considered a good excuse.

  • Wall_Master_Specialist on November 4, 2010, 15:02 GMT

    What a man, what a player, I dont want him to retire soon........but can't help.....age does it all....I dont know about the future ....but I want to see him playing in SA

  • on November 4, 2010, 15:27 GMT

    "Cheteshwar Pujara had batted with tremendous poise and fluency for 72 and the cheers for Dravid mingled with the applause for a future star."---- I remember when Amit Mishra got his debut in place of injured Kumble and got 5 wicket every body said that Kumble should step down as Amit Mishara will take his place. Now look at Amit Mishra, 10 test and 26 wicket - I don't think anyone thinks that he be Anil kumble anymore.

    Pujara just played a good innings, there is still a chance (may be 5% chance) that he will be a real replacement of Rahul Dravid, who knows! But please don't pressurize Dravid to retire for Pujara, many Pujara will come and go, before we will see another Rahul Dravid.

  • on November 4, 2010, 15:30 GMT

    Rahul has been the best #3 for India in test cricket. He belongs to the league of cricketers who were responsible for the #1 Test ranking (Sourav, Kumble,Laxman, Sachin). BCCI is not like CA. He deserves to leave only when HE wants to. Period.

  • Samgen on November 4, 2010, 15:36 GMT

    I remember reading a similar piece on Sachin couple of years ago as to ' how good he WAS', how his body is no longer able to cope with the demands of the game and that there are youngsters who can not quite replace him but still are the way forward. Now we know what Sachin has been to Indian cricket int the past year. I am not saying these guys can go on forever but to say that a proven performer can be replaced with a one match old player and another player who has not been tested against good sides, shows the bias and immaturity of the author. Gambhir was to be the next big thing in Indian cricket and Dhoni was the guy who could do no wrong. What is their average in last ten matches? Any player with decent talent can score well in first few matches but to sustain it once opponents have worked out his weakness takes a lot of talent and determination. We will get our replacements for Dravid and Tendulkar but let us not rush with our judgements and make fools of ourselves.

  • A.Ak on November 4, 2010, 15:40 GMT

    I dont understand why people think about Pujara. He hasn't proved anything in this level. He is only 22. Many people who had great average in domestic circuit failed miserably in top level games. There is no replacement for Dravid. He is the only person who can save india in overseas. If Dravid fires, then ONLY India can register their first series win in SA (remember Sachin has a poor record there).