Rajasthan v Delhi, IPL 2013, Jaipur May 7, 2013

Dravid and Rahane serve up an old-fashioned show

The Rajasthan Royals' openers produced their first century stand in the IPL, and they achieved it after tremendous hard work against the new ball
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A Twenty20 chase finished with nine wickets in hand and 13 balls to spare. As easy as it gets, says the scoreboard. Don't believe the scoreboard. Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane may have become only the third pair in IPL history to make more than 1000 runs but their first century stand was hard earned against a testing attack on a helpful pitch, with some slices of fortune.

Umesh Yadav, Morne Morkel, Siddarth Kaul. That is some serious pace charging in. There was lots of bounce, some seam and some swing. And for the initial few overs, Dravid and Rahane were really up against it. Unfortunately for Daredevils, their batting had failed for the umpteenth time this season, and Dravid and Rahane were never behind the asking rate.

And the Daredevils fast bowlers never looked far away from a wicket, although it wasn't to come until it was too late. Dravid and Rahane were beaten by pace, by bounce, by movement. The pushed, they mistimed, and they survived, barely. Irrespective of the format, two classical batsmen were trying to make it through the early burst with the new ball from fresh fast bowlers on a track that was doing something.

Forget the asking rate. This was about getting bat to ball first, something with which Dravid, in particular, was struggling at first as Kaul opened the chase with a maiden. Dravid was beaten on the cut, and he was beaten on the prod as Kaul got it to move away and climb. At the other end, Yadav moved it both ways in the late 140s, and the 40-year old opener looked quite late on the ball. Morkel presented a different proposition with his steep bounce from short of a good length. Rahane escaped with a thick inside edge past the stumps.

One thing going for this prolific pairing is its calm, though. There was about one attempt from each batsman to play against their nature, to try to break free when the ball wasn't quite there for the shot. It is fine when you are beaten for pace and bounce trying a cut a wide ball. The shot is clearly on.

This wasn't the case when Rahane tried to loft a drive over the off side against Morkel, as it wasn't when Dravid tried to manufacture a cover drive against Kaul. Rahane survived a dropped chance, Dravid managed to awkwardly slice the ball over point.

There was hardly another attempt at forcing it. No on-the-up fancy drives when not in position for the shot. No blind charges down the pitch. No cuteness. They just put the loose delivery away, in plain old fashion.

As he slowly found his touch, Dravid showed what is your strength at 30 can remain your strength at 40, as he clipped deliveries off the pad for boundaries with minimal effort and maximum timing. Rahane almost never turns to the standard slogging area of cow corner, and once again stuck to what has worked for him in this format. Straight, lofted punches, and carves over extra cover, an area his mentor Dravid targeted as well with inside-out drives.

This was a pitch that could take you by surprise even late into your innings. The ball Dravid got his fifty with kicked and flew at him after hitting a crack in the pitch. He was trying to go midwicket, the ball went to third man.

Shane Watson came in and smashed it around with power but one wonders if a batsman as aggressive as him would have been able to survive that tense early period. Then again, even Dravid and Rahane could have got out to one of the deliveries that beat them. They got past that stage, though, and made sure their labour translated into lots of runs. This wasn't a brutal thrashing. It was gritty, hang-in-there and target-the-bad-ball stuff, and it was absorbing to watch.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on May 8, 2013, 4:17 GMT

    Rahul Dravid, for me is the most technically sound and by far one of the best Test batsmen ever produced. His knowledge for the game, his passion, dedication, flawless technique, match winning innings & last but not least how brilliant but humble a man can be have just been qualities not many in any sport in the world can posses together. There have been thousands of articles written about how T20 has ruined the technique of batsmen for test cricket and that these two formats cannot co-exist. Dravid has proven through out his career that he gave 1st preference to test cricket and his country & yet been a prolific ODI player, and now in T20 is showing that even this format is not only about going for the slogs but just simple and perfect cricketing shots can be as useful & effective. As a captain, i think he has given great confidence to youngsters in his side and utilised what he has perfectly. In my books, Rahul Dravid goes in the list of the top 5 best cricketers ever to have played

  • on May 7, 2013, 16:59 GMT

    Thanks to IPL we can still watch arguably India's greatest test batsman ever in action. Yogi108 is right about the attitude part. Talent is nothing without attitude. Another good example for a player whose attitude , grit and hard work has offset what is lacking in natural talent is M S Dhoni. Credit should also be given to Dhoni's coaches right from a young age, who have not tried to tinker with his 'technique' and let him be. In a lot of ways MSD is similar to Dravid. They are the epitome of mental toughness. I genuinely wish Dravid plays another IPL, at least for the sake of his die hard fans like me.

  • MaruthuDelft on May 8, 2013, 17:22 GMT

    RD fans miss the point. People admire beauty, natural talent, raw bravado, swagger, killer skills.....Sure people do respect fighting spirit, dignity, consistency in performance......But it is just respect which is lower than admiration. People admire(not just respect) Tendulkar for many things. He is the first Indian batsman who was able to consistently attack high class international fast bowlers in their own backyard. Kapildev was a hit or miss. Azhar never looked confident against top bowling though he managed to score runs. Gavaskar was a defender.

  • on May 8, 2013, 12:45 GMT

    I rate Dravid above any Indian batsman, including the so called God of cricket, from the point of dedication, grit and application. This applies to his fielding as well. I am all for the RR because of Dravid.

  • Pathiyal on May 8, 2013, 11:41 GMT

    Rahul Dravid has SURPRISINGLY turned into the batsman he was before his retirement from the international scene. his contributions in the field, both as a batsman and as the captain of Rajasthan Royals are amazing to watch. i thought it was missing during his last 5 ipl seasons. may be, finally thought of rediscovering himself in the shortest version of the game? :-) the intent more or less seems to be proving himself rather than proving others. whatever it is, its great to watch him lead from the front giving nice lessons to the youngsters! as a young player just dreaming about playing for the country what more could you ask!!!!

  • Qa_ankit on May 8, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    1.) Dravid, Masterclass apart and Rahane, coolness with right guidance. Both are doing well since last IPL. They are the most consistent opening pair in ipl and proving so. Nice to see two calm heads going for good runs. I still had RCB match in my mind. Run rate never got above 10. Once it did was 10.15 or so. But best thing no one noticed i think is that both batsmen were taking 1's and 2's very easily which makes it simpler. 2.) I remember just before ipl, Jaipur matches were scheduled to be shifted to Rajkot and Ahm. And today SMS stadium is the best in the country.best pitch, best outfield, big boundaries. Nice. Kudos. 3.) RR is always blessed with cool and inspirational head. 1st Warne and now RD. Its just a co-incidence or what but in all editions, RR was on top in Fair Play awards. That gives an idea what they spirit is generated with in the team. Not once or twice but everytime. So kudo's to management also. RCB kicked Dravid, we accepted with welcomed him with smile & respect

  • on May 8, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    Good article, vividly put the thoughts many had yesterday, don't compare one with the other, they have their own charm to enchant the spectators

  • CricketMaan on May 8, 2013, 10:23 GMT

    All said and done! sponsors, commentators and journos still parise that one 28 ball 40 MOM performance as one in lifetime innings!! Dravid's class has always been overshadowed by other players hogging limelight!

  • vb03 on May 8, 2013, 10:02 GMT

    I like Rahul's humbleness, down to earth ,his personal behavior on and off field. World cricket have many class batsman but class in play & behavior is rare. Jack kallis is another guy of same qualities. We can see both these on IPL.

  • veerakannadiga on May 8, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    There are some who feel that we, RD fans, are always grieving that our hero has not been given his due. During the Extra Innings (on set max) of the RR/PWI clash, SMG, no lesser person, but Sunil Manohar Gavaskar said on record the same thing, going on to add, that, If RD was given a free hand and a longer run, he would've been the greatest captain India ever produced.from a loyal Dravid fan

  • on May 8, 2013, 4:17 GMT

    Rahul Dravid, for me is the most technically sound and by far one of the best Test batsmen ever produced. His knowledge for the game, his passion, dedication, flawless technique, match winning innings & last but not least how brilliant but humble a man can be have just been qualities not many in any sport in the world can posses together. There have been thousands of articles written about how T20 has ruined the technique of batsmen for test cricket and that these two formats cannot co-exist. Dravid has proven through out his career that he gave 1st preference to test cricket and his country & yet been a prolific ODI player, and now in T20 is showing that even this format is not only about going for the slogs but just simple and perfect cricketing shots can be as useful & effective. As a captain, i think he has given great confidence to youngsters in his side and utilised what he has perfectly. In my books, Rahul Dravid goes in the list of the top 5 best cricketers ever to have played

  • on May 7, 2013, 16:59 GMT

    Thanks to IPL we can still watch arguably India's greatest test batsman ever in action. Yogi108 is right about the attitude part. Talent is nothing without attitude. Another good example for a player whose attitude , grit and hard work has offset what is lacking in natural talent is M S Dhoni. Credit should also be given to Dhoni's coaches right from a young age, who have not tried to tinker with his 'technique' and let him be. In a lot of ways MSD is similar to Dravid. They are the epitome of mental toughness. I genuinely wish Dravid plays another IPL, at least for the sake of his die hard fans like me.

  • MaruthuDelft on May 8, 2013, 17:22 GMT

    RD fans miss the point. People admire beauty, natural talent, raw bravado, swagger, killer skills.....Sure people do respect fighting spirit, dignity, consistency in performance......But it is just respect which is lower than admiration. People admire(not just respect) Tendulkar for many things. He is the first Indian batsman who was able to consistently attack high class international fast bowlers in their own backyard. Kapildev was a hit or miss. Azhar never looked confident against top bowling though he managed to score runs. Gavaskar was a defender.

  • on May 8, 2013, 12:45 GMT

    I rate Dravid above any Indian batsman, including the so called God of cricket, from the point of dedication, grit and application. This applies to his fielding as well. I am all for the RR because of Dravid.

  • Pathiyal on May 8, 2013, 11:41 GMT

    Rahul Dravid has SURPRISINGLY turned into the batsman he was before his retirement from the international scene. his contributions in the field, both as a batsman and as the captain of Rajasthan Royals are amazing to watch. i thought it was missing during his last 5 ipl seasons. may be, finally thought of rediscovering himself in the shortest version of the game? :-) the intent more or less seems to be proving himself rather than proving others. whatever it is, its great to watch him lead from the front giving nice lessons to the youngsters! as a young player just dreaming about playing for the country what more could you ask!!!!

  • Qa_ankit on May 8, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    1.) Dravid, Masterclass apart and Rahane, coolness with right guidance. Both are doing well since last IPL. They are the most consistent opening pair in ipl and proving so. Nice to see two calm heads going for good runs. I still had RCB match in my mind. Run rate never got above 10. Once it did was 10.15 or so. But best thing no one noticed i think is that both batsmen were taking 1's and 2's very easily which makes it simpler. 2.) I remember just before ipl, Jaipur matches were scheduled to be shifted to Rajkot and Ahm. And today SMS stadium is the best in the country.best pitch, best outfield, big boundaries. Nice. Kudos. 3.) RR is always blessed with cool and inspirational head. 1st Warne and now RD. Its just a co-incidence or what but in all editions, RR was on top in Fair Play awards. That gives an idea what they spirit is generated with in the team. Not once or twice but everytime. So kudo's to management also. RCB kicked Dravid, we accepted with welcomed him with smile & respect

  • on May 8, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    Good article, vividly put the thoughts many had yesterday, don't compare one with the other, they have their own charm to enchant the spectators

  • CricketMaan on May 8, 2013, 10:23 GMT

    All said and done! sponsors, commentators and journos still parise that one 28 ball 40 MOM performance as one in lifetime innings!! Dravid's class has always been overshadowed by other players hogging limelight!

  • vb03 on May 8, 2013, 10:02 GMT

    I like Rahul's humbleness, down to earth ,his personal behavior on and off field. World cricket have many class batsman but class in play & behavior is rare. Jack kallis is another guy of same qualities. We can see both these on IPL.

  • veerakannadiga on May 8, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    There are some who feel that we, RD fans, are always grieving that our hero has not been given his due. During the Extra Innings (on set max) of the RR/PWI clash, SMG, no lesser person, but Sunil Manohar Gavaskar said on record the same thing, going on to add, that, If RD was given a free hand and a longer run, he would've been the greatest captain India ever produced.from a loyal Dravid fan

  • on May 8, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    Well crafted article...Gr8 to see Dravid building partnerships in T20 too..Thanks Abhishek for nice article.

  • latecut_04 on May 8, 2013, 8:21 GMT

    just saw a featured comment comparing Dravid and Dhoni.sorry but that is definitely not true.Dhoni was and is a poor batsman outisde Asia.He is an ODI matchwinner anywhere(somewhat in Jayasurya mould who was a revolutionary when it came to ODIs but had limitations as a test batsman).His woeful technique and lack of proper defence get exposed under swinging English,fast Australian and bouncy SA pitches.Dravid was and is a complete batsman.As for Dhoni's grit and character matching Dravid's we can say that once India win the ODI WC down under in 2015 under Dhoni's captaincy.Definitely Dhoni is coool and gritty and a team player but has limitations as a abatsman.(unlike Dravid)Hope the point gets noted.

  • Naresh28 on May 8, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    If I was BCCI I would engage Dravid as a batting coach for the team to SA. This guy has a lot to OFFER youngsters. Already Rahane seems to be under his tutelage. To be able to still play at his age and against the best bowlers is something. It makes his fans wonder why did he call it a day when he still had lots lft in the tank.

  • on May 8, 2013, 5:32 GMT

    Hail Jammy..Halla Bol...Way to go..we want the IPL 6 CUp...

  • venkatesh018 on May 8, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    Jaipur has been the best cricket wicket this IPL. Kudos to the whole RR group for that alone.

  • vijay.dravid on May 8, 2013, 4:51 GMT

    Oh....wat a man he is....Thanks IPL.You stopped our rolling tears on the day Dravid has announced his retirement. On that worst day, our hope was only IPL. We are proud of you dravid..learnt how one can be a good human being from your calmness on and off the field. Learnt how one can be aggressive in the business. Learnt how one can still be satisfied being in loosing end.Thanks Kudos. Donno when Gambhir/Bisla/Kohli learn from you despite being shared dressing room with you.

  • on May 8, 2013, 4:28 GMT

    I am a die hard fan of CSK, but I really don't want RR to go down tournament, I wish CSK and RR come to the final and I will support CSK and RR equally because of the versatile captaincy of Dhoni and a real gentlemen of cricket meeting head to head. I home RR wins the cup so that we can see Dravid in another IPL season. I wish Dravid was in CSK.

  • anilkp on May 7, 2013, 21:11 GMT

    RSD must be the best captain this session, with MSD coming next. MSD has many internationally-proven match-winners to rely on. Most players in his fold have been well exposed to international grit and pressure. However, grooming a crop of inexperienced talents into a fighting, and most importantly, 'productive' unit is simply awesome. The other aspect is the correct demeanor and attitude worthy of a captain. It is disheartening to note that other young captains--Virat, Gauti, Rohit--do not seem to learn the positivism from either RSD or MSD. Those three are very passionate cricketers and they take wins/losses very seriously, I agree; but RSD/MSD are no less passionate cricketers. To captain and win, it is not necessary that you divorce any trace of humility. Wisdom comes with age, they say; but I doubt these three will ever be wise. I wish Pujara were with RR; Rahane and him would have made the perfect apprentice to Dravid.

  • anilkp on May 7, 2013, 19:58 GMT

    I want to see an RSD-MSD show-down in the final. I win whoever wins! Good that SRT/RTP are not a captain; otherwise I would be in trouble picking two favorites out of three.

  • nkoch on May 7, 2013, 18:59 GMT

    Kudos to Dravid and Rahane. Former simply awesome cricketer and latter an apprentice. Rahane proving selector's Champions Trophy decision wrong yet again. He is by far the best timer of cricket ball in IPL 2013.

  • Abitha on May 7, 2013, 18:41 GMT

    Well Done RR. Under Dravid a Super Human (at this age) who is playing like a school boy and a Great Leader Hope his team (Under dogs) will bring a surprise by capturing the IPL Crown this year. Rahane Binny and the Oldest to have a debut in Thambe all did their best. the bowling of Faulkner is a treat to watch.Wwell Done Will be happy to see you in the Finals Best of Luck Kashinath

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on May 7, 2013, 18:26 GMT

    Partnerships, this has been the hallmark of Dravid's batsmanship throughout his career. Isn't it? In most of our victories we had a Sehwag or a VVS or a Sachin or a Ganguly at one end and we had THE Dravid at the other end. When a batsman is playing well, he needs someone at the other end so that the team can post a good total. That someone at the other end, more often than not, has been Dravid for India. The old world common saying is "change is constant". But when it comes to our team's success, Dravid has been the constant without change. He simply defied the old world common sayings with his old world batsmanship. How can one get enough of this old world constant!? Take a bow, Dear Rahul Anna!

  • on May 7, 2013, 18:25 GMT

    This generation of India will love their kids to look up to 2 great cricketers as role models. RD for his humbleness, down to earth, great work ethics. SRT for his hard work.....how much ever talent he has ....he still practices hard.

    Of course, Vinod Kambli to show how one should not be.

    Sorry guyz everyone knows.....everyone has said this thousands of times.....but i still repeated.

  • on May 7, 2013, 17:56 GMT

    rahul dravid = rahul dravid #noComparison

  • RD_INDIAN on May 7, 2013, 16:42 GMT

    @yogi108 even u are spot on. Hope Rahane gets chances in the Indian test squad for the SA series. BCCI should try and use the champions league to provide exposure to the indian players by hosting it in Australia and New Zealand as that will also force the teams to select the best indian players in their squad as most of them can not afford to take the whole team. It will help them develop and it will be easy for the selector to judge the talent for 2015 world cup

  • YogifromNY on May 7, 2013, 16:06 GMT

    Spot on, Abhishek! Superb and absorbing batting from Dravid and Rahane. Makes you realize once again how much Indian cricket owes to this fantastic ambassador of decency, talent and hard work called Rahul Dravid. In my books, the Most Valuable Player of this generation for India. Take a bow (yet again), Sir Dravid. As for Rahane, I can't help feeling that this stint under his mentor and hero Dravid is going to set him up for the rest of his cricketing life and enable him to achieve lofty heights. Success is not just about aptitude (Rohit Sharma and Vinod Kambli have/ had it too), it is mainly about the attitude that is brought to bear (Dravid/ Kumble/ Kapil/ Gavaskar/ Tendulkar).

  • YogifromNY on May 7, 2013, 16:06 GMT

    Spot on, Abhishek! Superb and absorbing batting from Dravid and Rahane. Makes you realize once again how much Indian cricket owes to this fantastic ambassador of decency, talent and hard work called Rahul Dravid. In my books, the Most Valuable Player of this generation for India. Take a bow (yet again), Sir Dravid. As for Rahane, I can't help feeling that this stint under his mentor and hero Dravid is going to set him up for the rest of his cricketing life and enable him to achieve lofty heights. Success is not just about aptitude (Rohit Sharma and Vinod Kambli have/ had it too), it is mainly about the attitude that is brought to bear (Dravid/ Kumble/ Kapil/ Gavaskar/ Tendulkar).

  • RD_INDIAN on May 7, 2013, 16:42 GMT

    @yogi108 even u are spot on. Hope Rahane gets chances in the Indian test squad for the SA series. BCCI should try and use the champions league to provide exposure to the indian players by hosting it in Australia and New Zealand as that will also force the teams to select the best indian players in their squad as most of them can not afford to take the whole team. It will help them develop and it will be easy for the selector to judge the talent for 2015 world cup

  • on May 7, 2013, 17:56 GMT

    rahul dravid = rahul dravid #noComparison

  • on May 7, 2013, 18:25 GMT

    This generation of India will love their kids to look up to 2 great cricketers as role models. RD for his humbleness, down to earth, great work ethics. SRT for his hard work.....how much ever talent he has ....he still practices hard.

    Of course, Vinod Kambli to show how one should not be.

    Sorry guyz everyone knows.....everyone has said this thousands of times.....but i still repeated.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on May 7, 2013, 18:26 GMT

    Partnerships, this has been the hallmark of Dravid's batsmanship throughout his career. Isn't it? In most of our victories we had a Sehwag or a VVS or a Sachin or a Ganguly at one end and we had THE Dravid at the other end. When a batsman is playing well, he needs someone at the other end so that the team can post a good total. That someone at the other end, more often than not, has been Dravid for India. The old world common saying is "change is constant". But when it comes to our team's success, Dravid has been the constant without change. He simply defied the old world common sayings with his old world batsmanship. How can one get enough of this old world constant!? Take a bow, Dear Rahul Anna!

  • Abitha on May 7, 2013, 18:41 GMT

    Well Done RR. Under Dravid a Super Human (at this age) who is playing like a school boy and a Great Leader Hope his team (Under dogs) will bring a surprise by capturing the IPL Crown this year. Rahane Binny and the Oldest to have a debut in Thambe all did their best. the bowling of Faulkner is a treat to watch.Wwell Done Will be happy to see you in the Finals Best of Luck Kashinath

  • nkoch on May 7, 2013, 18:59 GMT

    Kudos to Dravid and Rahane. Former simply awesome cricketer and latter an apprentice. Rahane proving selector's Champions Trophy decision wrong yet again. He is by far the best timer of cricket ball in IPL 2013.

  • anilkp on May 7, 2013, 19:58 GMT

    I want to see an RSD-MSD show-down in the final. I win whoever wins! Good that SRT/RTP are not a captain; otherwise I would be in trouble picking two favorites out of three.

  • anilkp on May 7, 2013, 21:11 GMT

    RSD must be the best captain this session, with MSD coming next. MSD has many internationally-proven match-winners to rely on. Most players in his fold have been well exposed to international grit and pressure. However, grooming a crop of inexperienced talents into a fighting, and most importantly, 'productive' unit is simply awesome. The other aspect is the correct demeanor and attitude worthy of a captain. It is disheartening to note that other young captains--Virat, Gauti, Rohit--do not seem to learn the positivism from either RSD or MSD. Those three are very passionate cricketers and they take wins/losses very seriously, I agree; but RSD/MSD are no less passionate cricketers. To captain and win, it is not necessary that you divorce any trace of humility. Wisdom comes with age, they say; but I doubt these three will ever be wise. I wish Pujara were with RR; Rahane and him would have made the perfect apprentice to Dravid.

  • on May 8, 2013, 4:28 GMT

    I am a die hard fan of CSK, but I really don't want RR to go down tournament, I wish CSK and RR come to the final and I will support CSK and RR equally because of the versatile captaincy of Dhoni and a real gentlemen of cricket meeting head to head. I home RR wins the cup so that we can see Dravid in another IPL season. I wish Dravid was in CSK.