Mumbai v Rajasthan, IPL 2013, Eliminator, Kolkata May 24, 2013

Yagnik bats from behind stumps, Dravid goes Taxi Driver

The Plays of the day from the match between Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians in Kolkata

The shot
You would have seen bowlers bowling from 23 yards, but batsmen playing from 23 yards? That's a new one. In the final over of the Rajasthan Royals innings, Dishant Yagnik stood on off to face Lasith Malinga. He had already been going deep in the crease to counter the Malinga yorker, but this time he was outside the line of off and played this one from behind the stumps. It worked, for Yagnik took it on the half-volley and flicked it over square leg for four.

Turns out this was not new. It has been done twice in two balls, but not to such good an effect.

The shot
How unsettling it must be for a bowler when one batsman has gone behind the stumps and the other - in the same over - walks up and turns it into a 20-yard delivery. Later in the same over, even when Malinga was midway in his run, Brad Hodge had walked almost half the way up the track. For a moment you thought Malinga might pull out of the delivery, but clearly he hadn't learned from Sahara. Eventually Malinga tried to bowl a slower ball, but it slipped out of his hand so bad it missed the adjoining pitch too. Nor was it his first of that over.

The desperation
The match was delayed by an hour because of the evening rain. The Mumbai Indians support staff was clearly the most desperate for the game to be of the longest possible duration. While others twiddled thumbs, Jonty Rhodes joined the ground staff and helped them dry the covers and take them off.

The riposte
This was Rahul Dravid channelling his inner Taxi Driver. When Rahul Dravid drove Mitchell Johnson straight past him in the third over, Johnson had a word or three to speak. Johnson forgot to back it up with a good ball next up, and Dravid flicked it away regally for four. And Dravid walked up to Johnson and asked him, "You want to say something?" He may as well have asked him, "You talking to me?"

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 25, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    Huge fan of THE WALL...Well Done RR!!!

  • Albert on May 25, 2013, 10:34 GMT

    Can't figure what was Johnson expecting from Dravid before being hit for consecutive boundaries? That he will keep playing dot balls? Glad to see Rahul give back some lip to the arrogant Aussie! Now we just just want RD to come back in IPL-7 and take the trophy home. I am going to boycott the Sunday MI-CSK final because its all a big sham now, but at the same time hoping that CSK loses big time.

  • Dummy4 on May 25, 2013, 9:36 GMT

    i m from Tonk, Rajasthan. I am proud that Jammy played from RR. People thought T20 is a game of youngsters and hard hitters only but Jammy, Mike Hussey and many more proved them wrong, as batting in T20 also should have been planned and technically right at every point of 20 overs (over by over). Had someone thought that The Wall (purely test player in most of his career) would have been greeted in T20 too in the later years at the age of 41? For me, answer is 'No'. If I were an international cricketer, i would like to play like The Wall (even not like Sachin).

  • Dummy4 on May 25, 2013, 7:28 GMT

    finally the brave heart RAHUL BHAIS ARMY taken rest. RR fought with full of psychological injuries , no spinner available on a spin suporting pitch ,, where opponents got two of most reliable international spin bowlers.. this shouldn't called as a defeat. if that match fixing is not happened the team work and morale under the great mans captaincy RR would have won the championship. convincingly.. i hope RAHUL BHAI will play another season to win the championship may be the next season will be a genune one, pune players will be available . by buying some good local talent like . robin uthappa , bhuvneshwar kumar , rahul sharma,, foreign players like ross taylor, aaron finch, steve smith.. etc rahul bhai have enough cricket left. to play another season he is scoring runs consistantly since last season competing place in top 10.. thats a great thing for a vetaran LEGEND LIKE RD i hope he will play 2014..also.

  • murali on May 25, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    well played rajasthan just not enough on day but they can be proud than any other team

  • Vinod on May 25, 2013, 6:09 GMT

    although the team didnt make it to the finals, we wish to say 'Well Done, Rahul Dravid".

  • Dummy4 on May 25, 2013, 6:07 GMT

    I will be logging off cricket along with Rahul Dravid. Been following the sport since around 1986-87 when I was 6-7 years old. I honestly doubt that he will play the CLT20. They really don't have the players anymore to do well. Its sad that his own players took him for a ride. I have been following the sport for the last 15 odd years purely because of Dravid. He basically proved that you don't need to be a natural talent to make it big in any sport. The same can be achieved with pure hard-work. What a Legend.

  • Dummy4 on May 25, 2013, 4:28 GMT

    Huge fan of Rahul Dravid, and his conduct both on and off the field, in addition to his unquestionable cricketing skills. That said, it is a little rose-tinted from people who are hailing him here. In the past couple of weeks in IPL he has sledged (though not instigated it first), he has yelled at umpires after getting out, and has been captain of a team which nestled three spot-fixers. He has also whined regarding Pollard's over zealous celebrations after getting the batsman out, conveniently forgetting that Sreesanth did the same 'cowardly' things. Hope people don't brush it under the carpet just because he is Rahul Dravid. He is doubtless a rare gentleman in an increasingly sullied game, but if this IPL is any indication - he had better mentor and coach the future players rather than taking part in it.

  • N. on May 25, 2013, 4:26 GMT

    N. Sundararajan from Chennai Rahul Dravid has achieved remarkable results for RRoyals. Captaincy, batting and fielding, teamspirit, motivation--what have you ! Certainly the RRoylas Owners have derived more from him than did the incompetent BCCI ! Dravid can surely hold his head high, very high and feel satisfied about his sacrifices this year ! Hope India will produce a few more Rahul Dravids in the coming generations ! Rahul, Hats off to you--you have made cricket and India proud !