India v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Ahmedabad, 1st day November 16, 2009

'One of my most fluent efforts' - Rahul Dravid

Cricinfo staff
64

Click here to listen to Dravid's press conference.

On the opening day of the Ashes in 2002-03, after Nasser Hussain had sent Australia in to bat, Matthew Hayden set the agenda for an utterly one-sided contest, powering his way to an unbeaten 186 out of 364 for 2. On the first day at Motera, Rahul Dravid finished with 177 of the 371 runs that India scored after he arrived at the crease. Hayden faced 255 balls at the Gabba that day. Dravid faced four fewer. Hayden scored 104 of his runs in boundaries (23 fours and two sixes), while Dravid took 110 from strokes to or over the fence (26 fours and a six).

As batsmen, they couldn't be more different. Hayden was the colossus who stood outside his crease, walked down the pitch and generally bullied bowlers into submission. Every ball was a confrontation, one more opportunity to assert his dominance over the opposition. Dravid, one of the cornerstones of India's batting strength over the past decade, has made his runs far more sedately, with greater subtlety. Where Hayden went for the first-round knockout, sheer persistence was the Dravid way. On occasions, even mighty Australian sides were worn down to the point of exhaustion.

This was a very different Dravid. From the moment he placed one from Dammika Prasad through the covers, the positive intent was evident. But unlike many of his modern-day contemporaries, who use bats as thick as arks and prefer to stand-and-deliver, there was nothing frenetic or brutal about his methods. Dravid bats the old-fashioned way, bending his knee and transferring the body weight at just the right time. Each of the 13 fours he drove in the arc between point and long off was crowned with the perfect follow-through.

Even late in the day, with the second new-ball taken, he chose his battles carefully. He invariably got into line for each delivery, and was perfectly content to leave off-stump bait well alone. "I knew we needed a partnership," he said later, having spent some time in the ice-bath to recover from the day's exertions. "I had that South African game [April 2008] at the back of my mind, where we were bowled out in 20 overs and the wicket became good later on.

"I knew that if we could get through to lunch, batting would get a lot easier. Yuvi [Yuvraj Singh] came and batted really well. He was very positive and played some good shots. We were able to put on a 100-run partnership and that set the platform for me and Mahi [MS Dhoni]. We showed character today to be able to fight back."

More than his powers of concentration, always a hallmark of his game, what was most impressive was his ability to find the gaps. At one point, Kumar Sangakkara had a short cover and a sweeper in place, in addition to the mid-off fielder. He still threaded the ball through. Late on, with square leg and fine leg in position, he pulled Chanaka Welegedara so precisely that neither man moved more than a five yards before the ball crossed the rope.

He made four half-centuries in New Zealand earlier this year, including match-saving efforts of 83 and 62 in Napier, but this was an innings played at an altogether different tempo. Not since The Oval in 2007, when he eased to a half-century before being castled by James Anderson, had he played with such freedom.

He admitted as much. "It's nice to get this feeling of batting the way I have. I've been through some tough times for a couple of seasons. I thought the flow's sort of come back this year, in various forms of the game. It was probably one of my most fluent efforts over the last few seasons."

With the pitch conducive to run-scoring, Dravid reckoned that India would need around 500 to put some pressure on the Sri Lankans. And he was in no hurry to critique this particular innings. "It'll be a good question to answer at the end of a game," he said. "I always rate an innings in the context of the game. From 32 for 4, at the end of the day I'm really happy with what we've achieved. If we go on to win this Test match, you'd say it's somewhere up there.

"That's why the innings I've played in Kolkata [v Australia, 2001], in Adelaide [v Australia, 2003] or in Rawalpindi [v Pakistan, 2004] ... when you go on to win, that's when you realise the value. In terms of shot-making, this was a good one. It was a pretty flat wicket. I've played on much tougher ones. If it ends up being a draw, it's a great knock, but not as meaningful as some of the other ones."

After scoring 11,000 runs and 27 centuries, he really has nothing left to prove to anyone. But on a day when he frequently put two far more aggressive strokemakers in the shade, there was plenty for selectors and supporters to ponder. Instead of a Wall-like immoveable object, this was a free-flowing stream of an innings. "I'm not even thinking of selection," he said when asked a question that alluded to his exclusion from the one-day scheme of things. "I'm just trying to play every single game."

There could well be a few more if this latest uptempo back-to-the-wall effort produces a result.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • timus6778 on November 17, 2009, 12:59 GMT

    I feel that the INDIAN MEDIA is completely biased towards Sachin Tendulkar.you just can't take credit from Dravid who has been by far the most reliable batsman,India has had(talk test Cricket).The 177 he scored was a true testimony to the fact that and probably a slap on the selectors face that he can't score at a brisk rate.Tendulkar at 20 had its share of attention,it deserved to be.but Dravid's 11000 perhaps should have got the same recognition.But that lack of enthusiasm shown by the media does not deter Dravid from scoring freely.The emergence of India as a potential threat in Test Cricket under the able leadership of Sourav GAnguly has been largely possible due to Dravid(just check his averages in the match which india won under sourav). kudos dravid.

  • MAK123 on November 17, 2009, 6:16 GMT

    It's so amazing when one looks at the number centuries Dravid has scored and suddenly realizes that he is not too far behind Sachin! While Sachin has been fittingly glorified, Dravid unfortunately, has escaped the kind attention of writers and critics. I thought he has not got his share of applause which is quite evident from the way the selectors have treated him thus far - I call it unfair treatment. Unfortunately, the class of all greats like Dravid is being determined by an extremely ugly format called T-20. It is really sad that T-20 (the format is already getting to a point of being monotonous) is being set as a benchmark for greats like Sachin and Dravid. His innings of 177 yesterday cannot be exchanged for a 100 innings played by Loots Bosman the other day, against England.

  • sandy_km on November 17, 2009, 6:15 GMT

    Well done Dravid.You let your bat do the talking.It was an Outstanding innings technically correct and was a world class effort. Only sad part is you missed your double hundred which you deserved. All the best.

  • dandesilva on November 17, 2009, 5:56 GMT

    It was an amazing Innings by Dravid. Never seen him playing with such a strike rate with so much confidence. Being a Sri Lankan I enjoyed it as much as I enjoy watching Mahela Or Sanga playing a big one..! Superb Performance..! Hats down!!

  • replyramdas on November 17, 2009, 5:55 GMT

    Everyone's keep saying Ponting is after Sachin for highest run getter in Tests...watch out for "The Wall"....I hope he overtakes Ponting in this race....

  • sandman2203 on November 17, 2009, 4:45 GMT

    the only set back thing for him is to be playing in the sachin era... an ever overshadowing performer... he makes sachin look like a lot more smaller on winning grounds...

  • Sush08 on November 17, 2009, 4:24 GMT

    Well done Rahul,U have again shut up the mouths of ur critics by ur hardwork,sincerity,selfless attitude n true sportsmanship......I didn't know wat's the wrong is wid selector's and captain....no doubt Dravid is one of the best test cricketer in the world but his critics didn't know how much he had given 2 ODI's as well....the most ridiculous decision 2 drop him 4m australian tour 2 India....to me if he had been there the results wud hav been different atleast in the matches where virat kohli played.......I will b heartiest thankful 4 this greatsportsman 4 this delightful innings....n best of luck 4 ur another feat...

  • vasu16 on November 17, 2009, 4:02 GMT

    Dravid's innings was a display of great class and courage. Considering the fact that India were 32-4 at one stage Dravid showed great character to put India in a commanding position....Its a matter of shame that a batsman of his caliber is dropped from the one day side, hope this innings has caught the selectors eye.

  • mohammis on November 17, 2009, 3:42 GMT

    Dravid,

    He is not wall, He is GREAT WALL OF INDIA.

  • venkatm on November 17, 2009, 3:40 GMT

    Outstanding innings from a brillint player player, thorough gentleman and a great ambassador for the game and country. Always was and will remain world class. However, he is not fit for the limited over format of the game. The selectors made the right decision by dropping him from that format. No doubt about that.

  • timus6778 on November 17, 2009, 12:59 GMT

    I feel that the INDIAN MEDIA is completely biased towards Sachin Tendulkar.you just can't take credit from Dravid who has been by far the most reliable batsman,India has had(talk test Cricket).The 177 he scored was a true testimony to the fact that and probably a slap on the selectors face that he can't score at a brisk rate.Tendulkar at 20 had its share of attention,it deserved to be.but Dravid's 11000 perhaps should have got the same recognition.But that lack of enthusiasm shown by the media does not deter Dravid from scoring freely.The emergence of India as a potential threat in Test Cricket under the able leadership of Sourav GAnguly has been largely possible due to Dravid(just check his averages in the match which india won under sourav). kudos dravid.

  • MAK123 on November 17, 2009, 6:16 GMT

    It's so amazing when one looks at the number centuries Dravid has scored and suddenly realizes that he is not too far behind Sachin! While Sachin has been fittingly glorified, Dravid unfortunately, has escaped the kind attention of writers and critics. I thought he has not got his share of applause which is quite evident from the way the selectors have treated him thus far - I call it unfair treatment. Unfortunately, the class of all greats like Dravid is being determined by an extremely ugly format called T-20. It is really sad that T-20 (the format is already getting to a point of being monotonous) is being set as a benchmark for greats like Sachin and Dravid. His innings of 177 yesterday cannot be exchanged for a 100 innings played by Loots Bosman the other day, against England.

  • sandy_km on November 17, 2009, 6:15 GMT

    Well done Dravid.You let your bat do the talking.It was an Outstanding innings technically correct and was a world class effort. Only sad part is you missed your double hundred which you deserved. All the best.

  • dandesilva on November 17, 2009, 5:56 GMT

    It was an amazing Innings by Dravid. Never seen him playing with such a strike rate with so much confidence. Being a Sri Lankan I enjoyed it as much as I enjoy watching Mahela Or Sanga playing a big one..! Superb Performance..! Hats down!!

  • replyramdas on November 17, 2009, 5:55 GMT

    Everyone's keep saying Ponting is after Sachin for highest run getter in Tests...watch out for "The Wall"....I hope he overtakes Ponting in this race....

  • sandman2203 on November 17, 2009, 4:45 GMT

    the only set back thing for him is to be playing in the sachin era... an ever overshadowing performer... he makes sachin look like a lot more smaller on winning grounds...

  • Sush08 on November 17, 2009, 4:24 GMT

    Well done Rahul,U have again shut up the mouths of ur critics by ur hardwork,sincerity,selfless attitude n true sportsmanship......I didn't know wat's the wrong is wid selector's and captain....no doubt Dravid is one of the best test cricketer in the world but his critics didn't know how much he had given 2 ODI's as well....the most ridiculous decision 2 drop him 4m australian tour 2 India....to me if he had been there the results wud hav been different atleast in the matches where virat kohli played.......I will b heartiest thankful 4 this greatsportsman 4 this delightful innings....n best of luck 4 ur another feat...

  • vasu16 on November 17, 2009, 4:02 GMT

    Dravid's innings was a display of great class and courage. Considering the fact that India were 32-4 at one stage Dravid showed great character to put India in a commanding position....Its a matter of shame that a batsman of his caliber is dropped from the one day side, hope this innings has caught the selectors eye.

  • mohammis on November 17, 2009, 3:42 GMT

    Dravid,

    He is not wall, He is GREAT WALL OF INDIA.

  • venkatm on November 17, 2009, 3:40 GMT

    Outstanding innings from a brillint player player, thorough gentleman and a great ambassador for the game and country. Always was and will remain world class. However, he is not fit for the limited over format of the game. The selectors made the right decision by dropping him from that format. No doubt about that.

  • Narad_Paudel on November 17, 2009, 3:25 GMT

    This was the different kind of Rahul Dravid.I have showed the beauty of test cricket today.good luck to rahul.

  • nawabofcricket on November 17, 2009, 3:16 GMT

    One word for Rahul Dravid - CLASS. on the field and off the field. WOW

  • nawabofcricket on November 17, 2009, 3:13 GMT

    Sachin has all the glory records but I have always seen Dravid as the Match Saver and technically picture book, Hats off to you Rahul and a wake up call to BCCI selection(non) committee. It was a treat to watch Dravid yesterday.

  • rahulakshay on November 17, 2009, 2:47 GMT

    whoah!!what a knock.A heady mix of sublime touch,great style,fineese,grace and above all the unquestionable commitment...Rahul Dravid is definitely one of the greatest batsmen in the world and a true batting legend along the likes of sachin,lara and others in the elite club...Hang on for some more years Rahul, and keep enthralling us.....

  • krik8crazy on November 17, 2009, 2:43 GMT

    Rahul Dravid is a legend and a gentleman to the core. His love for the game keeps him going in spite of selectorial gimmicks and harsh comments by ignorant schmucks in the media. Enjoy his batting while you can - there's not going to be any more like him.

  • Balaji.Krishnan on November 17, 2009, 2:14 GMT

    What a cricketer, Rahul Dravid, all honest cricket watchers and analysts bow their head to this supreme, hard-working, classy cricketer. I had the opportunity to watch this innings. His cuts, drives both on the on and off were absolute class. I thought it was a methodical non-dravid like innings, giving importance to scoring runs and keeping the score board moving. The innings showed lot of character,determination and concentration that is needed to be successful at the highest cricketing arena. I think rahul dravid should become India's coach after he hangs his boots for few reasons that i am listing below a. He can inculcate the sense of discipline and character b. He commands the highest respect from all cricket playing states and countries c. His mental toughness is the best amongst the best and should be imparted to all youngsters who wants to play at that level d. He might not have been a great captain, but he is the main architect in building our team in the past

  • JoseBautista on November 17, 2009, 1:51 GMT

    If he gets 200, it will be his 6th double-century.Classic knock. I hope he gets a new personal best. One of the best players in the whole world.

  • Indunil76Shantha on November 17, 2009, 1:29 GMT

    Well,, Someone is asking if Murali still fit to play,,,?,, Is he having any cricket left in him?,, this was due to lack of performance by sri lankan spinners. Wickets didn't come, so those fast bowlers are woder kids just drop from sky and they dont know much to to when they been hit for few boundries. Sanga made a brave call to drop Mendis. "coz he didn't deliver either. But herath have to step up and show the world that wickets he had taken against pakistan was not gifted by them due to pakistan team internal problems. if not i hardly see Herath get a chance in the next game. But hat off to Dravid. Pure criketer. the gentleman. Always enjoy your cricket though it hurts when u score against sri lanka. Keep going. But sri lankan have to come back strongly atleast to get a draw.

  • Sniper on November 17, 2009, 1:14 GMT

    Rahul Dravid has once again proved how myopic our selectors are.Besides including passengers in the Team they left out this great batsman from ODIs,the result of which is there for all to see.We need a real good set of selectors in our country so that real talent is not ignored.The BCCI needs to become more professional (rather than political) and Team India can then come to the TOP.Rahul Dravid has proved that he is a great asset and let's hope the selectors got the message.

  • devil_vvk on November 17, 2009, 1:08 GMT

    Class always shows. Hindsight may be 20-20, but the selectors should see how Dravid's solidity was missed in the One Day Series with Australia. He may not have done a 177 in any game, but maybe Sachin would have had the support he needed to push India over the line in THAT match. Also, India's best bowler from the One Day Series is not playing the Tests...instead, we have that muppet Sreesanth back in the side. C'mon!!!

  • Sidhanta-Patnaik on November 17, 2009, 0:50 GMT

    No words. He is RAHUL DRAVID

  • jackiethepen on November 17, 2009, 0:49 GMT

    Beautiful innings to watch. And it wasn't easy at the beginning when the other batsmen fell. He is an absolute example to other players. To read the pitch, to play each ball on its merits, and to build a fluent innings which was old fashioned cricket but did the job better than his hard hitting teammates. It was a joy to watch after Twenty-20 cricket. It made me realise how wonderful Test cricket is, how much more satisfying in every way.

  • Innovative_Indian on November 17, 2009, 0:43 GMT

    Dravid is one of d best crisis batsmen for India since long time. Sehs, Tends, Yuvis play when it is great batting pitch or we are NOT under pressure. Like Australians he plays when put under pressure and gets team out of stupid situation. And today was perfect example of it. He will always regret his dismissal in WI few years back where we lost soon enough.

    Honestly, I don't believe Dravid will care about his exclusion from ODI team. If selectors have sat with him and explained the reason, it should be obvious. If you do careful analysis, it is quiet impossible to fit him in current squad. S & S will open. We can't drop Gambhir who is 1 down. Then we have Yuvi and Dhoni to follow. We have Raina at 4 down. Where will you put Dravid unless one of the top 4 are injured. He cannot be sent at 5 down as that will be wasting his talent to see team thru 50 overs. So it is better then to carry drinks, even though you might question few position:).

  • cric-fanatic on November 16, 2009, 23:32 GMT

    "The Wall" is back! How many times has our team been in this situation and how many times has this Man got it out meticulously? Hats off!!! Shame on people who dropped him from any the team for any form of the game. Just look back into the most recent Ind-Aus series...How many times did India need a man who can stand and score some runs? These selector are happy if batsmen are scoring 20s and 30s at a strike rate of 100 or 150 and get the team to a score of 210/10 or 230/10 in 44 or 45 overs......But, they aren't happy with a batsman like Rahul who can score 80 or 90 of 120 or 130 deliveries and take the score to 260 or 270 (in full 50 over quota)..... Pity on the selectors.......Happy for Rahul (to be out of this selection mess)......I am happy because the selectors would take him in....and after his typical "Wall" innings, drop him again.....for the same reasons.....Go on Rahul, you are a true fighter...Keep up the good work...take your score to a minimum of 200. Good luck..

  • devagupta on November 16, 2009, 23:30 GMT

    great innings ..hope he reaches atleast 250.........

  • cric_freak88 on November 16, 2009, 23:17 GMT

    my favourite batsman (was , is and alwayz will be)

  • aashishsharma on November 16, 2009, 23:12 GMT

    Rahul - My heartiest congratulations for this stellar performance. Once again, you have not only stood, but destroyed the test that has been put in front of you. Your career has had your every shot, every triumph and every dismay witnessed by myself and I will go to my grave knowing that Rahul Dravid was more than just 'The Wall.'

  • jessek92 on November 16, 2009, 22:11 GMT

    Dravid is a legend..... But even I feel that he is not really a one day player..... Excellent innings though.... He fought hard and delivered..... Congratulations to Dhoni as well for his 2nd test match century, what a knock!!!

  • H4SS4N on November 16, 2009, 21:57 GMT

    well this is the only reason i rate dravid much higher than tendulkar. how many times tendulkar's century has saved india....... and u will see dravid's century would definately make a difference in this match..... he is a true class no disrespect to sachin but dravid a greater player than for me....

  • cricket05 on November 16, 2009, 21:38 GMT

    This knock from Dravid SHOULD automatically put him in contention for an ODI spot. We should start building the 2011 WC team right now, and with inconsistent unreliable performers like Viru in the team, Dravid's presence would be a huge boost to our top/middle order in ODIs.Viru has been VERY inconsistent with his performances and Gambhir is currently going through a lean patch. Dravid's presence would lend some stability to a top order that has not had a decent start in a number of months now, and a middle order that has not performed to its potential. Finishers and stable performers like Dhoni need a platform to pace their innings, and Dravid's presence in the side would provide them with that exactly. It may even cause Viru to wake up and take his game more seriously. MSD - if you are reading this please consider Dravid in place of an 'all rounder' in ODIs. Yuvi/Sehwag/Raina can fill in as bowlers as the situation demands ! The all-rounders have been of little or no use in ODIs.

  • s0ldier on November 16, 2009, 20:51 GMT

    Yet another sublime knock from India's ever reliable crisis man - no matter how many times he does this, there are stil people out there questioning his capabilities. Hats off Rahul!!

  • abranil on November 16, 2009, 20:50 GMT

    It is a disgrace that the selectors prefer players like Raina, Kohli etc to this great Indian cricketer especially when none of them come even close to Dravid. Barring Tendulkar no one has the right to even comment on his style or question his technique because before indulging in that they should remind themselves about how they had performed when they played for India ie if at all they played. Dravid, you just keep going as you always have done. There are millions of people who support you and dont worry about these small people. Thank you for being yourself and playing cricket the way you play. Anil Abraham

  • Raj2000 on November 16, 2009, 20:40 GMT

    Indian selectors must be kicking themselves for leaving Dravid out of the series with Australia.

    As for Dravid, he's proven time and again he belongs up there with the best of the best. Even when he was going through lean patches he maintained a 50+ average. Makes one wonder what his average would've been without those lean patches. His achievements are as solid as a 'wall'. Sure, one or more future crickets may surpass his achievements but that doesn't make his achievements any less. He played best against the best team - Australia - time and again. Way to go, Rahul Dravid. Congratulations!!

  • mcvsekhar on November 16, 2009, 20:15 GMT

    Thats the problem with us guys-putting him in to Test and ODI, doubles the pressure to perform.Sachin's failure in one form of cricket at a particular moment almost forced him to oblivion.I believe, we can proudly tell our grandchildren one day that we were witness to one of the greatest knocks from a class batsman.And sure,we wouldnt have to use any adroitness of words.

  • BigDataIsAHoax on November 16, 2009, 20:09 GMT

    Yes, can we expect Mr. Gavaskar, bhogle and shashtri to speak a few words of praise for the Pillar of Indian batting over the last 12 years???!! C'mon u three!! I am bored to death at the recent flood of articles on how gr8 Sachin is and blah blah. Give us a break!! Rahul is the man with the biggest heart and has won India more matches than Sachin has while playing cricket for half as much time as the Little Master. Yet, he has hardly been noticed by the population. But, being the most self-less cricketer India has ever produced, the materialistic name and fame and tv reviews and bullshit would never really have mattered to Mr. Perfect of Indian cricket. Rahul is the greatest technical batsman from India post Sunny, and that is a fact! Lucky to have the Great WALL of India!!

  • AdityaGRoy on November 16, 2009, 19:52 GMT

    The most technically sound batsman in the country has proved his mettle once again. We all know how BIG a player he is. But pulling out the team from that stage is something very remarkable. All kudos to MR. Wall.... The fluency in his batting, his technicality, his temperament was something to learn from. I guess this is one of the top test innings by an Indian batsman in recent past and i wish there are more test matches than the ODI's and T20 so that we can see the real cricket.. :) :)

  • raghukchin on November 16, 2009, 19:50 GMT

    Wow!! It was an unbelievable innings from Rahul who came in when we were in a deep spot of bother! Congrats to him on reaching 11000 runs in tests and for the marvelous 150! I hope he carries on from where he left off and makes a double hundred. It was uncharacteristic of Dravid to score at a strike rate of 70. His wonderful form in this series can be mainly attributed to the domestic matches he has been playing for Karnataka and everyone who has had a bad form should go back to domestic arena which gives them confidence to play at the international level.

  • navdeep79 on November 16, 2009, 19:47 GMT

    Pure class Dravid is my favorite batsmen I rate him in top 3 of greatest indian batsmen ever.I do not understand why Dravid does not get the appreciation he deserves even media is not that kind of him. Media says sachin is god but i believe dravid has won more matches for india in both forms of cricket than any other batsmen still he does not get the credit he deserves.What sets dravid apart is to perform well in unfavorable conditions and under pressure.I wish him all the best

  • ravichakra on November 16, 2009, 19:47 GMT

    Vengsarkar's knowledge of cricket was put to test today. His big inflated ego took a massive beating for dropping Dravid from the ODI team. We Indians have the knack of questioning proven performers time and again and few others are made heroes despite non-performances. Check Sachin, Dhoni and Yuvraj's stats during their lean periods.

  • ravichakra on November 16, 2009, 19:42 GMT

    I agree with Sri Iyer. Even if Sachin farts it will make headlines, but Dravid's match saving innings time and again will only get a mention. When will this country recognise its true heroes? The moment the ball starts to move around, these great batsmen start shitting bricks. They have proved that they can perform only against mediocre bowling and flat batting beauties. When will people question Sachin's failures than putting a veil on it time and again. His 8 innings in SL last year yeilded 116 runs. He escaped because the others failed as well. He was a failure in the recent Ind v/s Aus ODI series as well with strike rates worse than Dravid's Test strike rate, yet he remains unquestioned. Today again a failure when the ball started moving around. Taken apart by rookies. What use are all the runs which do not help the country achieve victories.

  • MiddleStump on November 16, 2009, 19:39 GMT

    A very good and timely knock that has changed the complexion of the game. Well done Rahul. However, let us not get carried away too easily. The fact remains that he needs to get runs against Australia and South Africa. During the past 3 series since 2008 against those two countries, in 11 tests, his average is a dismal 26. Hope he can redeem himself against South Africa soon where it really counts.

  • Night-Watchman on November 16, 2009, 19:33 GMT

    Kapil remarked last week that Sachin never played freely and dominated the bowling like he is capable off at any point in his career being a team man. Likewise, the burden of stabilising a test innings has so often fallen on Rahul's shoulders that he has rarely been able to bat with freedom that his talent can so richly deliver. Today was an eye-opener of how he can play when he sets his mind to it. He counter-attacked a rampaging Srilankan Lion was deliberate and with such ferocity that they were taken totally by surprise. At many points in his innings, I calculated his strike rate and it was rarely off the 4 runs an overmark by more than one or two runs. At the end of the day, 177 runs off 255 deliveries he had overtaken it, Rahul had finally broken his shackles. It is an eloquent reparte to Vengsarkar who dismissed him as "the Rahul's" in the enthusiasm of praising Sachin. In sifting the sands of time, one should not forget a crusty hardworn diamond while praising a rare pearl.

  • multipack on November 16, 2009, 19:27 GMT

    In an era when Tendulkar and Ponting get all the acclaim I was shocked to learn just how good Dravid's figures actually are. 135 matches, 11000 runs and an average of 53 mean he deserves to be spoken of in the same breath as Sachin and Ricky. Just think, if his last couple of seasons hadn't been so tough his figures would put him well above his two exalted contemporaries!

  • KesavaSarva on November 16, 2009, 19:21 GMT

    Without an iota of doubt, Dravid's been one of the most influential players of the indian cricket team in both tests and also the ODI's. Its hard to imagine any major partnerships being made in tests without him at the other side. He truly deserves a lot more credit than what he is getting now. Todays innings showed what he is still capable of doing and no wonder he does it in style....

  • gmsbhat on November 16, 2009, 19:16 GMT

    Coming in at 4 for 30 odd and turning out such an effort shows the class of the player! They won't make like him anymore. While it is a joy to see a Tendulkar in full flow, it is a spectacle to see a Dravid in form. Dravid and VVS have the sort of grace or maybe it shows like this because of their height (as compared to darling Tendulkar) that we feel we are watching some sort of poetry in motion. Plus, you feel safe when the innings is being held up by someone like Dravid. With Sehwag, you don't know when it will end. With a Dravid, you know it can end, particularly when he is in full flow like today, only when it is a very very good ball!! May his bat produce more such gems! Srini

  • mitra_tt on November 16, 2009, 18:54 GMT

    Dravid have shown why he is undoubtedly India's best Test Batsman. Tendulkar maybe there for 20 years but but dravid have shown AGAIN why he have produced multiple MAtch winning Innings. Even though this is the first day of the match. Sachin should learn how to play an innings of this caliber I hope he continues to to show his class and get a double century at least. BAT ON Dravid

  • viveksood on November 16, 2009, 18:53 GMT

    TEAM MAN TO THE CORE: That is one of the best ways to describe this incredible player. Sadly he has never really got his due, depsite being single handedly responsible for giving team India its most memorable wins, both at home and away. Not to mention the innumerable times he has taken India out of the woods and not only in Test but also in one day international but unfortunately the selectors and the so called team management do not want him in the shorter version of the game. Who knows what the outcome of the recently concluded one day series against Australia would have been if Rahul had been a part of the playing eleven in Hyderabad and Mohali. Petty team politics and selfish interests of certain individuals have deprived Dravid of a rightful and deserving place in one day international and sadly the loser is none other than Team India. Hopefully better sense will prevail

  • BeeArr on November 16, 2009, 18:49 GMT

    Mr. Boycott last week said that Dravid cannot be of the class of ponting and Kallis. What a stupid comparison? I suspect if Ponting or Kallis would have played such a technically sound game against spinners with wickets down. Which is why people like me put Dravid above all others in the Modern game(after the retirement of Lara).

    LARA>DRAVID>rest...... Dravid, you make me feel proud that I am watching cricket in the times you play.... You are an epitome of technique and real batting......

  • rt11 on November 16, 2009, 18:34 GMT

    It was one of the best knock from Dravid..... Not that he has not played better but this is one of the best for sure........ Welcome back Mr Wall I hope he goes to make 300... Hearty Congrats for crossing 11000......... Keep the good work going

  • SagirParkar on November 16, 2009, 18:29 GMT

    i agree with Sri Iyer and like him, i have been a big fan of Dravid ever since he stroked that classy and gutsy 95 at Lords on debut. it is even more remarkable for Dravid is a really hard worker as opposed to the 'gifted' and talented batsmen that have been mentioned above. somehow i feel that the moniker of The Wall is slightly ill fitting as he is more of a cornerstone than the actual wall. if it werent for Dravid, the indian batting wouldnt be where it is. even if he scores at a very dour pace, he holds the innings in place and gives the chance for the stroke makers to get on with their game. today was different, he was more positive and in the flow, the lack of which has often been his undoing when he goes into shell. i hope to God that he continues to be in a positive frame of mind. they always call Dravid the bridesmaid but today was his wedding. he was the groom, the bride and the conductor of the service all rolled in one !

  • bakkibaadshah on November 16, 2009, 18:05 GMT

    I was highly touched the way he pumped in the air after reaching his century. Its real sad that people like Vengsarkar and their comments have over-shadowed his abilities and his achievements! None of our mistakes though. Players like Dravid, who have achieved so, so much for Indian team, need to prove themselves by playing such innings, and then, we say, Oh! he still has some years of cricket left in him. What a shame! Its high time that these players get credibility for what they have been to Indian cricket and not mere criticism of under performing in 2 or 3 odd innings!

  • LevenLeven on November 16, 2009, 18:03 GMT

    Another flawless innings when team needs it badly; what best could you do if you are taken off from a team and say 'we don't want you', than to make a triple figure runs and win a TEST match. Only those wise men selecting the team should know!

  • cricketchandra on November 16, 2009, 17:53 GMT

    Congratulations to Dravid for his 11000 runs achievement and many thanks to him for bringing his 177 on a difficult conditions. Dravid deserves a much better treatment from Media and people than what he got, as he stood for the country and team always and showed character in every single game he played. He is the true unsung hero of modern cricket who does things to perfection and let his bat speak up. Selectors must be nuts to drop him from one day internationals when he is the only other indian to complete 10000 runs in both forms of cricket. Rahul, you are great and deserve tons of applauds at this moment. You just did again what you alone can do so many times, being the pillar of the team. Bravo!

  • RahulSalian on November 16, 2009, 17:52 GMT

    This Dravid aggressive innings was to the selctors who had dropped him from ODI's against Australia.

  • bibhutiking on November 16, 2009, 17:48 GMT

    where are all the harshas, shastris and sunnys today. when will DRAVID'S efforts get as appreciation as sachin gets. I cant remember sachin playing many such innings i.e. cming at 10 for 2 or being there at 32 for four and carry the team to such cmmanding position.

  • king1985 on November 16, 2009, 17:40 GMT

    Just goes on to show what kind of a player Dravid really is. He is the man India looks at when in trouble and most often then not, he delivers. Hard working, orthodox, persistent, stylish, and determined could be some of the qualities this brilliant batsman has. Subcontinent has produced a number of Great batsmen, and Dravid is certainly one of that elite group. Hope to see him reach a double or a triple.....

  • kiddos on November 16, 2009, 17:37 GMT

    Oh boy! Class all the way. 4 for 32, and at a stage like that, recovery is only a miracle. These sort of things happen so often in Cricket. Agreed T20 has it's own dimension but today's play was brilliant from both the teams. Though questions are being raised subjected to Dravid's exclusion from the LOI team, it looks like he's the last person who seems to care about. May be that's the way every great batsman talks...with the "bat". Consistency at this level at this rate is absolute brilliance. Where few people had to wait years to cement their place in the Test Squad, the likes of Sachin, Saurav, Dravid and Laxman show why they were the fantastic four. The pure joy in watching Test Cricket played gives me such an amazing feeling and that was truly personified by Dravid's innings. He plays his shots straight out of the text book, but his class is his own stlye. Way to go Jammy! <Standing Ovation>!!

  • rahulbhagchandani on November 16, 2009, 17:33 GMT

    Wonderful innings played by the legend. Though, one Indian legend in SRT didn't played what was expected off him, another legend fulfilled the expectations giving a full run for the money of the spectators like me. It was a great feeling to encounter such a gem of an innings live! The best part- Rahul's strike rate. He played at 70.51 which is his usual strike rate in one-dayers and it is almost double than what he has been playing with in tests. This has proved that he can still be a wonderful one-day player saving the ship anytime of the day. The way he hit his first and the only six and the way he acknowledged the crowd lifting his bat after the century clearly implied that he wanted to prove something to everyone. 26 Fours and 1 Six was alike a Sehwag innings! Well well well, all that' apart, the senor was looking absolutely stunning today and played wonderfully. For me it was like a Tryst with the best technified batsman in cricket!

  • gung-ho on November 16, 2009, 17:29 GMT

    what a classy player and a gentleman... its always a pleasure to watch Dravid bat. as a true cricket enthusiast, I know that players like Dhoni and Yuvraj will come and go - but you get to see gems like Tendulkar, Dravid, Ponting and Lara every quarter century or so.

  • Sri_Iyer on November 16, 2009, 17:26 GMT

    There was a comment made by someone during the live commentary of the day about how Tendulkar and Ponting get rave reviews when they reach milestones, but Dravid gets a raw deal in the media for achieving the same milestones. This has been a common thread through his career, and perhaps a significant reason why I rate Dravid a lot higher as a cricketer than his peers. His innings today certainly was one of the best I have seen of Dravid, and he proved to the cricketing world yet again that you write him off to your peril. This innings couldn't have come at a more timely stage in his career. As a long term follower of his career, it saddened me to see Ponting leapfrog ahead of Dravid in career stats over the last couple of years, when before then, there was a remarkable coincidence of their individual careers in terms of matches played, runs and centuries scored, averages etc. Dravid has gone a long way of redressing this imbalance to a great degree today.

  • rvgandhi on November 16, 2009, 17:18 GMT

    With this innings.. it will be interesting to see whether the selectors have the GUTS to drop Dravid for the One Day Matches

  • Nipun on November 16, 2009, 17:15 GMT

    It's a real shame that the selectors don't rate his poetic strokeplay.Today he was as smooth as silk.

  • ROYALROLLERS on November 16, 2009, 17:06 GMT

    welcome back to form Rahul Dravid... the way he played today showed that he had exorcised the ghosts of the past 2 years.. this is the Dravid who won us games in Adelaide, Rawalpindi and Kolkata.. the fact that he put some of the other batsmen like Gambhir, Sehwag, Laxman and Tendulkar in the line up to shade with his preservance epitomises his true greatness.. i strongly feel that, this is a befitting slap in the face for Kris and co, dropping him for no reason and treating a legend like him shabbily.. what they dont realise, is that Dravid could end up as the best no 3 the world has ever seen, in all forms of the game... and that he crossed the milestone of 11000 test runs and joined an elite club is a further indication that Dravid still has a lot to offer to Team India..

  • Prash83 on November 16, 2009, 16:35 GMT

    Its one of the great modern test Innings..He was agressive..flawless and singlehandedly changed the flow of game..I hope Dravid you play for nxt many years, so we can watch these marvels on and on

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  • Prash83 on November 16, 2009, 16:35 GMT

    Its one of the great modern test Innings..He was agressive..flawless and singlehandedly changed the flow of game..I hope Dravid you play for nxt many years, so we can watch these marvels on and on

  • ROYALROLLERS on November 16, 2009, 17:06 GMT

    welcome back to form Rahul Dravid... the way he played today showed that he had exorcised the ghosts of the past 2 years.. this is the Dravid who won us games in Adelaide, Rawalpindi and Kolkata.. the fact that he put some of the other batsmen like Gambhir, Sehwag, Laxman and Tendulkar in the line up to shade with his preservance epitomises his true greatness.. i strongly feel that, this is a befitting slap in the face for Kris and co, dropping him for no reason and treating a legend like him shabbily.. what they dont realise, is that Dravid could end up as the best no 3 the world has ever seen, in all forms of the game... and that he crossed the milestone of 11000 test runs and joined an elite club is a further indication that Dravid still has a lot to offer to Team India..

  • Nipun on November 16, 2009, 17:15 GMT

    It's a real shame that the selectors don't rate his poetic strokeplay.Today he was as smooth as silk.

  • rvgandhi on November 16, 2009, 17:18 GMT

    With this innings.. it will be interesting to see whether the selectors have the GUTS to drop Dravid for the One Day Matches

  • Sri_Iyer on November 16, 2009, 17:26 GMT

    There was a comment made by someone during the live commentary of the day about how Tendulkar and Ponting get rave reviews when they reach milestones, but Dravid gets a raw deal in the media for achieving the same milestones. This has been a common thread through his career, and perhaps a significant reason why I rate Dravid a lot higher as a cricketer than his peers. His innings today certainly was one of the best I have seen of Dravid, and he proved to the cricketing world yet again that you write him off to your peril. This innings couldn't have come at a more timely stage in his career. As a long term follower of his career, it saddened me to see Ponting leapfrog ahead of Dravid in career stats over the last couple of years, when before then, there was a remarkable coincidence of their individual careers in terms of matches played, runs and centuries scored, averages etc. Dravid has gone a long way of redressing this imbalance to a great degree today.

  • gung-ho on November 16, 2009, 17:29 GMT

    what a classy player and a gentleman... its always a pleasure to watch Dravid bat. as a true cricket enthusiast, I know that players like Dhoni and Yuvraj will come and go - but you get to see gems like Tendulkar, Dravid, Ponting and Lara every quarter century or so.

  • rahulbhagchandani on November 16, 2009, 17:33 GMT

    Wonderful innings played by the legend. Though, one Indian legend in SRT didn't played what was expected off him, another legend fulfilled the expectations giving a full run for the money of the spectators like me. It was a great feeling to encounter such a gem of an innings live! The best part- Rahul's strike rate. He played at 70.51 which is his usual strike rate in one-dayers and it is almost double than what he has been playing with in tests. This has proved that he can still be a wonderful one-day player saving the ship anytime of the day. The way he hit his first and the only six and the way he acknowledged the crowd lifting his bat after the century clearly implied that he wanted to prove something to everyone. 26 Fours and 1 Six was alike a Sehwag innings! Well well well, all that' apart, the senor was looking absolutely stunning today and played wonderfully. For me it was like a Tryst with the best technified batsman in cricket!

  • kiddos on November 16, 2009, 17:37 GMT

    Oh boy! Class all the way. 4 for 32, and at a stage like that, recovery is only a miracle. These sort of things happen so often in Cricket. Agreed T20 has it's own dimension but today's play was brilliant from both the teams. Though questions are being raised subjected to Dravid's exclusion from the LOI team, it looks like he's the last person who seems to care about. May be that's the way every great batsman talks...with the "bat". Consistency at this level at this rate is absolute brilliance. Where few people had to wait years to cement their place in the Test Squad, the likes of Sachin, Saurav, Dravid and Laxman show why they were the fantastic four. The pure joy in watching Test Cricket played gives me such an amazing feeling and that was truly personified by Dravid's innings. He plays his shots straight out of the text book, but his class is his own stlye. Way to go Jammy! <Standing Ovation>!!

  • king1985 on November 16, 2009, 17:40 GMT

    Just goes on to show what kind of a player Dravid really is. He is the man India looks at when in trouble and most often then not, he delivers. Hard working, orthodox, persistent, stylish, and determined could be some of the qualities this brilliant batsman has. Subcontinent has produced a number of Great batsmen, and Dravid is certainly one of that elite group. Hope to see him reach a double or a triple.....

  • bibhutiking on November 16, 2009, 17:48 GMT

    where are all the harshas, shastris and sunnys today. when will DRAVID'S efforts get as appreciation as sachin gets. I cant remember sachin playing many such innings i.e. cming at 10 for 2 or being there at 32 for four and carry the team to such cmmanding position.