November 5, 2008

Dravid runs dry

He was once the architect of some of India's finest wins; now he's in the middle of a lean patch that has lasted alarmingly long
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In his last 41 innings Dravid has made just seven fifties and two hundreds; in the 154 innings before that he made 69 scores of over 50 © AFP

Those who watched it reckoned they were in the presence of a master. One man harked back to a calypso written about Sunil Gavaskar more than three decades earlier. On a pitch where no other batsman really looked at ease, Rahul Dravid batted ten hours for innings of 81 and 68. Sabina Park had seen some great innings from legends like George Headley and Lawrence Rowe, but Dravid's twin salvo, which decided a Test match and series, was right up there with anything played by greats of the past.

At the end of that game Dravid's average stood at an imposing 58.75 after 104 Tests. He wasn't merely accepted as one of India's batting trinity - Tendulkar and Gavaskar being the others - but recognised the world over as an all-time great. The runs had come on slow subcontinent pitches, bouncier ones in Australia, seaming tracks in England and challenging surfaces like those in South Africa.

A few months later India went to the highveld. Though he played a crucial little cameo at the Wanderers, Dravid finished with 125 runs for the series. A temporary blip, you thought. There was a century in Bangladesh, but the fallow run continued in England. He got a start on an Oval flatbed, but uncharacteristically threw it away after getting to 50. When that failure was followed by a moderate series against a poor Pakistan side, the whispers started to gather some momentum.

When he abdicated from the captaincy after the England tour, there was obviously more focus on his batting. And apart from a sterling innings of 93 that was instrumental in the Indian victory at the WACA last January, the scrutinising eyes found plenty of faults. He had never been the sort of player to get the scoreboard racing, but the first few innings in Australia were tortuous affairs, when even middling the ball off the square appeared an ordeal.

Perth wasn't to herald a renaissance. There was a century against South Africa in Chennai, but the pitch was so placid that even a Ranji Trophy journeyman might have fancied his chances on it. The rest of the series was again a tribulation, with starts squandered and atypical dismissals. A few months later, in Sri Lanka, he was put through the wringer by the freakishly talented Ajantha Mendis. Only a last-innings 68 salvaged anything from the wreckage of an abysmal series.

The numbers tell you clearly enough what's been going wrong. In 41 completed innings over the past two years, Dravid has been dismissed 21 times before getting to 20. Eight of those dismissals have been bowled or leg-before. Some were terrific deliveries, but more often than not hesitant footwork was to blame. Most batsmen are vulnerable early in an innings, though in Dravid's case the crisis went deeper.

Even when he got starts, he couldn't carry on. In those 41 innings, there have been just seven fifties to go with the two hundreds. Contrast that with 69 scores of over 50 in 154 knocks prior to that, and you can see why the concerns are justified. "There's no secret to it," says Dravid himself. "I have to go out and score big runs again. There's no getting away from that."

 
 
Perth wasn't to herald a renaissance. There was a century against South Africa in Chennai, but the pitch was so placid that even a Ranji Trophy journeyman might have fancied his chances on it
 

Some would say he's been given a long enough rope. In those last 24 Tests, a significant number, he averages just 32.04, far lower than what others in the middle order have managed. Once the man you'd bet your house on, he's now seen as the most likely to go the Lehman Brothers way. Headline-writers these days can make a decent living from variations on "The Wall is Crumbling."

The lapses in concentration are just as worrying as the mediocre numbers. In the current series he has been out playing on twice. In the second innings in Bangalore, he clipped a half-volley to Ricky Ponting at short midwicket, and the first-innings stint in Delhi was ended when he chased a fairly wide delivery from Mitchell Johnson.

On the surface he appears more relaxed than he did in Australia and Sri Lanka, but the mistakes continue to creep into what was once a hermetically sealed game. He says he no longer worries or obsesses about his batting as he once did, but with Indian cricket going through a season of change, it's natural that the spotlight shines ever brighter on his failings.

For more than a decade Dravid was India's best batsman after Tendulkar, but after two years of underwhelming performances, the wellspring of goodwill and patience is slowly running dry. With just 117 runs in the series, another failure will increase the calls for someone like Rohit Sharma to come into the squad.

For the moment, though, Dravid can ill afford to think of such matters. The dependable legend of 2006 is now a faltering veteran. If he needs any inspiration he can just look across at the opposition dressing room. Since a slump that left his place in jeopardy heading into The Oval Test of 2005, Matthew Hayden has scored ten centuries from 26 games. Last week in Delhi, a couple of days after his 37th birthday, he showed that he had no intention of fading away quietly.

Dravid, the architect of India's most memorable Test victories, must compose a similar autumn sonata. Otherwise the team that takes the field in Karachi in the new year will look vastly different from that which took Indian cricket to unprecedented heights in the new millennium. After 128 Tests and 12 seasons, it would be a real pity if it ended with glib lines about walls coming tumbling down.

Dileep Premachandran is an associate editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY henchart on | November 8, 2008, 15:07 GMT

    Dravid is a liability on the field.His reflexes have ,understandably,slowed down.He has started spilling catches regularly at that position.He ,like Kumble,is playing on entitlement and not form.Kumble has retired and wisely so.Dravid has got to make way for some one else may be badrinath,vijay or rohit sharma.How long will these guys hang around?But what can you expect from a Selection Committee headed by mediocre ex -cricketers.All gutless and enjoying post retirement benefits which they could not have dreamt in their playing days.

  • POSTED BY uppi2kcp on | November 7, 2008, 17:20 GMT

    I agree with tusharkardile , who are we to decide the retirement policies or who has to be in or out of the team.Apart from suresh raina and virat kohli, no other youngster looks good to fit the bill..rohit sharma is inconsistent, so are the pathan brothers.I would love to see the FAB Four for another 4 years.They do have the capabilities and the fitness.The current set of youngsters cant handle the test scenario...look at yuvraj singh, even after 7 years of international cricket,he still does not find a place in the test team.First, throw the BCCI management out as these are bunch of lazy politicians.The Fab Four were great, are great and will remain great.

  • POSTED BY dilip1983 on | November 6, 2008, 20:35 GMT

    Lets not forget that dravid has been the chief architect of all of india's famousvictories overseas (233 and 72* in sydney , 148 in headingley in seaming conditions, 2 half centuries against WI, 93 in recent win at perth, 270 against pakistan ) .. the list goes on. I think its fair to say he has been out of form a bit and knowing dravid, he will be bounce pack. Me being a hard core dravid fan, i find it hard to say this. But i think he should take a sabbatical and be back after a series(just like dhoni did)

  • POSTED BY Hari_Sam on | November 6, 2008, 14:19 GMT

    Dravid has been one of the finest batsmen in Indian and world cricket, but his performances over the last 2 years have been deplorably substandard. He has produced just 6 50s in the last 6 test series, that is averaging one 50 per series. We cannot count the "20s or 30s" and give the excuse "he has been getting starts", No, for a player of Dravid's caliber we have too see how many match impacting innings he has played and that is just one solitary 90 in Perth in the last 20 tests, he has averaged less than 28 over 25 tests, and has been occupying a crucial spot in the lineup purely courtesy Kumble the captain, from Melbourne till now, keeping out much more deserving and in form youngsters. High time he is dropped, should have been dropped after SL tour itself and that would have been ideal. He should immediately announce his retirement and at least leave with some dignity, on a cricket field rather than read about his axing in the papers.

  • POSTED BY gentlemans-game on | November 6, 2008, 13:52 GMT

    Thanks Dileep for this pre-emptive piece. I'd rather read a piece like this, written by a knowledgeable person than something refering childishly to a crumbling wall. Hadn't realised the possibility till you mentioned it. Absolutely spot on in pointing to Haydin for inspiration; and in doing so, pointing to CA and the Australian selectors for their patience and maturity. Champions and loyal warriors deserve that. Rahul more than anyone. The wall is far from crumbling. It's merely showing a few cracks. Probably needs some maintenance and a lick of paint. We owe that to Rahul.

  • POSTED BY isnithin on | November 6, 2008, 12:41 GMT

    Sachins Dravids gangulys Laxmans who have served India for more than a decade. Let me make clear that the media is creating the lot of pressure on the players. So it will be difficult for the players to regain their lost form under pressure. I read the article headline "Focus shifts to Dravid amidst fourth test" "Kumble tested in third test against Australia". This media wants to hype each and every small thing and put pressure even before the match starts. They display the stat of every players which make them more nervous. So please let the players alone.

  • POSTED BY rockingamar on | November 6, 2008, 12:09 GMT

    wall would be soon ready for another great innings of his life.after such a long carrier of india s burden in many matches he must be given his free rein to decide his retirment.he has nothing else to prove.he had shown wonders with the bat.it would be a disgrace to such a gr8 talent if he was not given his time to make his decision.

  • POSTED BY venkat24 on | November 6, 2008, 12:08 GMT

    Dravid,Ganguly,Sachin,Laxman are players, with different way of playing a game can't be comparable.Dravid is a Wall.All players had bad days took break in between because of injury for ex:Sachin,Ganguly,Sehwag and Laxman.But observe Dravid he never went out of team from start he was serving for country.All have come back from bad days and Dravid has bad time now.He was forced to come down from captaincy after he captained in England and none of the players did support him.It's not like team spirit.Ganguly,Dravid,Ganguly are pressurized to leave but not Sachin.Here we all Indians can see this clearly that when Sharad Pawar,Dilip Vengsarkar took hold of BCCI from then onwards Dravid,Ganguly are downed in one or the other way.I believe Replacement of Dravid is not possible in future also.He was downed long back in 1998 as he is not good for one days but he has crossed 10000 Runs in both the games.It's something like "Hurt a person's leg and tell him run".He will come back.............

  • POSTED BY RDview on | November 6, 2008, 11:24 GMT

    Wall has collapsed, records gone into history, after getting dropped from Captaincy then 2020 followed by One day, followed by IPL disaster...time to give the spot to young talent no point of being white elephant anymore...agreed in those days he was a champ..better to step down before he gets dropped from Test

  • POSTED BY tusharkardile on | November 6, 2008, 10:51 GMT

    So what if he averages 31 in last 25 (TWENTY-FIVE) test matches, 28.75 if you ignore his heroics against mighty Bangladesh? So what if he is 36 years old? So what if another player can now actually win games for India? Dravid was a great batsman and deserves life membership. He will hang his boots only when he is stretchered off the field. Who are we to expect him to retire gracefully?

  • POSTED BY henchart on | November 8, 2008, 15:07 GMT

    Dravid is a liability on the field.His reflexes have ,understandably,slowed down.He has started spilling catches regularly at that position.He ,like Kumble,is playing on entitlement and not form.Kumble has retired and wisely so.Dravid has got to make way for some one else may be badrinath,vijay or rohit sharma.How long will these guys hang around?But what can you expect from a Selection Committee headed by mediocre ex -cricketers.All gutless and enjoying post retirement benefits which they could not have dreamt in their playing days.

  • POSTED BY uppi2kcp on | November 7, 2008, 17:20 GMT

    I agree with tusharkardile , who are we to decide the retirement policies or who has to be in or out of the team.Apart from suresh raina and virat kohli, no other youngster looks good to fit the bill..rohit sharma is inconsistent, so are the pathan brothers.I would love to see the FAB Four for another 4 years.They do have the capabilities and the fitness.The current set of youngsters cant handle the test scenario...look at yuvraj singh, even after 7 years of international cricket,he still does not find a place in the test team.First, throw the BCCI management out as these are bunch of lazy politicians.The Fab Four were great, are great and will remain great.

  • POSTED BY dilip1983 on | November 6, 2008, 20:35 GMT

    Lets not forget that dravid has been the chief architect of all of india's famousvictories overseas (233 and 72* in sydney , 148 in headingley in seaming conditions, 2 half centuries against WI, 93 in recent win at perth, 270 against pakistan ) .. the list goes on. I think its fair to say he has been out of form a bit and knowing dravid, he will be bounce pack. Me being a hard core dravid fan, i find it hard to say this. But i think he should take a sabbatical and be back after a series(just like dhoni did)

  • POSTED BY Hari_Sam on | November 6, 2008, 14:19 GMT

    Dravid has been one of the finest batsmen in Indian and world cricket, but his performances over the last 2 years have been deplorably substandard. He has produced just 6 50s in the last 6 test series, that is averaging one 50 per series. We cannot count the "20s or 30s" and give the excuse "he has been getting starts", No, for a player of Dravid's caliber we have too see how many match impacting innings he has played and that is just one solitary 90 in Perth in the last 20 tests, he has averaged less than 28 over 25 tests, and has been occupying a crucial spot in the lineup purely courtesy Kumble the captain, from Melbourne till now, keeping out much more deserving and in form youngsters. High time he is dropped, should have been dropped after SL tour itself and that would have been ideal. He should immediately announce his retirement and at least leave with some dignity, on a cricket field rather than read about his axing in the papers.

  • POSTED BY gentlemans-game on | November 6, 2008, 13:52 GMT

    Thanks Dileep for this pre-emptive piece. I'd rather read a piece like this, written by a knowledgeable person than something refering childishly to a crumbling wall. Hadn't realised the possibility till you mentioned it. Absolutely spot on in pointing to Haydin for inspiration; and in doing so, pointing to CA and the Australian selectors for their patience and maturity. Champions and loyal warriors deserve that. Rahul more than anyone. The wall is far from crumbling. It's merely showing a few cracks. Probably needs some maintenance and a lick of paint. We owe that to Rahul.

  • POSTED BY isnithin on | November 6, 2008, 12:41 GMT

    Sachins Dravids gangulys Laxmans who have served India for more than a decade. Let me make clear that the media is creating the lot of pressure on the players. So it will be difficult for the players to regain their lost form under pressure. I read the article headline "Focus shifts to Dravid amidst fourth test" "Kumble tested in third test against Australia". This media wants to hype each and every small thing and put pressure even before the match starts. They display the stat of every players which make them more nervous. So please let the players alone.

  • POSTED BY rockingamar on | November 6, 2008, 12:09 GMT

    wall would be soon ready for another great innings of his life.after such a long carrier of india s burden in many matches he must be given his free rein to decide his retirment.he has nothing else to prove.he had shown wonders with the bat.it would be a disgrace to such a gr8 talent if he was not given his time to make his decision.

  • POSTED BY venkat24 on | November 6, 2008, 12:08 GMT

    Dravid,Ganguly,Sachin,Laxman are players, with different way of playing a game can't be comparable.Dravid is a Wall.All players had bad days took break in between because of injury for ex:Sachin,Ganguly,Sehwag and Laxman.But observe Dravid he never went out of team from start he was serving for country.All have come back from bad days and Dravid has bad time now.He was forced to come down from captaincy after he captained in England and none of the players did support him.It's not like team spirit.Ganguly,Dravid,Ganguly are pressurized to leave but not Sachin.Here we all Indians can see this clearly that when Sharad Pawar,Dilip Vengsarkar took hold of BCCI from then onwards Dravid,Ganguly are downed in one or the other way.I believe Replacement of Dravid is not possible in future also.He was downed long back in 1998 as he is not good for one days but he has crossed 10000 Runs in both the games.It's something like "Hurt a person's leg and tell him run".He will come back.............

  • POSTED BY RDview on | November 6, 2008, 11:24 GMT

    Wall has collapsed, records gone into history, after getting dropped from Captaincy then 2020 followed by One day, followed by IPL disaster...time to give the spot to young talent no point of being white elephant anymore...agreed in those days he was a champ..better to step down before he gets dropped from Test

  • POSTED BY tusharkardile on | November 6, 2008, 10:51 GMT

    So what if he averages 31 in last 25 (TWENTY-FIVE) test matches, 28.75 if you ignore his heroics against mighty Bangladesh? So what if he is 36 years old? So what if another player can now actually win games for India? Dravid was a great batsman and deserves life membership. He will hang his boots only when he is stretchered off the field. Who are we to expect him to retire gracefully?

  • POSTED BY Augustine on | November 6, 2008, 10:33 GMT

    Dravid is one of the better players we had in both forms of the game, was once a match winner or nearly though. His lean patch of form past two years will not be a concern for the selectors, in longer version of the game. Dada out, Jumbo out we cant afford to lose another player who had played more than 100 tests. If we do have a replacement then the door can be shown to Dravid. The following is for all Dravid fans, I love the game of cricket and been a supporter of Dravid. But Dravid fans have scrutinized sachin over the years for being lauded more than dravid. There were lean patches in Sachin's career so far, but that never lasted for 6 months or so. More over Sachin only played for records, but past two years the story is different. Dravid was dropped from the squad because he wasnt performing. I wont acuse dravid, it makes no difference from a dravid fan if I do so. But it is good the Wall is breaking from all sides, Dravid fans get to eat their own words. Hope wall survives.

  • POSTED BY abhinavkrishna on | November 6, 2008, 9:58 GMT

    I am a hardcore fan of Fab Four/Five. We need to see that players leaving the team is coming gradually. We can't afford to lose another one of the senior player. May be an year or so. Dravid will bounce back. He is a class player.

  • POSTED BY chaitukash79 on | November 6, 2008, 9:48 GMT

    I have been a big fan of Dravid's since his debut and have always rated him as one of the best test batsman that the game has ever seen. I don't think its quite right to write him off just yet. Dravid has bounced back time and again when people wrote him off. Its disheartening to see a man who once kept wickets in ODIs, captained India and still managed to score against every bowling attack in the world run dry when there is very little pressure on him. I think Dravid should sit out the Pakistan series, rest his weary body, spend time with his family and bounce right back. Come on Rahul.. you can come through this difficult period.. like you've done a million times before!

  • POSTED BY kingshuk on | November 6, 2008, 8:48 GMT

    I think Dada who has been a prolific scorer since his comeback and scored 100s when the Team was always reeling under pressure after losing 3 to 4 wickets ,has been humiliated by the selectors who will never understand the sacrifice made by Dada,then why isn't Dravid shown the Door.I don't think he believes in retiring on his own terms which only Dada did and his poor run has continued for 3 years now.Its Highly unfair that Sourav,who scored 91 in the second innings In bangalore at a strike rate of 80 and on the other hand Dravid scored a mere 30 at a strike rate of 30 when THE TEAM REQUIRED TO DECLARE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.Dravid has played for himself rather than the team which has gone unnoticed and Dravid should not stop the entry of Youngsters like Rohit Sharma who has consistently scored since His Australia tour in early 2008.

    Dravid even if he cannot play in such flat pitches when Dada could have easily scored a Double had he been at Dravid's position,then dravid should leave.

  • POSTED BY srivenu on | November 6, 2008, 8:45 GMT

    Well, this is nonsense to say Dravid should retire. Whats wrong with the world? Why should ever all the seniors in the team retire at once? Don't you people know the balance of a test team could be lost if there are no senior members? What happened Zimbabwe team during the crisis? Though its a lot more worse. But, come on guys, Dravid has still got a couple of years left. He is just in a bad patch. And more over he is not doing worse also. he averages 31-32 in last few innings which is not tat worse also. You see 'The Wall might be weak, but it still protects you from the harm' I'm sure a legendary battie like Dravid would bounce back. He just needs reassurance and support. And also lastly, nuts should realize that seniors just as much important as the youngster and there should always be a proper balance in the side. l

  • POSTED BY GURURAJKASHYAP on | November 6, 2008, 8:23 GMT

    I have been an ardent admirer of Dravid eversince he made his debut in Ranji Trophy for Karnataka and been a avid admirer of his achievements as India's premier batsman. It pains me very much that his poor form with the bat is stretching too long and I very vividly remember that Gundappa Vishwanath had also faced similar problems at the time of his quitting test cricket. I shudder to think whether the Nagpur Test would be the last test that Dravid would be playing? Will the selectors give him another go against the Englishman? I trust the selectors would allow dravid to play the two tests against England and make him decide his own future as a test cricketer.

  • POSTED BY suzz on | November 6, 2008, 7:58 GMT

    i am not a supporter of Indian team but ya i am Dravid fan. Nobody in indian team has class act like him except Sachin. Dada and Laxman are also equally good but not like him. It's true that Dravid is seaching for his form and drying for run.In my opinion the time has come,dravid should think about taking retirement from all indian crickets and join county.he should consider the forthcoming test series as his last test and say good bye to indian cricket with a sensational knock.Legend like him deserves to end his fabulous career on a splendid note.

  • POSTED BY CSKfan on | November 6, 2008, 7:51 GMT

    Dravid has served Indian cricket for long. But now its obvious he is short on confidence. The wall is no more strong. The middle order is exposed quickly by weak surrender of the wall.Time to move on Rahul. There is Rohit Sharma waiting to come in along with Raina and Badrinath. He should retire after the England series.We also have fond memories of Calcutta and Adelaide where he was a rock of Gibraltar. Thank you for the entertainment.

  • POSTED BY Rajesh. on | November 6, 2008, 7:46 GMT

    Enough is being said about the 'seniors' and already Ganguly & Kumble have fallen prey to that. It's high time these things stopped, this ridiculing of these great players......... India may have good players in Rohit Sharma, Badrinath & a few others but the curent Australian Team is an example of how a team would look like if great players are replaced by good ones. So, don't bay for their blood now and regret later. It's so sickening to hear / read even responsible and supposedly knowledgeable columnists / writers / expert commentators talking crap sometimes ( Sorry, but it is crap).............. Dravid deserves better

  • POSTED BY bcciscorer on | November 6, 2008, 7:38 GMT

    i disagree . This is just a bad patch for Mr. Rahul Dravid. I am sure he will get 60+ runs in 2nd innings of 4th test. He will rise back. He is going to get atleast 2 centuries in next 45 days in Intwernational cricket. From December 2008 he will be more concreted wall for indian team. I hope crickinfo will preserve this for refwerence.

  • POSTED BY SatyajitM on | November 6, 2008, 7:21 GMT

    I see few comments that claim that Dravid has been a better test batsman overall. I disagree to that. I agree that for a period of 4 to 5 years Dravid was permier test batsman of India ahead of Tendulkar. But by that time Sachin was already India's best batsman for a decade. The fact that Dravid's best form also coincided with Sachin's relative bad patch makes people believe this. But remember, even in his bad patch Sachin had maintained 47 avg (2003 to 2006) which is not so bad by other's standard and that's why people would have started thinking, that was his normal self. India didn't win as many matches during Sachin's prime time as he didn't have Sachin, Saurav and Laxman as company. Saying all these, I must say the idea of Dravid leaving at this juncture is scary. We cann't afford to lose a batsman of his class at this time. Saurav will be gone and his replacement is yet untested. Dravid should stay for another year. I hope his form improves and people don't harangue him.

  • POSTED BY chaitugvsnk on | November 6, 2008, 7:15 GMT

    Hi all,

    Being a dravid's fan i'm very upset with his play during these days. He should be either sacked or given his last chance, because team success is more important than individual.

    Anyway i hope dravid will be out of his bad form and will regain his past glory back.

    Dravid... all the best

  • POSTED BY harishkumars on | November 6, 2008, 7:12 GMT

    The wall has started Crumbling.Every Batsman goes through a rough patch. So we should give him some time to recover. Am sure he will bounce back in the england series and probably go to NZ with having a good score under his belt. I guess the wall will retire after the NZL series. Lets wish him good luck and hope he returns to form in the second innings against AUS

  • POSTED BY cosair89 on | November 6, 2008, 6:49 GMT

    The Wall has crumbled. Dravid is a pale shadow of what he was before. The change of guard must be done and Dravid is the next to go. He should do what Kumble did last week - announce his retirement. He has served India well and now is time for him to fade away gracefully or else he may go out disgracefully. Do the right thing Dravid.

  • POSTED BY Rajesh. on | November 6, 2008, 6:19 GMT

    Poor Dravid..... give the guy a break. I don't mean dropping / 'resting' him but give the guy a break from all the ciritcisms. He certainly deserves better than to be ridiculed by all and sundry.

    The way Dravid & Kumble have been ridiculed in recent times is a sad reflection of the knowledge of Cricket our cricket-crazy public have...

    All Rahul Dravid needs the most now is the support of all those people of the country, the cricket loving public, for whom he has rendered yeaoman service for more than a decade.

    Leave him in peace and he will deliver......

  • POSTED BY Kolhatkar on | November 6, 2008, 6:00 GMT

    Thank you, Dileep. About time, it was said. It is very perplexing that the selectors have continued to let him bat at no 3 - this has been a disaster from Australia onwards. But he really should be out of the team now. All this time if VVS had batted at no3 and Ganguly at 5, batting at 6 may have given Dravid a respite and a chance to find form. The sooner VVS goes to no 3 the better.

  • POSTED BY ndayannanda on | November 6, 2008, 3:17 GMT

    Agree with most comments that Dravid has lost the interest or 'loss of form' and I would hate him to linger around for a last hurrah. He has proven much and there are other areas waiting for his contribution. I would stop at giving technical advice though- rotate strike, put front feet forward- come on guys, this is Dravid who was dragging India out of gutter till recently. He has played long enough and good enough to correct himself. A die hard fan of Dravid- Please do not follow the example of GR Vishwanath- who dragged on and on- leave us fans something cheerful to remember!

  • POSTED BY NumberXI on | November 6, 2008, 3:09 GMT

    As a Rahul Dravid fan, it is sad how things have worked out. When he first made the Indian team I thought we would see yet another Ranji Trophy giant come unstuck in world cricket. He didn't and, like DP points out, had the highest test average among his peers at one point on time. Unfortunately, captaincy hurt his batting quite a bit and his performances since then have been on the wane. His innings at Perth, despite being in the midst of a lean patch, and the fact that he managed almost as many runs as Ponting and more than either Ganguly or Dhoni gave one some hope that he would return to his run-getting ways. His runless streak in the first two tests was more a function of his being pushed up to the opener's slot, so it would be incorrect to read too much into it. However, it must be his performance in Sri Lanka coupled with his lack of scores in the present series which makes one wonder if the end is nigh. I only hope I am wrong.

  • POSTED BY Out4Nought on | November 6, 2008, 3:01 GMT

    shiny days for Dravid at Nagpur, he will score a ton with ease mark my word. laxman was spared as he scored double ton in last match otherwise media/writers would have brought him into the spot light. its just a matter of time to adjust yourself, dravid is capable and we must support him. dravid is not old, he looks younger than ponting. ponting has white beard. :)

  • POSTED BY Amit_Naidu on | November 5, 2008, 22:26 GMT

    We have seen graceful exists from Dada,Kumble and really want Rahul to put a halt to his international career on similar lines.The legend deserves to end his career on a splendid note.All the best for the "Great Indian Wall".

  • POSTED BY Phattie on | November 5, 2008, 21:48 GMT

    i am a huge Dravid fan, he has always been a modest person who is never praised enough by not only his country but also his team. Its true that he is struggling, but ask this question to yourself- how many matches has he saved and also won?? He would do anything for the team being the selfless man he is, yes hes out of form but jeez people give the dude a break hes a legend and i am sure that his great come back is just around the corner. So dont give up on him yet!! And about all of the comments about Ganguly-i think that hes in perfect form and i blame the indian media who are always questioning him and putting him down for his recent retirement, so all you reporters should be ashamed of yourselves!!! Both Dravid and Ganguly should not retire or i shall find you and personally reinstate u@@

  • POSTED BY srtedulkar on | November 5, 2008, 21:41 GMT

    I am Sachin's biggest fan but Dravid setup famous victories for India maybe he is not the best but certainly the most useful batsman for India for the first part of this decade, i.e. until 2006. Yes he does not deserve his place in the side after the aussie series until he scores big in the nagpur test. I hope he can make a century in the nagpur test and continue the form into the england series and call it quits! He has been the cornerstone of some of India's greatest overseas wins.

  • POSTED BY mojorisin on | November 5, 2008, 21:37 GMT

    What will happen once Dravid, Laxman and Tendulkar also retire.. What will people write about? Maybe about the lack of quality and depth in Indian middle order with all the new kids?

  • POSTED BY krik8crazy on | November 5, 2008, 20:50 GMT

    Fans are wondering what's going on With Rahul. I bet he is wondering himself too. I hope against hope that he has a Hayden like resurgence before he bows out of cricket.

  • POSTED BY Achillesofthisera on | November 5, 2008, 20:46 GMT

    Referring to "Posted by SachinFan on November 05 2008, 17:24 PM GMT". I can't exactly fathom what do you all expect from players. To be honest we Indians have just bunch of expectations. To some extent I think your comments regarding Dravid is true but that doesn't mean he should be dropped. Dravid has played so well for the past decade that it will be quite unfair to drop him now. He still has it what it takes. One thing you guys know is to just drop. And the most vain comment was about Laxman. OMG...what on the earth has prompted you to say of dropping Laxman. Mate, he just scored a double ton nd a half century and was unbeaten in both the innings. He is even in a better nick than Sachin currently. Its a very harsh comment u made and ofcourse it is sad to see that we actually cant judge things

  • POSTED BY bad_boy on | November 5, 2008, 20:28 GMT

    Players like Dravid don't quit... I remember the days when he was classified as a Test batsman only... and then he proved everyone wrong... I am just waiting for a knock from Dravid which will basically shut everyone up ... including Dileep

  • POSTED BY davedave on | November 5, 2008, 19:13 GMT

    He is a great player no doubt but I am really suprised of some posts saying that Dravid will bounce back. What is the point if he bounces back at the age of 36 or 37. He is at his worst for the last 2 years and is yet to play a descent innings and he knows it. Can any other Indian batsmen get that many chances? No way if he is honest then he should announce his retirement sooner and not later.

  • POSTED BY kalyanbk on | November 5, 2008, 18:59 GMT

    The same thing happened when Dravid was under pressure against Australia in 2001. Laxman then came in at No 3. and Dravid came in at No.6 and rediscovered himself. Perhaps we should try the same thing again. There seems to be a concerted effort from the media to oust the senior players from the Indian team. Till Ganguly announced his retirement they were always after him. When he did, they had to find a new target for their invective which happened to be Kumble. Now that Kumble has retired even before Ganguly, they have immediately set thair target on Dravid. See a pattern here? How would each and every reporter in the media like to be asked repeatedly when will you people retire and leave us fans in peace?

  • POSTED BY anaikaddu on | November 5, 2008, 18:45 GMT

    It is not what you think that Dravid is out of form. It is sometyhing that indian cricket board should decide whether they need Dravid or not. If they need he should play both games, one day and test cricket. You can see that he is not performing well after he stopped playing one day game.

    I believe that Dravid made mistakes by promoting the others going up in the order to promote the young players when he captained. In England he came in the last minute and lost his wicket while attempting to score quickly. He should have come on the top order and given chancess to the young players which he did not do. He did not do justice to himself that cost his place. Now he is out of form in test cricket.please picked him up for both games and see in 6 months the difference. He will score the highteest runs in test cricket in the world. He is the one out in ninetees more than any other players except one. He was out 10 time. He would have scored his century tally to 36 if he was selfish.

  • POSTED BY anaikaddu on | November 5, 2008, 18:43 GMT

    It is not what you think that Dravid is out of form. It is sometyhing that indian cricket board should decide whether they need Dravid or not. If they need he should play both games, one day and test cricket. You can see that he is not performing well after he stopped playing one day game.

    I believe that Dravid made mistakes by promoting the others going up in the order to promote the young players when he captained. In England he came in the last minute and lost his wicket while attempting to score quickly. He should have come on the top order and given chancess to the young players which he did not do. He did not do justice to himself that cost his place. Now he is out of form in test cricket.please picked him up for both games and see in 6 months the difference. He will score the highteest runs in test cricket in the world. He is the one out in ninetees more than any other players except one. He was out 10 time. He would have scored his century tally to 36 if he was selfish.

  • POSTED BY HarishVS on | November 5, 2008, 17:57 GMT

    Rightly said Dilip! Rahul Dravid was a great architect of many an Indian wins in the last decade and an epitome of accomplished run making on all the surfaces, home or away, and against all the bowling attacks of all cricket playing nations in the world that India competed with. But after the tour of West Indies where a historical test triumph was achieved, Dravid's batting is on a consistent decline. Being a fan of Dravid, it has been a real pain to watch his deeds at the batting crease in the recent times. I was of the view that after Sunil Gavaskar, Dravid will be the only next great batsman to go out on a high and when still indispensible for the team. He is still a great slip fieldsman and has been bringing up stunning catches regularly to suggest that he is still a force in the field. His batting has been definitely a worry for 2 years now and we have to applaud the selectors to have given him a long rope. I wish him good luck in Nagpur Test that he finally comes off Well!

  • POSTED BY LAKingsFan on | November 5, 2008, 17:24 GMT

    Dravid is the only blame for his slump in form. He's not a morden cricketer. He never takes on the attack. He rather sticks to the batting end and doesn't even rotate the strike when he's out of form. I've seen dravid numerous times doing this. See, when you're out of form, rotate the strike, prolong your presence at the center.Things will dramatically change, once he starts doing this. But, I don't see him doing this. I think selectors will have a word with dravid, say, England series will be his last one or so. I think dravid's career is over. I think laxman too will follow dravid.

  • POSTED BY davedave on | November 5, 2008, 16:49 GMT

    I am a big fan of Dravid. But realistically he has been limping since the Ganguly's famous comeback series against South Africa and his form has become worst since the England series. In the last 25 tests he has scored just 2 hundreds that too one against Bangladesh. There are some pathetic innings such as 12 from 118 balls at oval 5 from 66 and 16 from 114 balls at Melbourne, 11 from 64 balls at Adelaide, 29 from 106 ball agaisnt South Africa in Kanpur. But media always compare Sachin's and Dravid's average with Ganguly. But whenever Ganguly has played 2 down his average is 58 plus which is higher than those two. The previous management failed to sack Dravid. Of course he need a grand farewell but they haven't realised to Ganguly who has been in cracking form since his comback (barring the Srilanka series). In sports there are no sentiments given the last 2 years chances Dravid failed miserbaly and I also suprised the luxury he has got to be in the squad

  • POSTED BY sneharitha on | November 5, 2008, 15:52 GMT

    As a dravid fan, it is frustrating. I hope even GOD will never allow dravid to go into retirement without a rise in his career.The humble cricketer will surely receive his due. I am ready to wait for that one last push.Dravid ALLLLLLLL the best.GO and get a century.

  • POSTED BY Percy_Fender on | November 5, 2008, 15:23 GMT

    Rahul Dravid has certainly .not been reduced to a bunny Just because he has not been in the kind of form and high scoring habits as we have grown so used to coinciding with India's rise in the ICC's ratings I do not think we can be so judgemental.From what I have seen, Dravid is still technically the best batsman we have. It is just that he is failing to score big becauuse of bad stroke selection and maybe, bad luck. Considering how fit he is, I think he should be in the team for at least 2 years more. I wish this assurance is given to him by the selectors now itself so that his big scoirng ways will return.He has the kind of charecter and courage that one sees all too rarely. Even if we think that the future is in the younger players,I think we should wait for someone really worthy to fill Dravid's shoes. He comes from a family which prepares their young ones for greatness Let us just wait for that to happen with Rahul Dravid.

  • POSTED BY tiger9999 on | November 5, 2008, 15:12 GMT

    The article is about Dravid's poor form for the past 12 months+. I am really surprised to see some posts which attribute Dravid's poor run to Ganguly's presence in the team. For the past 12 months Ganguly has been the most consistent batsman in the side and got the team out of jail on a nuumber of occasions. Hopefully, McCain will not blame his loss on Ganguly as well.

    Laxman has once again proven that he should be India's number 3 until his powers wane. Definately India's classiest batsman. He has been wasted at no.5 or no.6 trying to create partnerships with the likes of Kumble, Bhajji and Zaheer.

    Dravid is batting mainly on his resume now and in his present form should bat no higher than no. 5. His best innings (in support of Laxman in Calcutta) came at that position. This will give Dravid the protection that he needs as well as a graceful exit in a year or so.

  • POSTED BY rockstar86 on | November 5, 2008, 14:48 GMT

    Yes , Rahul is going through the worst phase of his legendry carrer.But no doubt the MAN like him will bounce back and also bounce back with a bang to close the carrer of one of the greatest test player the world has seen. Bad phase happens to every sportsman , but it is that the bad phase of legends are publicised and talk about more than other ordinary players.. It happened with Pete Sampras,Roger Federer,Mich Schumacher,Micheal Jordan,Ronaldo and even the great Diego Maradona and in cricket with Sachin,Lara,Sobers also. SO there is no need to worry about Rahul dravid, this is just a phase which will be over soon. And yes it is not fair to say that Rahul is Best only after Sachin in Test Cricket ..With what Rahul has done in his carrer he is no doubt the best Test player for india ever.. Out of his 25 centuries in tests , Only once has india been defeated when he scored 100. and plus there are many more matches that he has saved. In tests Rahul is surely ahead of Sachin.

  • POSTED BY Farce-Follower on | November 5, 2008, 14:15 GMT

    Dravid has to just learn from Laxman - two class players who were perenially haunted by an unfair system. (Laxman's place will once again be in doubt just 3 months down the line, should a 5th bowler be needed or a Yuvraj/Rohit hit an aggressive, but meaningless 100). Have faith and make maximum use of an opportunity, that's the only prescription for Dravid.

  • POSTED BY henchart on | November 5, 2008, 14:00 GMT

    Problem with Dravid is that he ties himself in knots while at the crease.He has never been a free flowing batsman of Lara or Tendulkar mould but a grafter like batsmen of yesteryears viz Border,Amarnath and Shastri. One long knock at the centre will help him out of this rut.But there are guys waiting in the wings.Let selectors not wait till eternity for Dravid to get his form back.

  • POSTED BY Gilliana on | November 5, 2008, 13:06 GMT

    Hopefully, Dravid will make an announcement at the end of this India - Australian series or after the India - England clash. It is time that a new face comes in. India has the youg talent and the oldies must move on. I feel sad for Dravid for he is one of the very few gentlemen in the game, but it is time to go.

  • POSTED BY indianpunter on | November 5, 2008, 12:27 GMT

    very well said,dilip. i have been a huge dravid fan for as long as i can remember. however, things have taken a downturn in the last 18 months or so. dravid, for some reason, is in denial about his own failings and that is a bad sign. he failed to realise that his ODI days were far behind him and had to be dropped. i fear the same thing is going to happen to the greatest test batsman india has ever produced (sorry, tendulkar fans!!).for me the worrying aspect is the way dravid has got out and his shot selection , which was impeccable till not too long ago.as dilip points out, the balls that he gets out to these days are the ones that he on drove to midwicket for 4 in his halycon days. sadly i feel that he is no longer capable of making any more runs and feel strongly that he shouldnt play the nagpur test.there is no shame, rahul, but you have to call it quits. Now!!

  • POSTED BY rsrinivasan on | November 5, 2008, 12:06 GMT

    A fading legend.Probably the fittest title to this gentleman, who, by far is the best No.3 to play in Modern day's cricket.Watching sehwag or dhoni bludgeoning bowlers is a little fader that the majestic forward defence of this man.Perfect copy book. Looks like he is morally down and mentally tired. His days, sure, are numbered but by his standards, he should go on a high.Perhaps i feel he is waiting to play a fighting innings that would save us a test and then bid a farewell to cricket. He is not a ferrari or Lambhorgini but just an ever reliable Ambassador. Sturdy, resolute and long lasting.People, even media, should respect him for what he has done to Indian cricket. Winning a test outside India were imaginary before he took guard. He played his heart out every time he went to bat. I don't want to blame anyone but surely there are some corrupt officials behind his decision to quit captaincy which ultimately brought his downfall.Rahul, We love you for what you are.Good Luck

  • POSTED BY MainHoonDon on | November 5, 2008, 11:59 GMT

    i think it is important for him to swap places with laxman. with gambhir out of the test tomorrow and Vijay making his debut, it is important to have a batsman having confidence at number 3, should the debutant fails to fire. No. 5 will mean lesser pressure on Dravid and may be he finds some form, and some confidence, there.

  • POSTED BY ZICO on | November 5, 2008, 11:27 GMT

    We just need to take the pressure of him. He is a champion and always will be. He is a gentle-man of a cricketer and talk of retirement right now is really unfair. I mean, the guy averages 50+ in tests, so no matter what, I'd play him in every test that he's fit. Yes, you are right, he doesn't make the scoreboard race, but he's one of the last classical players, who depends on technique more than anything else, where can you see that anymore.

    My point is: Rahul Dravid is the wall, and even with a few cracks, he'll still be standing.

  • POSTED BY Pratik007 on | November 5, 2008, 11:06 GMT

    It's sad that Dravid is going through this lean patch and I really hope he comes good. He has definitely struggled over the past 2 years and this has also reflected in the inconsistent results of the Indian team at times. Dravid has been a fantastic batsman and a wonderful ambadassor for Indian cricket and I hope he finishes a wonderful career on a high. More importantly I think it's important that the transition in Indian cricket is smooth, and for that to happen I think its important Dravid continues for a little while longer. It would be dangerous for Indian cricket if Dravid and Ganguly retired at the same time. These are important times for the future of Indian cricket and I really think Dravid and Tendulkar have a big role to play in the transition.

  • POSTED BY dopppsy on | November 5, 2008, 10:52 GMT

    What's also interesting is that his decline coincides with the return of Sourav Ganguly. Maybe all Dravid needs is for Ganguly to go and he'll find back his mojo. Cheers, Notavi

  • POSTED BY thesoccergod on | November 5, 2008, 10:51 GMT

    (Contd.) And that has never been Dravid's forte. Classical batsmanship that warms the very depths of a purist's heart? Yes. But enterprising attacking cricket? Not really. However, I think-given his current form-that it might help for him to attack initially (he certainly has the technique and know-how to do that); for there is no better way to get settled than to challenge the bowlers, and to score some runs while you're at it. And after this, it might be easier for him to revert to his more 'traditional' style. But either way, I agree that he deserves a rich conclusion to his immense career. Right from the famous 95 at Lords through his 2003 match-winning effort in Australia to his 270 against Pakistan, no international batsman sewed together talent and consistency in such a remarkably potent manner. A real gentleman, and a classy cricketer, I hope sincerely that a Dravid revival (if just a brief one) is in the offing. He deserves one last hurrah, if ever anyone did.

  • POSTED BY dravidgood on | November 5, 2008, 10:47 GMT

    well, as Dravid himself admits he needs to be among some runs - a century or thereabout that is. But I am not sure if he is enjoying the dressing room as much at the moment. I mean he has been put through a lot over the last one year - a lot that is. And he has had to weather it all along alone. I am not sure if he feels inspired in the mediocre dressing room environment which I envisage from outside. I mean its all showbiz at the moment. so that may be adding to his woes in that hes not feeling the same kind of motivation at the moment. so there you go...

  • POSTED BY Diwakar on | November 5, 2008, 10:45 GMT

    Thanks, Dilip, for calling a spade a spade. Dravid has somehow been the holy cow of Indian cricket; any comment on his form or on the excruciatingly slow batting that he indulges in are taken as slurs against him.

    There is no denying that he is a fantastic Test cricketer. Nor can one deny that he has played some amazing innings. But he should never have been in the ODI side and he very well might not have been, if he was not thrown a lifeline in the form of a job behind the stumps.

    Other cricketers have been shown the door for much lesser crimes than Dravid's. Not long ago, the majority of the media pundits and a sizeable chunk of the lay pundits were braying for Sachin's head. Not a peep from them about Dravid, however. It is good that you have put things in the right perspective.

    One hopes that Dravid will show his form of old in the Nagpur Test, failing which, the selection committee should award his place to a deserving batsman.

  • POSTED BY Racyrao on | November 5, 2008, 10:45 GMT

    It is true that Dravid has not been in the best of form off late. The statistics do provide an interesting read but to brand him as second best to Tendulkar in test cricket would be incorrect. If you were to analyse and think the number of test matches he has won and saved for India he is by far the best Indian test bastsman to have played the game. He has had a glorious career and he deserves to be given his due. He has been the most valuable cricketer for India both in ODI's and test matches.

    His greatness to an extent has been curtailed because we got to witness three other batting legends in the same era (Laxaman, Ganguly and Tendulkar). I consider myself lucky to have followed Indian cricket at a time when these guys graced the game. I am not sure whether we would be able to find cricketers who would play consistently and selflessly for over a decade with least controversies.

  • POSTED BY ABP235 on | November 5, 2008, 10:42 GMT

    I feel sad for this man, my hero. I followed him so closely all through those Ranji days in Bangalore. In my friend's circle, I am credited with putting my money on this man predicting greater things from him in 1996 (soon after India's world cup debacle, but before Dravid played any international match). Now the time has come to realise that my hero is on the verge of going out. His terrific average (which was once greater than Sachin's) has faded. His runs are indeed dry now. He is physically so fit, he can carry on for another 4 years. He is waiting for another world record, of catches, but he is tantalisingly close behind Mark Waugh by just 4 catches, but I now fear that his batting form will make him go away without a big hundred which was so familiar to see between 2001 to 2006. Jammy, please dont disappoint your ardent fans. Here's wishing you a top notch century at your in-law's hometown and a bag of 4 catches in the match. Come on Rahul, we love you.

  • POSTED BY Naseer on | November 5, 2008, 10:40 GMT

    Dravid has been a solid middle order batsman, and still deserves to be in the side, alghough the standards that he set himself are so high, otherwise you can see a lot of batsmen still in the team with an average of 32. He will difinitly come back, I still remember Waqar saying in commentry box, that Rahul is sort of guy who rarly gets out of form. Sachin also has been through such lean pathc, probably his one was even longer than Dravid, players like Rahul should not be lost that easily becuase they could not be found on every street. He is sort of guy who knows roots of problems, and wasy of getting out of it, sometimes it takes more time than expected. there might by need for a break, to refresh his mind, and restart from scratch, when Aus batted poorly in Mohali test, they did the same thing and when they came back they were up to mark, so there is till room for being optimistic for Rahul's stroke of comeback, though it is right that it has to be sooner rather than later.

  • POSTED BY mrgupta on | November 5, 2008, 10:39 GMT

    I will say that its sad but true. I have used Statsguru on Cricinfo and found that since 01-Jan-2007 Dravid's performance is far worse than any other batsman in Indian team. For instance Laxman & Sehwag have averaged above 55, Sachin 50.5, Saurav 47, and Dravid just 34.1. I have always been a Dravid fan and i have always believed that He is the Man to bail India out like he has done so many times. Though currently we are also talking about Ganguly or Sachin coming to the end of their career, they both have performed superbly since last 2 years averaging above 47. Dravid's performance has been very low by his standards, I Hope he is somehow able to recover and give some more fabulous performances before bowing out.

  • POSTED BY thesoccergod on | November 5, 2008, 10:32 GMT

    I wonder if it is just his enthusiasm and energy for the game that has dimmed. As you say, I remember well those 'wall-like' innings that Dravid made a habit of constructing; and the formula he adhered to was simplicity itself: come in at no. 3; use his impeccable technique, and rishi-like knowledge about the location of his off-stump to play himself in; and then start dictating the proceedings like the conductor of a symphony-a small nudge here, an expansive drive there. Never did it seem like he would get out. Indeed, sometimes, it felt like it was his compassion for the toiling bowlers that lead to his eventual dismissal. Then again, his inabilty to score quickly has always been his Achilles heel. It served his purpose when he sought to wear out the bowlers and fashion an innings from the Bapu Nadkarni era, but it might be taking its toll now. Negotiating a Mendis requires more than just a straight bat; it requires some innovative attacking cricket. (Contd.)

  • POSTED BY siddk on | November 5, 2008, 10:21 GMT

    so first it was ganguly who needed to go. once he announced his retirement the media started talking about why kumble should retire. now that he is gone too, the spotlight is on dravid. when will this stop???

  • POSTED BY 11Noobs on | November 5, 2008, 10:17 GMT

    Well Dravid, my favorite player, has let us down over the past couple of years. He has lost confidence and having problems. I would say he is the most fittest if the fab 4, now 3. He's got the physical fitness and i think he can play for another two more years if he works at it. You just cant't discard Jammy for what he has done for cricket. Remember the man of the series performance in Australia 4 years back? An example there.

    Don't worry, Jammy will pull through this and once again will help India win matches. The best technical batsman in the modern era.

  • POSTED BY arya_underfoot on | November 5, 2008, 10:04 GMT

    ganguly's retirement should provide dravid with some respite because the selectors will be hesitant to replace two middle order batsmen at the same time. but, and thats a big but, with quite a few talented players like badrinath, rohit sharma, raina and kohli waiting in line, the respite will be limited....perhaps half a dozen more test matches.

    the other interesting thing about dravid's form currently is that he is not struggling to middle the ball or hit boundaries, like he has in previous form slumps. his attacking form looks pretty solid. worryingly, it is his poor defence and shot selection to wide balls that is letting him down. these are fundamental errors that dravid has not made so far in his career.

  • POSTED BY cricketfan89 on | November 5, 2008, 10:03 GMT

    Rahul Dravid is one of the best things that ever happened to Indian cricket. He is such an amazing player,it's hard to believe that he is having problems at this atge of his career. I know most players go through a period like this. He just have to focus more. I think all the media criticism and the comments about replacing the seniors with young players is getting to him. But I believe in him. He is not completely out of form. He is getting starts. Staying in the middle in his current problem but I don't think it'll be long before the old Dravid comes back. Go Dravid. I will continue to support you no matter what people say about you. :D

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  • POSTED BY cricketfan89 on | November 5, 2008, 10:03 GMT

    Rahul Dravid is one of the best things that ever happened to Indian cricket. He is such an amazing player,it's hard to believe that he is having problems at this atge of his career. I know most players go through a period like this. He just have to focus more. I think all the media criticism and the comments about replacing the seniors with young players is getting to him. But I believe in him. He is not completely out of form. He is getting starts. Staying in the middle in his current problem but I don't think it'll be long before the old Dravid comes back. Go Dravid. I will continue to support you no matter what people say about you. :D

  • POSTED BY arya_underfoot on | November 5, 2008, 10:04 GMT

    ganguly's retirement should provide dravid with some respite because the selectors will be hesitant to replace two middle order batsmen at the same time. but, and thats a big but, with quite a few talented players like badrinath, rohit sharma, raina and kohli waiting in line, the respite will be limited....perhaps half a dozen more test matches.

    the other interesting thing about dravid's form currently is that he is not struggling to middle the ball or hit boundaries, like he has in previous form slumps. his attacking form looks pretty solid. worryingly, it is his poor defence and shot selection to wide balls that is letting him down. these are fundamental errors that dravid has not made so far in his career.

  • POSTED BY 11Noobs on | November 5, 2008, 10:17 GMT

    Well Dravid, my favorite player, has let us down over the past couple of years. He has lost confidence and having problems. I would say he is the most fittest if the fab 4, now 3. He's got the physical fitness and i think he can play for another two more years if he works at it. You just cant't discard Jammy for what he has done for cricket. Remember the man of the series performance in Australia 4 years back? An example there.

    Don't worry, Jammy will pull through this and once again will help India win matches. The best technical batsman in the modern era.

  • POSTED BY siddk on | November 5, 2008, 10:21 GMT

    so first it was ganguly who needed to go. once he announced his retirement the media started talking about why kumble should retire. now that he is gone too, the spotlight is on dravid. when will this stop???

  • POSTED BY thesoccergod on | November 5, 2008, 10:32 GMT

    I wonder if it is just his enthusiasm and energy for the game that has dimmed. As you say, I remember well those 'wall-like' innings that Dravid made a habit of constructing; and the formula he adhered to was simplicity itself: come in at no. 3; use his impeccable technique, and rishi-like knowledge about the location of his off-stump to play himself in; and then start dictating the proceedings like the conductor of a symphony-a small nudge here, an expansive drive there. Never did it seem like he would get out. Indeed, sometimes, it felt like it was his compassion for the toiling bowlers that lead to his eventual dismissal. Then again, his inabilty to score quickly has always been his Achilles heel. It served his purpose when he sought to wear out the bowlers and fashion an innings from the Bapu Nadkarni era, but it might be taking its toll now. Negotiating a Mendis requires more than just a straight bat; it requires some innovative attacking cricket. (Contd.)

  • POSTED BY mrgupta on | November 5, 2008, 10:39 GMT

    I will say that its sad but true. I have used Statsguru on Cricinfo and found that since 01-Jan-2007 Dravid's performance is far worse than any other batsman in Indian team. For instance Laxman & Sehwag have averaged above 55, Sachin 50.5, Saurav 47, and Dravid just 34.1. I have always been a Dravid fan and i have always believed that He is the Man to bail India out like he has done so many times. Though currently we are also talking about Ganguly or Sachin coming to the end of their career, they both have performed superbly since last 2 years averaging above 47. Dravid's performance has been very low by his standards, I Hope he is somehow able to recover and give some more fabulous performances before bowing out.

  • POSTED BY Naseer on | November 5, 2008, 10:40 GMT

    Dravid has been a solid middle order batsman, and still deserves to be in the side, alghough the standards that he set himself are so high, otherwise you can see a lot of batsmen still in the team with an average of 32. He will difinitly come back, I still remember Waqar saying in commentry box, that Rahul is sort of guy who rarly gets out of form. Sachin also has been through such lean pathc, probably his one was even longer than Dravid, players like Rahul should not be lost that easily becuase they could not be found on every street. He is sort of guy who knows roots of problems, and wasy of getting out of it, sometimes it takes more time than expected. there might by need for a break, to refresh his mind, and restart from scratch, when Aus batted poorly in Mohali test, they did the same thing and when they came back they were up to mark, so there is till room for being optimistic for Rahul's stroke of comeback, though it is right that it has to be sooner rather than later.

  • POSTED BY ABP235 on | November 5, 2008, 10:42 GMT

    I feel sad for this man, my hero. I followed him so closely all through those Ranji days in Bangalore. In my friend's circle, I am credited with putting my money on this man predicting greater things from him in 1996 (soon after India's world cup debacle, but before Dravid played any international match). Now the time has come to realise that my hero is on the verge of going out. His terrific average (which was once greater than Sachin's) has faded. His runs are indeed dry now. He is physically so fit, he can carry on for another 4 years. He is waiting for another world record, of catches, but he is tantalisingly close behind Mark Waugh by just 4 catches, but I now fear that his batting form will make him go away without a big hundred which was so familiar to see between 2001 to 2006. Jammy, please dont disappoint your ardent fans. Here's wishing you a top notch century at your in-law's hometown and a bag of 4 catches in the match. Come on Rahul, we love you.

  • POSTED BY Racyrao on | November 5, 2008, 10:45 GMT

    It is true that Dravid has not been in the best of form off late. The statistics do provide an interesting read but to brand him as second best to Tendulkar in test cricket would be incorrect. If you were to analyse and think the number of test matches he has won and saved for India he is by far the best Indian test bastsman to have played the game. He has had a glorious career and he deserves to be given his due. He has been the most valuable cricketer for India both in ODI's and test matches.

    His greatness to an extent has been curtailed because we got to witness three other batting legends in the same era (Laxaman, Ganguly and Tendulkar). I consider myself lucky to have followed Indian cricket at a time when these guys graced the game. I am not sure whether we would be able to find cricketers who would play consistently and selflessly for over a decade with least controversies.

  • POSTED BY Diwakar on | November 5, 2008, 10:45 GMT

    Thanks, Dilip, for calling a spade a spade. Dravid has somehow been the holy cow of Indian cricket; any comment on his form or on the excruciatingly slow batting that he indulges in are taken as slurs against him.

    There is no denying that he is a fantastic Test cricketer. Nor can one deny that he has played some amazing innings. But he should never have been in the ODI side and he very well might not have been, if he was not thrown a lifeline in the form of a job behind the stumps.

    Other cricketers have been shown the door for much lesser crimes than Dravid's. Not long ago, the majority of the media pundits and a sizeable chunk of the lay pundits were braying for Sachin's head. Not a peep from them about Dravid, however. It is good that you have put things in the right perspective.

    One hopes that Dravid will show his form of old in the Nagpur Test, failing which, the selection committee should award his place to a deserving batsman.