June 28, 2011

Dravid and the art of defence

India's No. 3 is a living testament to the idea that you need application and will more than talent to succeed in sport
130

The pitch at Sabina Park was challenging and the Test match was in the balance, but Rahul Dravid would agree that a more experienced bowling attack would have tested him more. Dravid's 151 Tests against the 69 of the West Indian bowlers combined was always going to be a mismatch. But while this was not one of his best hundreds by any stretch of the imagination, it was an important one nevertheless, given the stage his career is at. And it allows us dwell a bit on the Dravid success story as he completes 15 years in international cricket.

To start with, success does not come as easily to Dravid as it seems to do to others: you get the feeling that he has had to work at it a little more.

I believe Dravid can be a more realistic batting role model for young Indian batsmen than a Tendulkar, Sehwag or VVS Laxman, for Dravid is the least gifted on that list. While Tendulkar is a prodigious, rare talent, Dravid's basic talent can be found in many, but what he has made of it is the rare, almost unbelievable, Dravid story. That you don't need to have great talent to become a sportsman is reinforced by Dravid's achievements over the last 15 years. And that he is now an all-time Indian batting great highlights his speciality: his ability to over-achieve. Indeed, he would have probably have performed beyond his talent in any profession of his choosing. Indian cricket is fortunate that he chose it.

For a batsman of his nature and skills, that he ended up playing 339 one-day internationals, and still contributes to his IPL team in Twenty20, shows his strength of mind. It is a mindset that sets almost unreasonably high goals for his talents to achieve and then wills the body on to achieve them.

Dravid is a defensive batsman who has made it in a cricket world that fashions and breeds attacking batsmen. If he had played in the '70s and '80s, life would have been easier for him. Those were times when a leave got nods of approval and admiration from the spectators.

Dravid has played the bulk of his cricket in an era when defensive batting is considered almost a handicap. This is why it is rare to see a defensive batsman come through the modern system. Young batsmen with a defensive batting mindset choose to turn themselves into attacking players, for becoming a defensive player in modern cricket is not considered a smart choice.

Not to say that Dravid has been all defensive, though. He has one shot that is uncommon in a defensive Indian batsman: the pull. It is a superb instinctive stroke against fast bowling, and it is a stroke Dravid has had from the outset; a shot that has bailed him out of many tight situations in Tests.

When I saw him at the start of his career, I must confess Dravid's attitude concerned me. As young cricketers, we were often reminded to not think too much - and also sometimes reprimanded by our coaches and senior team-mates for doing so. Being a thinker in cricket, it is argued, makes you complicate a game that is played best when it is kept simple. I thought Dravid was doing precisely that: thinking too much about his game, his flaws and so on. I once saw him shadow-playing a false shot that had got him out. No problem with that, everyone does it. Just that Dravid was rehearsing the shot at a dinner table in a restaurant! This trait in him made me wonder whether this man, who we all knew by then was going to be the next No. 3 for India, was going to over-think the game and throw it all away. He reminded me a bit of myself.

He has not committed the folly of being embarrassed about grinding when everyone around him is attacking and bringing the crowd to their feet. Once he is past 50, he resists the temptation to do anything different to quickly get to the next stage of the innings

Somewhere down the line, much to everyone's relief, I think Dravid managed to strike the right balance. He seemed to tone down the focus on his mistakes, and the obsession over his game and his technique, and started obsessing over success instead. Judging from all the success he has had over the years, I would like to think that Dravid, after his initial years, may have lightened up on his game. Perhaps he looks a lot more studious and intense on television to us than he actually is out there.

Dravid has to be the most well-read Indian cricketer I have come across, and it's not just books about cricket or sports he reads. I was surprised to discover that he had read Freedom at Midnight, about the partition of India, when he was 24. Trust me, this is very rare for a cricketer at that age. You won't find a more informed current cricketer than him - one who is well aware of how the world outside cricket operates.

Most of us cricketers develop some understanding of the world only well after we have quit the game. Until then, though experts of the game, we remain naïve about lots of things. I think this awareness of the outside world has helped Dravid put his pursuit of excellence in the game of his choice in perspective. At some point in his career he may have come to accept that cricket is just a sport and not a matter of life and death - even if he seemed prepared to work at it like it was.

Life isn't that easy, as I have said, for a defensive batsman in this age, when saving runs rather than taking wickets is the general approach of teams. A defensive batsman's forte is his ability to defend the good balls and hit the loose ones for four. But with bowlers these days often looking to curb batsmen with very defensive fields, batting becomes a bit of a struggle for players like Dravid.

It is a struggle he is content with, though. He has not committed the folly of being embarrassed about grinding when everyone around him is attacking and bringing the crowd to their feet. He is quite happy batting on 20 when his partner has raced to 60 in the same time. Once he is past 50, he seems to get into this "mental freeze" state, where it does not matter to him if he is stuck on 80 or 90 for an hour; he resists the temptation to do anything different to quickly get to the next stage of the innings. It is a temptation that many defensive batsmen succumb to after hours at the crease, when the patience starts to wear, and there is the temptation to hit over the infield, for example, to get a hundred. Dravid knows this is something that Sehwag can get away with, not him.

He has resisted that impulse and has developed the mind (the mind, again) to enjoy the simple task of meeting ball with bat, even if it does not result in runs, and he does this even when close to a Test hundred. The hundred does come eventually, and after it does, the same discipline continues - in that innings and the next one. A discipline that has now got him 12,215 runs in Test cricket.

Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar is a cricket commentator and presenter on TV. His Twitter feed is here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Vinodha19 on July 1, 2011, 3:13 GMT

    Probably the last classical test batsmen. He know his abilty and disability and play according to them. Youngsters should really learn from him not only the cricket aspects but also from his character. In recent interview Laxman said that making century in lords will fulfill my dream. but dravid said winning a test match in lords will be nice. here i am not commenting on laxman but i am telling the diff. b\w dravid and others. His attitude rocks. He never bothered his personal record if he had then he haved scored lot more runs then any one else. And I think gambhir is the correct man to take dravids role.the correct man to take dravids role.

  • A.Ak on June 30, 2011, 10:32 GMT

    I dont think there is any other batsman deserve this kind of an article. Only Dravid does. He is the man to trust when everyone else fails. He is got 2nd fastest fifty for India equaling with Shewag. Not defensive, he play for the situation. His away record is unbelievable, possibly the best than anyone else. I think the "ONLY" INJURY FREE Indian batsman (Ponting is the only other one in the world). Sanjay was so right, he is not gifted to clear the boundary at wil. Other than that he scores equally faster like Sachin and Ganguly.

  • jay57870 on June 30, 2011, 4:14 GMT

    But what really distinguishes Rahul is his Staying Power: It's an intangible asset that doesn't show up in his stats or charts. His mental toughness & physical endurance: Ability to handle adversity & crises; to play through pain & injury; to bounce back from fatigue & slumps; and, yes, to face constant scrutiny of media & public. Living proof: As a "crisis man" he has so many times rescued Team India in close, high-pressure games - as at Sabina Park - with clutch plays, gritty knocks & a dogged fighting spirit. He goes the extra mile. It's this invaluable Staying Power that separates men like him from the boys. Importantly, he's willing to back up youngsters with words of wisdom & a calming presence: Role model & mentor. Simply put, this man wears many hats! The future: This well-rounded, most valuable person will hopefully get into cricket administration/leadership, once his playing days are over. No hurry though. Like the Energizer Bunny, he could keep going & going & going ... !!

  • jay57870 on June 30, 2011, 3:48 GMT

    Sanjay - Rather than "defensive" a more befitting term might be "most valuable" to describe Dravid. He's been the one dependable constant at the vital No. 3 batting slot in Tests. He's been among top scorers in ODIs; adding value even as a useful wicket-keeper. He's filled a critical void as captain during the turbulent Chappell years. He's adapted his game to 20-20 admirably, playing productively in the IPL. Another value-added: He's a superb fielder. Turning to numbers, one stat needs underscoring: More than his disciplined 12,215 Test runs (third highest among Test batsmen) is his striking 29,420 partnership runs (highest) with his contribution @ 41.52% (possibly lowest), another striking stat. Meaning he selflessly takes on the solid anchor's role while allowing higher-profile strokemakers to dominate at the other end. Bottom line: He's a multi-dimensional player - in any format, any role (except bowling) - adept at maximizing his ability & value to the team. Most Valuable indeed!

  • Emancipator007 on June 30, 2011, 3:03 GMT

    @Ahmad Uetian: I just DOFF of my hat at your superb analysis and have been saying virtually the same points about Dravid's general indecisive approach and inadaptable technique in ODIs. He needlessly protected his wicket in numerous ODIs (because of his batting technique, it is almost impossible to get RD out in 50 overs ODIs but he OVERDID it and stalled momentum numerous times after Ganguly-SRT /Sehwag-SRT flyer starts).Only you have brought up some stunning statistical indicators to buffer the argument. Plus, I remember CLEARLY, Ganguly taking reckless risks to up the ante right thru his golden period between 1997-2002 to offset RD's horrible go-slow, risk-averse batting.Plus his Champion Trophy comeback proved the same thing: others lost their wickets going for runs.

  • Emancipator007 on June 30, 2011, 3:02 GMT

    case in the past. More than the Indian administration is also the diffusion of a more confident Indian English media and a saturated TV media which has brought the sub-continental talents to the fore. And yes, @henchart, I agree wholeheartedly. Younger fans don't know about Manjrekar's twin tour successes in WI and Pakistan in 1989 (very similar to Jimmy Amarnath's 1983 annus mirabilis tours of Pak and WI). Only Manjrekar was quite arrogant/obsessed about his technique and unlike Dravid who sought out elders and experts did not seek advice from peers/elders of the Mumbai fraternity (Vasu Paranjape/Sunny/others) to clear his cobwebs and become a more sustained success. For the obvious class that Manjrekar possessed, his ultimate paltry returns in Tests are still shocking to me (have interacted with him).

  • Emancipator007 on June 30, 2011, 3:01 GMT

    @Tennyson, there was no umbrage at you doing so. Just that I look forward to your astute, unbiased insights and first-hand accounts of watching players for a period slightly longer than my viewing start date (1979).And yes, I have stopped talking about the technical proficiency of the 3 Vijays on these forums as younger fans have forgotten even Gavaskar of more recent vintage!I have my own hypothesis of why past greats from India never got the recognition due to them and have spelled them out often in "It Figures" blog of Ananth. It is simply the overwhelming influence of the Anglo-Aussie media and the primacy of Ashes battles. Hell even until the WI started dominating world cricket from 70s; their previous legends were hardly lauded- only retrospectively. Also, visual media and the pervasive spread of cable/satellite coverage of cricket has ensured that SRT, Sehwag,Akram, Murali, Lara's world-beating talents are noticed worldwide and eulogized accordingly which was not so the CONTD.

  • on June 29, 2011, 17:17 GMT

    This is the biggest misconception that Dravid's slow batting help other stroke maker to play freely the fact is that bcz of his slow SR the longer he stays the more pressure he puts on batsman at other end and forces him to slog rather than just play natural game and in the process he gets out that is the specific reason SRT's avg was 42 while Dravid was in ODI team and just as Dravid was removed Sachin's avg rose to 48. Which means you are merely playing to reduce margin of opposition's victory which is no point of playing. Even the last Champion's trophy match of Ind vs Pak was the perfect example of Dravid's characteristic one dimensional role. Besides Dravid has never been able to keep up with the required rate for 250+ run matches. The few matches that Dravid helped IND won were where Indian bowlers had fortunately restricted opposition to below 220.

  • on June 29, 2011, 17:11 GMT

    India needed a sheet anchor and Dravid did this role entire career. His average was 39 with strike rate 70 in this role. Post Dravid era (since 2008) Tendulkar has taken this role and he has done this role much better than Dravid with average 48 and strike rate 85 in this role. Besides Tendulkar faces the new ball too i.e. provides sheet anchor for opener too. This is the specific reason that during post Dravid era India's average score per ODI innings and India's success rate has risen and Tendulkar's average has risen from 42 to 48 (whereas his strike rate has come down by just 1 point from 86 to 85) and also India has won WC…Indian team who do not have good containing bowlers cannot afford slow scorers in side. Good bowling sides like SA AUS can afford such player as Dravid. Like AUS had Beven who won many (180 - 250 score) matches SA has Kallis. When you have to score over 300 in every match and chase down 300, a batsman with 70 strike rate is a big liability on team

  • on June 29, 2011, 17:05 GMT

    Nice Article by Sanjay..............In tests talent is just an accessory but not needed. In T20 temprament is acessory ..........................But in ODI's both talent and temprament is needed that is why ODI is the most superior form of game. ................................................. Tendulkar and Richards had the best blend of Talent and temprament and that is why they are true ODI legends.......................

  • Vinodha19 on July 1, 2011, 3:13 GMT

    Probably the last classical test batsmen. He know his abilty and disability and play according to them. Youngsters should really learn from him not only the cricket aspects but also from his character. In recent interview Laxman said that making century in lords will fulfill my dream. but dravid said winning a test match in lords will be nice. here i am not commenting on laxman but i am telling the diff. b\w dravid and others. His attitude rocks. He never bothered his personal record if he had then he haved scored lot more runs then any one else. And I think gambhir is the correct man to take dravids role.the correct man to take dravids role.

  • A.Ak on June 30, 2011, 10:32 GMT

    I dont think there is any other batsman deserve this kind of an article. Only Dravid does. He is the man to trust when everyone else fails. He is got 2nd fastest fifty for India equaling with Shewag. Not defensive, he play for the situation. His away record is unbelievable, possibly the best than anyone else. I think the "ONLY" INJURY FREE Indian batsman (Ponting is the only other one in the world). Sanjay was so right, he is not gifted to clear the boundary at wil. Other than that he scores equally faster like Sachin and Ganguly.

  • jay57870 on June 30, 2011, 4:14 GMT

    But what really distinguishes Rahul is his Staying Power: It's an intangible asset that doesn't show up in his stats or charts. His mental toughness & physical endurance: Ability to handle adversity & crises; to play through pain & injury; to bounce back from fatigue & slumps; and, yes, to face constant scrutiny of media & public. Living proof: As a "crisis man" he has so many times rescued Team India in close, high-pressure games - as at Sabina Park - with clutch plays, gritty knocks & a dogged fighting spirit. He goes the extra mile. It's this invaluable Staying Power that separates men like him from the boys. Importantly, he's willing to back up youngsters with words of wisdom & a calming presence: Role model & mentor. Simply put, this man wears many hats! The future: This well-rounded, most valuable person will hopefully get into cricket administration/leadership, once his playing days are over. No hurry though. Like the Energizer Bunny, he could keep going & going & going ... !!

  • jay57870 on June 30, 2011, 3:48 GMT

    Sanjay - Rather than "defensive" a more befitting term might be "most valuable" to describe Dravid. He's been the one dependable constant at the vital No. 3 batting slot in Tests. He's been among top scorers in ODIs; adding value even as a useful wicket-keeper. He's filled a critical void as captain during the turbulent Chappell years. He's adapted his game to 20-20 admirably, playing productively in the IPL. Another value-added: He's a superb fielder. Turning to numbers, one stat needs underscoring: More than his disciplined 12,215 Test runs (third highest among Test batsmen) is his striking 29,420 partnership runs (highest) with his contribution @ 41.52% (possibly lowest), another striking stat. Meaning he selflessly takes on the solid anchor's role while allowing higher-profile strokemakers to dominate at the other end. Bottom line: He's a multi-dimensional player - in any format, any role (except bowling) - adept at maximizing his ability & value to the team. Most Valuable indeed!

  • Emancipator007 on June 30, 2011, 3:03 GMT

    @Ahmad Uetian: I just DOFF of my hat at your superb analysis and have been saying virtually the same points about Dravid's general indecisive approach and inadaptable technique in ODIs. He needlessly protected his wicket in numerous ODIs (because of his batting technique, it is almost impossible to get RD out in 50 overs ODIs but he OVERDID it and stalled momentum numerous times after Ganguly-SRT /Sehwag-SRT flyer starts).Only you have brought up some stunning statistical indicators to buffer the argument. Plus, I remember CLEARLY, Ganguly taking reckless risks to up the ante right thru his golden period between 1997-2002 to offset RD's horrible go-slow, risk-averse batting.Plus his Champion Trophy comeback proved the same thing: others lost their wickets going for runs.

  • Emancipator007 on June 30, 2011, 3:02 GMT

    case in the past. More than the Indian administration is also the diffusion of a more confident Indian English media and a saturated TV media which has brought the sub-continental talents to the fore. And yes, @henchart, I agree wholeheartedly. Younger fans don't know about Manjrekar's twin tour successes in WI and Pakistan in 1989 (very similar to Jimmy Amarnath's 1983 annus mirabilis tours of Pak and WI). Only Manjrekar was quite arrogant/obsessed about his technique and unlike Dravid who sought out elders and experts did not seek advice from peers/elders of the Mumbai fraternity (Vasu Paranjape/Sunny/others) to clear his cobwebs and become a more sustained success. For the obvious class that Manjrekar possessed, his ultimate paltry returns in Tests are still shocking to me (have interacted with him).

  • Emancipator007 on June 30, 2011, 3:01 GMT

    @Tennyson, there was no umbrage at you doing so. Just that I look forward to your astute, unbiased insights and first-hand accounts of watching players for a period slightly longer than my viewing start date (1979).And yes, I have stopped talking about the technical proficiency of the 3 Vijays on these forums as younger fans have forgotten even Gavaskar of more recent vintage!I have my own hypothesis of why past greats from India never got the recognition due to them and have spelled them out often in "It Figures" blog of Ananth. It is simply the overwhelming influence of the Anglo-Aussie media and the primacy of Ashes battles. Hell even until the WI started dominating world cricket from 70s; their previous legends were hardly lauded- only retrospectively. Also, visual media and the pervasive spread of cable/satellite coverage of cricket has ensured that SRT, Sehwag,Akram, Murali, Lara's world-beating talents are noticed worldwide and eulogized accordingly which was not so the CONTD.

  • on June 29, 2011, 17:17 GMT

    This is the biggest misconception that Dravid's slow batting help other stroke maker to play freely the fact is that bcz of his slow SR the longer he stays the more pressure he puts on batsman at other end and forces him to slog rather than just play natural game and in the process he gets out that is the specific reason SRT's avg was 42 while Dravid was in ODI team and just as Dravid was removed Sachin's avg rose to 48. Which means you are merely playing to reduce margin of opposition's victory which is no point of playing. Even the last Champion's trophy match of Ind vs Pak was the perfect example of Dravid's characteristic one dimensional role. Besides Dravid has never been able to keep up with the required rate for 250+ run matches. The few matches that Dravid helped IND won were where Indian bowlers had fortunately restricted opposition to below 220.

  • on June 29, 2011, 17:11 GMT

    India needed a sheet anchor and Dravid did this role entire career. His average was 39 with strike rate 70 in this role. Post Dravid era (since 2008) Tendulkar has taken this role and he has done this role much better than Dravid with average 48 and strike rate 85 in this role. Besides Tendulkar faces the new ball too i.e. provides sheet anchor for opener too. This is the specific reason that during post Dravid era India's average score per ODI innings and India's success rate has risen and Tendulkar's average has risen from 42 to 48 (whereas his strike rate has come down by just 1 point from 86 to 85) and also India has won WC…Indian team who do not have good containing bowlers cannot afford slow scorers in side. Good bowling sides like SA AUS can afford such player as Dravid. Like AUS had Beven who won many (180 - 250 score) matches SA has Kallis. When you have to score over 300 in every match and chase down 300, a batsman with 70 strike rate is a big liability on team

  • on June 29, 2011, 17:05 GMT

    Nice Article by Sanjay..............In tests talent is just an accessory but not needed. In T20 temprament is acessory ..........................But in ODI's both talent and temprament is needed that is why ODI is the most superior form of game. ................................................. Tendulkar and Richards had the best blend of Talent and temprament and that is why they are true ODI legends.......................

  • JackJak on June 29, 2011, 15:58 GMT

    Its not about comparing eras ..the new age cricket fans ..go crazy calling cricketers god this that..So sometimes we have to remind people that cricket was tougher just a few years before..till the late 80s and early 90s..No helmets..Bowlers who could bowl real fast..uncovered pitches..grassy pitches..good swing bowlers..really quick bowlers..Maybe the spinners were not a big factor then because pacers were so good and pitches were better. It was lovely to see a batsman getting beaten outside off..nowadays a little more life in the pitch..all the batsmen get beaten all ends up..This was what test cricket was all about..when we played abroad all the time. Even Indian pitches had more life in it..I remember West Indies getting India all out for 100 or something in Mohali..must be somewhere in the early 90s..Courtney Walsh, Kenny Benjamin etc..there was a bit of grass on..after that Mohali has become a dead pitch.So please all fans who go crazy be more objective when u call people gods

  • Percy_Fender on June 29, 2011, 15:00 GMT

    Emancipator. I am sorry that I confined myself to Manjrekar's article.No disrepect to a true legend. That is the reason that I did not make a mention of Sunil Gavaskar who without a doubt was probably one of the greatest opening batsmen of all time. He was as intelligent as he was technically perfect. The three Vijays, Merchant,Hazare and Manjrekar were also technically very sound. These greats are not talked about now because cricket itself has evolved so much and India has carved a niche for itself in the highest echelons of the game. Both Dravid and Manjrekar have played for India when they were moving upward in a highly competitive era.When a batsman is examined for his weak areas almost clinically and as they say sorted out. The thing is that in the past even greats from India seldom got the recognition due to them. It is different now probably because India has a great influence on the administration of the game itself.

  • sskris1 on June 29, 2011, 14:46 GMT

    @DEV_MCT : Very well said "Not his presence but his absence will be felt". and Oh will we feel it.

  • henchart on June 29, 2011, 13:53 GMT

    Manjrekar is only saying that Dravid at the start of his ie Dravid's career ran the risk of over thinking and throwing it all away the way Manjrekar did with his own career.Quite a few have railed Manjrekar's abilities as a batsman.I dont know how many may recall that in 1989 against Pakistan, in Pakistan ,Manjrekar was almost invincible against Waqar,Akram and Imran ,piling over 500 runs in the series.He also scored a fighting century in Barbados or was it Jamaica against rampaging Ambrose ,Walsh ,Marshall and Bishop.Technically ,he was more orthodox if not effective than any of the current Indian batsmen ,including Dravid.Let us not demean an objective analysis.Dravid is no doubt very good but Manjrekar was no mug with the bat as being made out here.

  • rbabur on June 29, 2011, 12:37 GMT

    I think Dravid has to be hailed for not trying to match any of the person at the other end when in partnership and if we can look at, he should have been part of the most runs in partnerships. It is not that he is always on defence. If I am not wrong, he should be in top 10 of India's quickest fifties. We tend to forget on dwelving on his defence. Also, he is very disciplined guy. Once there was a rumour, that when Indian cricketers are being told that you rock only on parties, he seemed to turn back and said, we are not Dravid to only practice/ read after game.

  • kiranthez on June 29, 2011, 12:16 GMT

    Rahul Dravid is the Best Batsmen in the World. ICC best batsmen No.1 in ODI and TEST........

  • on June 29, 2011, 11:55 GMT

    I think it is a talent to concentrate for so long, it is also a talent to have such an immaculate technique and footwork; not everyone can develop that..

  • on June 29, 2011, 11:54 GMT

    Hail the Great Wall of India......!

  • Indian2K11 on June 29, 2011, 10:46 GMT

    Mr.Manrekar, for the Sake of Cricket in India, please STOP Comparing your self and your style with Rahul Dravid. You are not even close to his Shadow. RD is by far the best No.3 India has produced. BTW you seem to be on a mission to Persuade Cricinfo readers to believe that RD is a " Defensive" player by repeating the Term " Defensive" umpteen number of times in your article. As rightly ponited out by one of the readers here, if you were getting out to the middle when score read 0/1 or 0/2, batsman coming in next would have to do nothing but Rebuild. Also you seem to have not overlooked RD's contributions to Indian One Day cricket. Stop calling Rahul defensive, he most often than not played as per the situations allowing Batsmen at the other end to play Freely. Pity you Sanjay that you lost your No.3 to Rahul Dravid & he made it count in every sense possible. Hope Virat/Cheteswar/Raina learn from the Legends Like Rahul & Ofcourse Sachin, VVS.

  • TheSanjeev on June 29, 2011, 10:36 GMT

    It is poor article. Why bring Tendulkar in picture at all.

    In the real battle (of test) :

    1. VVS 2. RD. 3. The rest.

    Period.

  • CSreekumar on June 29, 2011, 9:55 GMT

    It is not his abilities, but mental toughness and character earned admiration. He is one of the best character in Indian cricket history. He overcome his all weakness by the confidence and the toughness. I must agree that Sachin missing it and this is the only one thing.

  • DEV_ME on June 29, 2011, 9:45 GMT

    The asli "aam" aadmi of Indian Cricket.. batting away for so many years as tenaciously as the middle class man travelling in locals for the 9 to 5 job ..... no lordships, no knighthoods, no obituaries will ever be written for him, its not his presence, but its his absence that will be felt ....

  • RajaDinakaran on June 29, 2011, 8:12 GMT

    For God sake please dont compare Sachin with other greats of Indian cricket. They are greats in their own talent. Dravid and Sachin are often compared as pillars of current Indian Batting lineup along with VVS. All the pillars wont be same in size, But their use is to support the roof of the building(Team India). So please dont compare the greats of yester years or current crop of Indian cricket team.

  • rockdworldxi on June 29, 2011, 8:02 GMT

    The way manjrekar comments about indians greats is a shame on him. First on sachin and now on dravid. he should thnk his luck tht he payed in the early 90s n got a chance to play for india. Now even some domestic players who play first class cricket n ipl play better thn him n dnt get a chance to play for ind so i guess had he been playin today he wud not have even got a chance to make his debut

  • GRAMMY_SACHIN on June 29, 2011, 7:15 GMT

    I think this article for all its flaws, needs to be seen in right perspective as SM has put it. Dravid is a kind of a player who believes in planning, preparation, practice, patience & preserverance. His contribution to the Indian Cricket (including the culmination of Team India rated No.1 Team in ICC rankings) is immense. His role in the team is very clear that is to gring the opposition to dust and allow technically more inventive & skillful players like Sehwag, SACH & VVS to prosper. That's the role assigned to this great Team Man and we are all previlaged to have born in an era to witness all these blokes entertain us. I am afraid, we are approaching the end of an excellent deacade of collective brilliance of Team India Greats, and it is highly frightening to look beyong 2013 when all these greats would have hung up their boots. God Bless Indian Cricket Team

  • on June 29, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    Waw...ive heard a lot about jammy...very nic to know something new from sanjay....

  • sasidev on June 29, 2011, 6:15 GMT

    Dravid has the Solid technique to defend & craft through the most difficult condition. He has the will to stay and change the situation; and he does it supremely. Defensive Batman; the tag will be very much suitable for Sanjay Manjrekar. I dont forget what Ravi Shastri used to do. I remember those days i had heard people shouting for Shastri s wicket to see Kapil & Azar. Ravi & Sanjay writes too much than they dreamed to do. Still a lot of respect for all those represented with the indian CAP

  • monis11 on June 29, 2011, 6:05 GMT

    Character, Attitude, Hard work, Dravid, Sachin, Saurav, Kumble, Laxman there is more words...

  • Sivaaditya on June 29, 2011, 6:00 GMT

    Time and time and time again, it is but the usual attitude of every non playing person to harp on the strength of a player and talk as though it is a defect and how the player succeeded on beating it. WHY IS BEING DEFENSIVE A FAULT? It is a technique not many possess. It is a rare talent that this gentleman in question has much much much better than any player i have seen. Also and who is this Dynamite Kid who is allowed talk such nonsense.People questioning his talent should know that even know he is our best batsman on overseas tours.

    Yes he does look out of place in IPL or like Harsha Bhogle said in kingfisher Ads, but let us not demean a legend by saying he is not talented.

    It is the attitude that matters and the passion to make it big that matters. That has what kept Dravid and Tendulkar and Laxman on the top ring, It is not just their talent. Talent is OVER RATED!

  • on June 29, 2011, 5:53 GMT

    Manjrekar - pls stop saying "He reminded me a bit of myself" :P i reckon u r aware that you have just scored 4k runs in ur international career which is 18k runs short of WALL !!! U both have different styles of batting. in this article u have quite often used the word "defensive" for describing wall's style.. when the score is @ 0/1 or 0/2 do u expect him to hit every ball for 4 or 6 ... playing @ No.3 position isnt a joke .. you need guts.. wall has played 200 innings @ no.3 which is a record .. not many can do that n succeed as better as RD.

    WALL - U ALWAYS STAND TALL

  • Emancipator007 on June 29, 2011, 5:42 GMT

    @Tennyson, am surprised that during your almost 50 year span of watching Indian cricket, you did not find a place for Sunny Gavaskar -easily the foremost technician (that too as an opener!) in Test cricket after Hutton retired. The best part about Gavaskar is that he could pull out his full repertoire of strokes almost at will and did so with elan and panache with those 2 virtuoso innings of 121 and 90 in Delhi and Ahmedabad against Marshall, Holding, Daniel in 1983. He only curbed his attacking instincts to serve the team to eke out draws (the next best option to wins) because of the extremely average bowling attacks which India possessed thru the 80s.

  • Emancipator007 on June 29, 2011, 5:41 GMT

    @JackJak: Good to see you pointing out to younger fans about the peerless class of Gavaskar and the courageous Mohinder in tackling hostile, potent world-class attacks almost right thru the 70s and 80s. @shailesh.shailu1: fair points about Dravid but don't overdo the teemman bit about RD. Even Ganguly proud of his awesome ODI record gave up his opening spot for Sehwag. Sehwag is no LESS a teamman-always looking to grab the initiative for his team ALL THE TIME IN ALL FORMATS so that dour RD and correct SRT and VVS always get a chance to settle down in Tests. Sehwag could also preserve his wicket (like he did in Adelaide 2008 with that match-saving 150) but chooses to always gain the initiative for his team forsaking his averages -which still is AWESOME.

  • JackJak on June 29, 2011, 4:23 GMT

    Well Wasim Akram kind of belongs to the older generation too because he played in both generations the older one and the newer one towards the latter part..So lets probably only include McGrath, Brett Lee, Dale Steyn, Pollock, etc..and compare them with Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, Imran Khan and whoever..they were far better bowlers....But the English bowlers of today are the only ones who look good to watch but even they will struggle on the dead pitches all over the cricketing world..Its the BCCI/ICC policy to make bowling weak so that Batting Averages go up. The 80s era was less about money..and was more about passion and quality

  • licec on June 29, 2011, 4:18 GMT

    I don't know much about the techniques of cricket. However, reading this article suggests the fact that the chap who wrote this piece comprising mostly of junk feels extremely insecure of Rahul Dravid. Why else would someone comment on ones weaknesses again and again? Seriously man, SM has got to be one of the sorest losers ever in the cricketing fraternity. No wonder that because of similar other chaps, cricket is restricted full time only to 8-10 countries and will never globalize.

  • JackJak on June 29, 2011, 4:12 GMT

    Well those bowlers were class whichever era they bowled in:) no need to say more

  • moBlue on June 29, 2011, 3:11 GMT

    well... i love the way dravid bats and i am a gigantic fan of dravid's [as i am of sachin's and lax's, with their very different batting styles], but i agree with manjrekar! dravid is not *naturally* gifted or "talented", like for example VVS is... let alone a lara or a tendulkar or a sehwag, where the comparison is obvious; those three are wickedly inventive whenever they want to be. but let's compare batting "talent": VVS vs. dravid. VVS is *blessed* with the gift of timing. the next time watch VVS earnestly play a defensive shot wherein he does not *expect* to score a run, and watch the ball fly off the bat like a rocket towards cover and you'll see my point. the man does not know the meaning of "poor timing" in hitting the ball! in contrast, dravid *naturally* dead-bats! however, dravid is the defensive perfectionist. who would you rather have dead-bat for your life against a hostile attack? the flamboyant lax or the dour but near-perfect dravid? i think that's what manjrekar says!

  • on June 29, 2011, 0:16 GMT

    Sanjay Manjrekar thinks Dravid is not as gifted as the other "great" indian batsmen. hmmmm i wish some of our west indian batsmen could have Dravid's problem.

  • shailesh.shailu1 on June 28, 2011, 23:17 GMT

    Why does it so happen that every time there is an article of Dravid, there is always a comparison to other greats like Sachin, and always a mention of his "slow run rate". People should accept Dravid for what he is, and not compare and contrast his talent, value and greatness at every step. Dravid has been the most versatile player in the Indian team. He kept wickets when asked to, he opened the batting when it was needed, and his batting position was shuffled up and down so many times throughout his career. Does it not require talent to adapt to different situations so quickly, and perform at the level expected of him? And Dravid himself has said that yes, he is slow in getting runs, but he is stable and that is what the selectors want. He is not in the team despite his defensiveness, he is in the team because of his defensiveness.

  • Webfriend001 on June 28, 2011, 23:09 GMT

    Manjrekar is spot on, on his assessment of Dravid. Excellent piece!

  • on June 28, 2011, 22:54 GMT

    yup, agreed with you asterix.gaul, the point is very clear here. wonder why it is so difficult to get, Manjrekar is not comparing himself with Dravid, what he is tryng to point out is the fact that there is similarity in attitude, and yes, there is. but while Manjrekar played in a era more friendly to defensive batting, and he still failed (sorry, but truth nonetheless) Dravid played in a much more demanding time, and succeed...that in itself is a testimony of the fact that Dravid is far more talented...but the thing that can not be argued is the thing that he pointed out on Dravid being a better role model than a Tendulkar for young cricketers...and frankly, it is and will be applied generally about life, its not all to have raw talent, one has to work on it, dravid has proved that it is possible to achieve certain very big goals in life even if u r not that talented...and thats a classic point for anyone in any field...hard work, patience, practice, confidence...

  • sandeepchavalmane on June 28, 2011, 19:36 GMT

    I really don't know why the ruthless Muruli Vijay in Team? This all shows srikanth politcs. The better test player and best first class player is Manish Pandey and they did not pick him up for the west indies tour where muruli vijay is struggling to play.Even to be honest I can play those runs. I advice give a chance to somebody who is brilliant in playing instead of giving chance to somebody who has got money. Already they given more chance to him still they are keeping him in a team that is good enough to build a strong contender.

  • on June 28, 2011, 19:32 GMT

    I wonder if even Dravid knows about himself, as much as Manjrekar knows about Dravid. Manjrekar has used the word "Defensive" on countless occasions in this article. I don't know if Dravid will be entirely happy with this. Manjrekar's strike rate was no better than Dravid's. Dravid actually scored pretty fast in one dayers (may be he took 10 balls more to score a half century or a century than others), but so what? I feel it very hard to digest whenever Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri and Manjrekar pass comments in favor of scoring fast. I would rather have people like Sehwag & Gayle comment on that. Even talent wise Dravid is better, may be falls just short of Tendulkar.

  • manirudh on June 28, 2011, 19:08 GMT

    If Dravid is not talented, Mr. Manjrekar is a bunny. I mean please respect our heroes. People like Manjrekar stand no ground to comment on people like Dravid. Basic thing - if he just kept defending, did some little birdie score his 22000 international runs? ... I mean even untalented people like Mr. M should know better.

  • The_Dynamite_Kid on June 28, 2011, 18:50 GMT

    Anyone with on ounce of brain and an unbiased mind will tell you first hand Dravid is the least gifted among Ganguly, Sehwag and Laxman. As for his comparison with Tendulkar, PLEASE!!! He ain't even 1% as talented as Tendulkar, Lara and Ponting.

  • debashisgamma on June 28, 2011, 17:53 GMT

    Dravid has truly been a great ambassador for Indian and world cricket.He may not have entertained like the others,but he has certainly brought India many a laurel.The Eden Gardens ,The Adelaide Oval,Headingley are a few out of many grounds that are testament to his exploits and services.As far as talent is concerned another such cricketer who comes to mind is Steven Waugh who made it big mainly on the back of his grit and temperament more than skill and talent..

  • veenviz on June 28, 2011, 17:50 GMT

    Sorry Manjrekar, take ur words back. You can keep ur personal opinions to urself. But dont paint the picture to naive readers of u n Dravid were made out of same soil. And to think of some1 who has own most away matches for india has with no talent!! ridiculous.

  • on June 28, 2011, 17:24 GMT

    Worst Article!! Demeaning!! Comparing Sanjay and Dravid is a like a comparison between a dog and a lion! Wht do you mean by saying Sachin is prodigious and Dravid is normal?? Non Sense! do you think everyone can play as exquisitely as Dravid does --?? That is prodigious. Stop being a loser!

  • on June 28, 2011, 16:49 GMT

    Very patronising article. To say that Dravid lacks talent smacks of poor analysis and judgement. I thought Manjrekar had evolved into a more balanced commentator. But I see that his inability to realize that Dravid has always been better than him is still there.

  • on June 28, 2011, 16:32 GMT

    arguably india's greatest match winner!!

  • asterix.gaul on June 28, 2011, 16:12 GMT

    The essence of the article is this: If you work hard, you will be able to extend your talent much more, and consequently, achieve success. It is a wonderfully written piece, albeit with some errors of syntax; I guess Sanjay meant that Rahul Dravid is the least _naturally_ gifted among Sachin, Sehwag, Laxman, and himself (Dravid). Likewise, Sanjay comparison of himself to Dravid. In fact I see it as Sanjay's honest admission as to what held back his own success: a tendency to over-think one's own game. And Sanjay wanted Rahul to succeed and not make the former's mistakes. As for the gentleman who called Sanjay a defensive self-acclaimed TV expert: You have not lived in Mumbai and watched Sanjay play in Shivaji Park or in the Kanga League. If you had, you would not be so unkind in your comments.

  • wambling_future on June 28, 2011, 15:19 GMT

    I don't understand why people start saying "today's batsmen won't do better against yesteryear bowlers". The fact is that one would never know. They might do better or they might do worse than one can imagine. The thing is today's crop of players are playing with modern day mindset. If they were born in 70s and 80s then they would have "learned" their game with the mindset of that time as the style of play then was totally different than today. It is not their fault that they were born in this era and not then and neither one can blame them for pitches nor for the low quality of fast bowlers as compared to past. It is just that they have learned their game in total different era where the focus has shifted from "technique" to "blatant attack".

  • Kunal-Talgeri on June 28, 2011, 15:16 GMT

    @JackJak: I was just pointing out how it was easier for Dravid-Laxman-Ganguly to make a case for themselves in the late '90s than Pujara-Kohli-Raina today. Just that the middle order then was more vulnerable, with Manjrekar-Kambli-Amre not having solidified their positions. I wasn't questioning the calibre of the cricketers concerned. :-) Just that the cricketers today have it tougher to replace the incumbents. Cheers!

  • crystosis on June 28, 2011, 14:34 GMT

    @JackJak What you state is not a fact. You can never compare different eras.It is a useless task. I could easily say "Had Imran Khan , Marshal , holding etc debuted in the 90's or 2000's they would never earned such a reputation or such a good strike rate on today's pitches" So what did I prove? Also you are doing a great disservice to the bowlers of the last generation. What about Malinga, Steyn, Brett Lee, Mcgrath, Wasim, Shoaib, Waqar ,Murali, Warne, Kumble etc?

  • sskris1 on June 28, 2011, 14:28 GMT

    @kranthi: Very Well said. My thoughts exactly. As bad as was Mr. manjrekars batting worst is his commentating skills. How can he compare his skills with that of the 'WALL' who is also a thorugh gentleman. Dream on Sanjay.

  • on June 28, 2011, 13:49 GMT

    The whole media machine falls over itself to promote the Sachin brand. Cricketers and commentators also climb on to the bandwagon to gush over him, for they understand that this is smart career strategy. To find a piece or article that is even mildly critical about Sachin is near impossible.

    But if one puts Sachin and Dravid side by side, whats the big difference? One has scored 12000 runs, the other has scored 14000. In fact, Sachin has been playing for 7 more years than has Dravid. Both have contributed in their own ways to India's wins, and in a more long term sense, to India being #1.

    Not to say that Sachin isnt worthy of all the adulation, but one has to wonder why there is such a mismatch between the share that he gets and that Dravid gets.

  • henchart on June 28, 2011, 13:48 GMT

    Dravid has scored a century against lowly ranked WI and he is ,all of a sudden ,being praised to the sky by the same Indian fans who,six odd months ago, were writing his cricketing obituary before the tour of SA.Dravid was and is a competent batsman.If the poor guy has an ordinary run next month in UK knives will be out, again, seeking Pujara or Sharma as his replacement.Beside being a solid batsman he also seems to be the softest target for Indian media and fans.

  • JackJak on June 28, 2011, 13:37 GMT

    Cricket overall has declined in quality ..everyone knows it but wont accept that..fielding standards have gone up and fitness levels..But please dont get fooled when u see sixes being scored and think that batting standards have gone up..U provide pitches which have life all the heroes of today will look so ordinary

  • JackJak on June 28, 2011, 13:36 GMT

    tendulkar didnt have to face Marshall at his best like ..He would have tested him ..no doubt..The whole West Indian quickie line up would have..that was pure class..All other sides had only 1 or 2 good bowlers But 4 good bowlers is no joke. None of the greats of today have had to face genuine class bowling from bowlers at their peak..India and Pakistan hardly played each other in the 90s except in Sharjah ..so Wasim Akram was already much slower..Donald wasnt in the league of West Indian bowlers..and Waqar too..so where was the real challenge. Ambrose and Walsh were there but West Indies was already weak by then. Walsh had lost pace..and people used to play Ambrose off carefully..Facing Marshall, Holding, Garner, Roberts..Or Marshall, Patrick Patterson, Winston Davis no easy task people. One after another ..Quick Bowling ..very few bad balls..and good bouncers. Remember Imran in 1982 no Indian Batsmen could face him in that series..Indippers..Only Amarnath did well.

  • JackJak on June 28, 2011, 13:27 GMT

    Most of todays generation have not seen quality bowling from the 80s or seen Marshall at his peak, Imran at his best..Holding etc..So what can u say..They only know what they see today so they assume what they see is right.

  • JackJak on June 28, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    Now we have more attacking batsmen because they are brought up and see only flat tracks whereever they go...if the ball swings or bounces a bit then they all struggle..Well not Only India..All Batsmen now struggle because all over the pitches have been made standard and uniform..only to favor batsmen..Imagine Suresh Raina Facing Marshall or Sehwag Facing Marshall who used to Dig Those Dangerous bouncers into the neck and Sehwag would have struggled..Laxman never moves his feet..he would have struggled..Ganguly too..only Tendulkar and dravid would have looked good but even they would have had a tough time..they would not have had such records like they have now ..thats for sure!

  • ManAv99 on June 28, 2011, 13:23 GMT

    the most beautiful piece on Dravid that I have read. Especially the author maintained a balance without over appreciating him(as Indian authors often do while speaking about Indian cricketers). Made me feel happy...

  • JackJak on June 28, 2011, 13:20 GMT

    Please dont say such things that Dravid-Tendulkar-Laxman etc..are far better than Manjrekar-Tendulkar-Azharuddin-Kambli or even the previous era of Gavaskar, mohinder vengsakar, azhar, shastri...Well for one..The pitches all over have become flat..So there is no debate there at all. Touring West INdies used to be a nightmare back in the 80s and even early 90s ..Australian pitches had much more bounce..England ..pitches had a lot of grass and the ball used to swing a lot..dont see it swing as much..New Zealand too was tough. If any line up had to play in those conditions they would have struggled..they were capable of handling swing better than the present day batsmen.

  • on June 28, 2011, 13:19 GMT

    //He reminded me a bit of myself.//Comparing Dravid to himself in this article - I would say Manjrekar is in some sort of dreamy mood. The difference i think is - Dravid practiced the shot on how should it be. Mr. Sanjay might have practiced how he did not. Result: A defensive self acclaimed expert sitting on TV and A defensive world proclaimed test match winner playing on ground.

  • sskris1 on June 28, 2011, 13:19 GMT

    @bismoy: Obviously you have no clue what cricket is all about like @sameer said. I don't understand why my fellow Indians have to comapare RD with SRT or VVS or Sehwag or for that matter any other fellow batsmen. Can we not just be grateful, and honored, that these greats are playing for India and are adored by every one in the wole world. Obviously no two people are the alike and why should they be. After all cricket is a team game and no one player can win matches. My request to fellow Indians, Enjoy while these players are still playing and don't go down the path of 'who is better than who '. What matter at the end of the day is a great game of cricket and hopefully Indian victory, not individual records.

  • JackJak on June 28, 2011, 13:16 GMT

    Emancipator007: I never said that Dravid would do great against that quality of bowling ...I said he would have probably gone unnoticed if he had played in the 70s or 80s because most batsmen of that period had good technique..But certainly Sehwag, Ganguly, Laxman would have been exposed by that quality of bowling. Tendulkar's success is that he can combine defense with good attack so he can come out of it..but when it comes to technique well thats debatable ..Tendulkar has been exposed on lively tracks a lot by Ambrose and Akram too..the thing is none of the batsmen of today have to come up against really good bowling...Gavaskar was anyday better than Dravid ..Mohinder got exposed a lot but when he was in good form could handle classy bowling well. Dravid and Tendulkar is you talk about on a difficult pitch...both of them would have a tough time thats for sure..Tendulkar scores more runs because he tends to play a bit more foreceful shots..whereas Dravid gets too defensive.

  • on June 28, 2011, 12:55 GMT

    people are so eager to say Rahul is less talented. If he is well read that means, he got a bigger brain than other cricketers. And thats a talent too. With people saying such things about him, he is out there scoring centuries. Haha, write few more of this and he would score few more of them.

  • on June 28, 2011, 12:41 GMT

    I dont agree with SM's comment on Dravid's talent, he is immensely talented and he is not less gifted. He is not as flamboyant as Shewag or not the star like Tendulkar. It is just that Dravid comes by as more conservative and determined because of his humility on and off the field and the way he carries himself.

  • on June 28, 2011, 12:35 GMT

    Well, Thanks Sanjay for such an excellent article about my Cricket Idol, Rahul Dravid, I am pleased to see you touched upon some of soft skills of Cricket.

    Am in tears in my eyes meaning I am that big fan of Dravid..I just enjoy his stay in the crease and the game, but started worry I may see him for only a few years...

    I agree with what SM is saying in terms of Rahul Dravid being a profound thinker for flawless game and over-conscious about his shot selections, a realistic role model for young brigade of Cricket fraternity, but I am not so convinced that he is not as gifted as ST, VS, & VVS, cox when you see shots like Cover Drive (Arguably 's best played by VVS), Straight Drive (Arguably 's best played Sachin), Leg Glance (Arguably 's best played by Azar), Leg flick shots (Pull Arguably 's best played by Ponting) and etc. from Dravid's Bat, they look as graceful as those played by the those best's in the business..

  • Percy_Fender on June 28, 2011, 12:31 GMT

    I have had the great luck to have seen Vijay Manjrekar in his pomp. So when Sanjay was on the domestic circuit, I used to long for him to play for the country. It was a pleasure watching him because he was always impeccably turned out and his technique truly belonged to th book and Bombay in those days. Where he went wrong was after the tour of Australia in 1992. Ironically, I think he scored a double century in the first side game of that tour only to fade away. He was a slave to technique and could not stomach failure. I am saying all this because to be a great you need to have more than just solid technique. You need to be flexible and make adjustments. Importanly you have to be able to stomach failure and come up with renewed vigour. That is the difference between the two finest technically equipped batsmen that I have been privileged to see. Sanjay was rigid wheras Rahul made adjustments that were so necessary to play on different wickets.Kahdoos is fine with some flexibility.

  • madvrk on June 28, 2011, 12:23 GMT

    I agree with Chirag.The term controlled seems to be more appropriate than defensive.If he had been too defensive, India wouldn't have won so many matches.

  • on June 28, 2011, 11:58 GMT

    i think sanjay has overdone the word defensive in an otherwise really good article. if one remembers dravid had at a point the second fastest odi 50 by an indian and even smashed a 63 ball 92 against england before he got dropped after resigning as captain.. he's played many a handy innings in odi cricket where he has started slowly and made up for it later.. he has all the shots in the book.. people say 19 sixes in 151 tests is ridiculous but they don't look at the number of tests he's taken india to victory to out of those 151.. 6's surely don't win u test matches.. surely not! i would say he plays cautiously and minimizes risks in test matches and as he says plays the perfect foil for the dashers at the other end.. that is not what you call defensive.. its called playing for the team.. and that's what dravid has always thought about first.. the TEAM..!!

  • Bollo on June 28, 2011, 11:48 GMT

    I must say I`m surprised that no-one has mentioned (re.this article or in Harsha Bogle`s recent one) the similarities between Dravid and Kallis as batsmen. To me, this seems the most obvious modern comparison. While Kallis` overall record is statiscally better 12,000runs at 57, SR 45, 40 centuries - Dravid 12,000 at 52, SR 42, 32 centuries, I would rate them fairly close together. Moreover, they tend to be acclaimed and vilified for similar traits - resilience, reliability, concentration, excellent defence; slowness, one-pacedness, inability to dominate.

    Their performances against the best modern attack (Australia) has been good, but not great. Kallis 24 tests (4 centuries) at 41, Dravid 29 tests (only 2 centuries, but what innings they were!) also at 41. Dravid`s relatively poor record (22 tests at 33) against the 2nd best attack of his time (SAf) probably doesn`t do him too many favours either.

    Nevertheless, their endurance alone marks them as greats of their time.

  • on June 28, 2011, 11:32 GMT

    I liked most of the article, but really, the patronising assertions that Dravid isn't as talented as the others in the team and has made it purely through sincerity and hard work has become a little annoying. You don't make 12k+ test runs without being supremely talented. He is a defensive batsman, but that is just the way he plays. That does not automatically equate to him having any less talent than other more attacking batsmen. I just think it's insulting, damning by faint praise, to one of the most talented batsmen in Indian cricket history.

  • Bollo on June 28, 2011, 11:17 GMT

    @div09. Wonderful post. Excellent rankings. My only fear is that you may actually be serious!

  • ChiragDoshi on June 28, 2011, 11:16 GMT

    I think Mr. Manjrekar here has dwelled too much in labelling Dravid as just a defensive batsman. We all know his style of play is on a more controlled side but at the same time, his best innings have come when he has been a fluent strokemaker and a consistent rungetter..I like it when people pay tributes to him..what i didnt like in this article is too much use of the word Defensive.

  • gargi_vizag on June 28, 2011, 10:42 GMT

    Ideal role model for any aspiring youngster.

  • on June 28, 2011, 10:22 GMT

    I agree with all this. I enjoy watching Dravid bat (but I'm old school). Reminds of Allan Border. Very few would question that Viv Richards had more talent than AB but to compare them. AB had to face the great WI bowlers. Viv faced australian bowlers! AB was surrounded by a less than stellar batting line up. Viv came in after Greenidge, Fredericks & Haynes and had Lloyd, Gomes, Kallicharran & Dujon with him.

    And despite all those advantages AB has a better test average (albeit a much slower s/r - But that's the point.). Also, AB had a great pull shot. And was a great fielder like Dravid.

    Test cricket needs a Dravid or an AB and Australia could certainly use one of them now. I hope to see Dravid play a bit more against Australia before he does retire. And I look forward to him blunting the english bowlers soon.

    (I also love to watch Sehwag & Sachin bat too)

  • Emancipator007 on June 28, 2011, 10:02 GMT

    @JackJak: Just shocked that you are talking about SRT's streakiness in technique. RD has an overt-defensive batting technique while SRT has possibly the purest defensive batting technique which gives him more options to play. SRT and not Dravid belongs to the Bombay school of batsmanship built on technical virtousity (lead purveyors being Merchant and the peerless Gavaskar who I still rate as a better Test bat than SRT).And as for RD lasting against Marshall, Imran and WI greats, he would have been SCORELESS against that quality of bowling and may have ended with just 7000 runs in 151 Tests! Always remember that RD struggled against McGrath, Donald in 5 consecutive Tests in 1999-2000. And along with SRT could not handle younger Shoaib Akthar's brute pace or even tackle an ageing Akram. He has not been able to buy runs in 2 consecutive SA Test tours where his technique has been tested and he faltered. He was scoreless in OZ 1999 like Manjrekar was in 1991-92.

  • Emancipator007 on June 28, 2011, 10:01 GMT

    RD's place in pantheon of Indian greats is assured.Problem is the habit of Dravid's fanboys in overstating his case and coming out of the woodwork whenever he scores a 100 against lower-ranked teams.@Sukuviju is highlighting RD's role in India's famous win over Pak in World Cup2003! RD has actually lost India many ODIs in the 90s even mid-2000s with his obsessive, inadaptable wicket preservation mode (His technique makes him unoutable in 50 overs) and stalling momentum after Ganguly-SRT/Sehwag-SRT flyer starts. He had to play the dual role to preserve his place and give India an additional option in ODIs.@Kumara, you can add Durban 2002, Bangalore 2005 (along with SRT against Pak) where RD was CLEARLY responsible for India not winning. While scoring rate should generally not matter in Tests, in a different era, Boycott was dropped for the same strike rate that RD maintains in Tests. Plus RD horribly stalled momentum in first 2 Tests against NZ in 2010 after Sehwag's blitzkrieg starts.

  • princemoses on June 28, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    @div09: Jadeja at level 3. You've gotta be kidding me. Even Azhar.

  • sonofchennai on June 28, 2011, 9:43 GMT

    Sachin is likie Federer..Dravid is like Nadal...Sachin and Fed have class and gifted..Dravid and Nadal have become what they are through sheer hard work...No one expected Nadal to win on Wim let alone agasint Federer..No one thought any Indian batsman wud over shadow Sachin and thats what Dravid did when he was at his best between 2001 - 2007...Guys enjoy the talent of every person and stop comparing..Eachone is great i their own right..

  • Kunal-Talgeri on June 28, 2011, 9:42 GMT

    Just to add to the age and form debate, Dravid-Tendulkar-Laxman are better as incumbents, compared with the Manjrekar-Tendulkar-Azharuddin-Kambli/Amre middle order of the mid-'90s, especially on overseas tours. I remember the selectors then trying to get back Vengsarkar and Shastri in 1991-92, before Amre and Kambli were explored as options. Ganguly-Dravid-Laxman benefitted in the late '90s because of Manjrekar's and Kambli's woes at the Test level. In contrast, our current middle order doesn't need to be tinkered; they are temperamentally sound on foreign tours; so, Dravid too must stay. At the same time, we are depriving the likes of Pujara and Kohli the chance to be blooded on foreign soil. Sachin's resting in WI means Kohli can play, but what about Pujara and Badrinath? It is a happy debate we have in India, as Chappelli too stated in his latest column.

  • kapilesh23 on June 28, 2011, 9:39 GMT

    This is the most inspiring article I have read because it is about a man who is over achiever .Thank you sanjay for bringing out some fantastic facts like that he is a good reader .May be that is the reason why he is so composed and untouched by the glamour surrounding cricket .Hats off to one of the all time greatest greatest batsmen of all times for India .

  • on June 28, 2011, 9:31 GMT

    @ Kumaraswamy First of all he never chickened out as a captain ..that was purely a different reason better known to Vengsarkar ..Secondly even if he hates to open the innings as claimed by you the fact that he did it is much more lauding as he did it for the team ... Tendulkar or Ganguly who used to open in ODIs could have done that but didn't ...may be to protect their averages...and the Oval test you are referring to the Indian bowlers still had 110 overs to get England out ..but they didn't ...enforcing a follow-on or not is a team decision and not of the captain alone .

  • on June 28, 2011, 9:21 GMT

    Sanjay says "That you don't need to have great talent to become a sportsman is reinforced by Dravid's achievements over the last 15 years...." We all should have the less than great talent of Dravid. Any cricketer worth his salt would give his eyeteeth to have talent at least half of what Dravid has. Elegant shots on the offside, the cover drive and offdrive comes to my mind, and square off the wicket, the square cut. That shot he executes where he goes on the backfoot and drives through mid on and even the lofted shot over the bowler's head. and he looks elegant and neat. Just risk eliminated perfection. No wonder, he was called the Euclid of Batting!

  • DeadlyDevil on June 28, 2011, 9:18 GMT

    Dravid oozes class when he's at the crease. His compact technique may be understated but has been invaluable to the team over the years. While the other greats in the batting lineup have struggled in trying conditions Dravid has succeeded. I remember his purple patch in 2002 when he was scoring 100s effortlessly. He may no longer be at his peak but it is imperative that he plays in England and Australia as we require a player of his class, temperament and experience for these challenging tours. The youngsters like Kohli, while being immensely talented are a tad inexperienced as far as Tests are concerned and could possibly wilt under the pressure of trying conditions which they would face in England. A series victory in Australia would be the ideal swansong for a selfless cricketer like Dravid who has truly given his all to Indian cricket.

  • on June 28, 2011, 9:14 GMT

    plz stop saying dravid should retire . the poor felllow was chukked out of the odi at least retire on a high in 1-2 years .

  • Emancipator007 on June 28, 2011, 8:55 GMT

    @JackJak: Just shocked that you are talking about SRT's streakiness in technique. RD has an overt-defensive,one dimensional batting technique while SRT has possibly the purest defensive batting technique which gives him more options to play. SRT and not Dravid belongs to the Bombay school of batsmanship built on technical virtousity (lead purveyors being Merchant and the peerless Gavaskar who I still rate as a better Test bat than SRT).And as for RD lasting against Marshall, Imran and WI greats, he would have been SCORELESS against that quality of bowling and may have ended with just 7000 runs in 151 Tests! Always remember that RD struggled against McGrath, Donald in 5 consecutive Tests in 1999-2000. And along with SRT could not handle younger Shoaib Akthar's brute pace or even tackle an ageing Akram. He has not been able to buy runs in 2 consecutive SA Test tours where his technique has been tested and he faltered. He was scoreless in OZ 1999 like Manjrekar was in 1991-92.

  • joseyesu on June 28, 2011, 8:50 GMT

    Dravid is a good batsman. And team india won the WI match because of him. But is anybody like to watch his play?

  • Emancipator007 on June 28, 2011, 8:49 GMT

    RD's place in pantheon of Indian great is assured. Problem is the habit of Dravid's fanboys in overstating his case and coming out of the woodwork whenever he scores a 100 against lower-ranked teams.@Sukuviju is highlighting RD's role in India's famous win over Pak in World Cup2003! RD has actually lost India many ODIs in the 90s even mid-2000s with his obsessive, inadaptable wicket preservation mode (His technique makes him unoutable in 50 overs) and stalling momentum after Ganguly-SRT/Sehwag-SRT flyer starts. He had to play the dual role to preserve his place and give India an additional option in ODIs.@Kumara, you can add Durban 2002, Bangalore 2005 (along with SRT against Pak) where RD was CLEARLY responsible for India not winning. While scoring rate should generally not matter in Tests, in a different era, Boycott was dropped for the same strike rate that RD maintains in Tests. Plus RD horribly stalled momentum in first 2 Tests against NZ in 2010 after Sehwag's blitzkrieg starts.

  • PSarathy on June 28, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    What does Sanjay mean by "That you don't need to have great talent to become a sportsman is reinforced by Dravid's achievements over the last 15 years" - The article seems to be written with regret (maybe because Sanjay himself did not succeed much) and filled with backhanded compliments - its time to acknowledge wholeheartedly Dravid's immense contribution to Indian Cricket - A decent, hardworking, never-say-die guy who will be difficult to replace, once he decide to hang up his boots.

  • jagatr on June 28, 2011, 8:28 GMT

    In team populated with Master Blasters, Dravid is the one true Master Batsman. However most attention-deficit slog-lovers will never appreciate the value he adds to his team. His is a classic symphony performed for an audience of techo-beats and hip-hoppers. "Bandar kya jaane adrak ka swaad"

    As a rare true cricket lover, I find as much delight in an obdurate test innings on a treacherous pitch as I do in a slam-bam assault on a flat-track. I still stand an applaud when a Dravid effortlessly bobs away from a Steyn missile directed at his head - and I cheer as loud as the next person when a Sehwag or a Dilshan slams the cover off the ball.

    And because I can appreciate the entire game in all its varieties, I feel special :)

  • on June 28, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    One of the few gentlemen cricketers ...am very privileged to have watched Rahul play for India...His career runs and records are a testimony to his hard work and mental prowess...Hopefully he sustains the form and earns India successive Series' victories( Windies and England )

  • on June 28, 2011, 8:03 GMT

    While it is a nice potrait of a legend of the game, it is not right to categorize him purely as a defensive batsman, though the whole world likes to do so. He's played quite a few well paced in innings and even in IPL. Even in the innings at Sabina Park, he started hitting big shots when he was running out of partners. He's just conscious of his role in the team, which is that of anchoring the innings. And it's hard to think of another player in world cricket who does that role so well.

  • sameer111111 on June 28, 2011, 8:02 GMT

    @div09: Sachin above Sobers, Richards. Azharuddin, Jadeja over Lara, Ponting, Sehwag. Kapil Dev over Imran Khan who was a much better batsman and a bowler. U must be joking!

  • abhi_cricinfo on June 28, 2011, 7:46 GMT

    Those who want Dravid to retire, I have to say something : India , Pakistan and Sri Lanka always back Old and young players, can you Imagine a 16 year old Aussie making test debut or 42 year English/South African batsman given a chance for last hurray ? Thats is Impossible. In case of Dravid , he is fit , he is scoring runs(not in bulk as you would expect but 'enough')and he has experience. So why kick him out of team. Sorry guys but Asian teams don't follow ""Kick Oldies and Hide Youngsters"" Policy .

  • CricketMaan on June 28, 2011, 7:44 GMT

    @bismoy - im sure you must be a baby born during the IPL era. Dravid was the architect of First Test win in Australia in the last decade during the famous 2003 series when he scored a 200+ and hit the winning runs in Adelaide, again batting against odds, that Aussie team has Jason, Brett and few more..He was the Captain of Indian team when we won series in WI and England after several years..He is the only batsman from India to score i guess 6*200s..and many more..but why waste my time to prove you wrong..

  • CanTHeeRava on June 28, 2011, 7:36 GMT

    Manjrekar jr (once upon a time) had a mindset and playing style like Rahul Dravid and hence in a way commenting on himself. Manjrekar could not sustain his game as long as Dravid has. Manjrekar has also admitted several times in recent times that he has now become an impartial/cold hearted observer and critic of world cricket but that has made him robotic. This article is no exception. Dravid, early in his career failed many times to get a test hundred and it was purely because he used to get bogged down in the 90s. He slowly learnt to overcome it. Technique has been his strength and that has also been his flaw. His domestic record for Karnataka is second to none. Dravid's respect for cricketing traditions and his admiration for Karnataka legend Gundappa Vishwanath have had significant role in what he has ahieved. Manjrekar has not touched upon that at all.

  • manju-amruth on June 28, 2011, 7:26 GMT

    good article,bismoy you are insulting great player dravid, keep in mind dravid scored against australi that too wher they are at top1, scored 233 And 73 in the single test match in oval, patnership with vvs eden garden was great.u sholud think while commenting on great player like rahul.

  • muski on June 28, 2011, 7:24 GMT

    Sanjay- I was watching a recent Interview of Dravid in which he states how intensely he watched you, Azhar and Sachin at the start of his career. Iam sure you would have certainly contributed to the Technical soundness of Rahul which is now a part of folklore. Its a pity that he has still not got his due from Indian Cricket fans.

  • anreddy9 on June 28, 2011, 7:20 GMT

    As I was reading thru this article, I was wondering whether Manjrekar would express his fear that Dravid might go his route (of doom) as both had this extreme obsession for technique and perfection for batting. " He reminded me a bit of myself"...oh, how elated one feels when he/she reads a line after one hopes it gets mentioned somewhere in the article. Lot of critics feared it....glad, Manjekar didn't feel ashamed to express the same. However, the reason why Dravid performed better than Manjrekar is because the former was well read person (reading brings courage...and I always knew that Rahul is a voracious reader) and, importantly, thought abt his game much more than the latter, and worked even more harder. While Manjrekar gave up at the threshold, Rahul continued to strive hard with a lil more courage. So, I disagree with Manjrekar when he says that Rahul was "lightened up on his game" or was not as "studious and intense" as he appears.

  • sameer111111 on June 28, 2011, 7:02 GMT

    @bismoy: from your comment its quite obvious that you know little about cricket. If you really think the WI attack was so weak, what stopped the other batsmen from scoring centuries? Granted that dravid is no longer the batsman he used to be, but he is miles better than all the young guns, who seem more at ease in IPL rather than test cricket. Remember, its tougher to bat on difficult pitches against average bowlers than the batting paradises that are being made against even steyn and co. Btw, you talk as if SL has the best bowling attack in the world. By current form they seem to be above bangladesh, but only just. When you play for some amount of time, people are bound to have a few bad series. Dosent mean that you struggle against them. Btw, Dravid's overall average against SL is close to 50

  • on June 28, 2011, 6:57 GMT

    if u will talk about playing against south africa obviously it was a bad series for him bt if u wud hav seen the complete match then whether he scored 20 or 30 he was rock solid till 1 bowl which got him out. unlike sachin who missed too many times evenif he socred hundread. nd as far as retirement is concerned we havn't found a replacement for sourav ganguly who was least talented nd kamchalau batsman than sachin,dravid, laxman..... @ boismoy

  • on June 28, 2011, 6:57 GMT

    No doubt he has been the most compact batsman and his defensive mindset has bailed out India on a few occasions in Tests, but the same mindset has also resulted in India not winning the matches that were winnable. The one that comes immediately to my mind is the The Oval Test in 2007, incidentally his last Test match before he chickened out as the Captain of Team India. It was a match that was easily winnable, but because he wanted to go on a high, he decided to play it safe and the match ended in a draw. Similarly, he has been not out on many occasions in ODIs while batting second, when India has ended on the losing side. Can anybody remember a match when players like Ganguly orTendulkar were not out and India lost the match?

    Some call him a team man because he has opened the Innings in Tests..But the fact is, he hates it...India has lost most of the matches in which he has opened the Innings.. Look at his avgs..If you want to see Dravid at his worst..watch him open the Innings

  • lxq_ikrana on June 28, 2011, 6:45 GMT

    @bismoy, Yes, Dravid needs to retire so that the same young batsmen who crumbled against that weak bowling attack (when Dravid didn't) can replace him.

    People need to understand that every pitch is not the one at Motera, where you can keep hammering the ball out of the park.

  • sukuviju on June 28, 2011, 6:25 GMT

    What is talent? Is it the ability to play effortless strokes or is it the ability to effortlessly concentrate on the game and the final objective of winning the game. I would like to take you to the 2003 world cup match against Pakistan. Every Indian remembers the match for the great batting of Sachin and the effortless strokeplay of Sehwag. I remember the match for the classy way Dravid guided the team to victory. In that match Sachin, Sehwag and Ganguly were all gone by the time India scored 150 runs and the team still required 125 runs. The Indian middle / lower order could have paniced and lost the initiative but for Dravid. He skillfully guided the chase and along with Yuvi took the team to victory. Unfortunately Dravid remains the unsung hero but who said the world is a fair place.

  • div09 on June 28, 2011, 6:22 GMT

    STOP SAYING HE SHOULD RETIRE !!!! He is one of the best cricket players the world has ever seen. 12,215 runs is tuff to get at that level with 200 or more catches. People like him are very rare. I think overall in cricket Sachin/Bradman are at the top then sunil gavaskar/kapil dev/ g.sobers/v.richard then at no.3 w.akram/i.khan/lloyd/a. border/dravid/ganguly/azarudin/jadeja/ and then people like sehwag dhoni and gambhir and ponting and lara and jayasuria and stuff comes in. Dravid is a great and I think he should play for at least another 2-3 years because he still has the skills to!!!!!!

  • Sundyp on June 28, 2011, 6:21 GMT

    @bismoy, i understand your frustration.. for you if 4 catches dropped and two run outs missed and if SRT scores 85 runs and gets MoM... you consider that as a great innings... Did you forget to thank those pakistani fielders then? Real test of RD was started in England itslef at Lords... Did you forget that be debuted in England??

  • on June 28, 2011, 6:13 GMT

    the world most classical player

  • Prashant_Dhamija on June 28, 2011, 6:08 GMT

    @bismoy West Indian bowling attack was weak for rest of the team as well. Wasn't it? Then why only Dravid managed to stand against them? In first innings too, Dravid's 40 was useful for the team but that was overshadowed by Bhajji and Raina's knocks. Dravid is still the most dependable batsmen in Indian team in tough conditions and this knock of his has proved it.

  • on June 28, 2011, 5:46 GMT

    Wonderful post, a tribute to Rahul Dravid's work ethics.

  • on June 28, 2011, 5:39 GMT

    Such an honest person,,,,honest to himself,and to the Game....He is just wonderful,one of the very few of his kind,,,,n really Indian Cricket is lucky to have Rahul Dravid,,,,alteast I admit that i have been very lucky that i got to know little things about him..Just love him.

  • Pankaj_Thakur on June 28, 2011, 5:27 GMT

    Yes good written, In fact dravid is the great batsman, he should play for india another 5 to 6 years or almost another 60 test match, then india will win many match & will continue at position 1 in ICC ranking, we will keep watching test match & his classic batting.

  • 5why on June 28, 2011, 5:11 GMT

    I recently saw the replay of Dravid's first Test innings at Lords' which was also the first for Saurav Ganguly, When Ganguly got to his maiden test hundred at Lords, Dravid, at 56, was the one who congratulated him. When Dravid, at 95 was caught behind, this must be the moment, etched forever in Indian cricket. A youngster, out at 95, showing a completely professional mental make up and walking off even without being declared out by the umpire! Now that moment is etched in stone forever, as Rahul Dravid has been, the tragic hero of Indian cricket.

    I salute him for his attitude, professionalism and get-on-with-the-game spirit.

  • on June 28, 2011, 5:09 GMT

    rahul dravid is the best indian test man ever.. he has contributed to more number of wins than any other cricketer of india.. hats off to him...

  • Farce-Follower on June 28, 2011, 4:53 GMT

    Great article. Dravid and Kumble. Ordinary guys. Extraordinary achievements. Respect. That's what these legends have earned.

  • Kunal-Talgeri on June 28, 2011, 4:28 GMT

    Hmmm... Seems like a fair point when Sanjay says, "If he (Dravid) had played in the '70s and '80s, life would have been easier for him. Those were times when a leave got nods of approval and admiration from the spectators." But I also think if he had failed in the '70s, he would have been dropped and never tried out again, a lot like what happened with Mohinder Amarnath. I guess, it has all worked out nicely. Dravid, seemingly an anachronism, keeps urging us on to better our understanding of cricket at its finest -- it is a tough sport played over five days. Also, I think India has had few others who can read the state of a game better.

  • Planetindia on June 28, 2011, 4:26 GMT

    @bismoy, You will see in the England that RD still has some gas left in his tank and he will definitely score a ton in the Eng Series. sure RD had his bad days in the SA series but everybody has, once in a while, Strauss failed in this SL series, Ponting doing bad for a while and so is the other, but that doesn't mean that they are bad. Sachin had his bad days in the 2006 and 2007, but then he hit 200 in the ODI and his average in the Test has been getting better and better. I believe that people shouldn't judge a player on their Age or their one or two fail series, Especially the one of the Greatest player.

  • ramsharat on June 28, 2011, 4:21 GMT

    everybody is not tendulkar. age factor catches up with a player. everybody tries to compare dravid and laxman with sachin but the fact is all three of them r different kind of players. don't ever forget that dravid defence is the best in the game similar to federer who has the best second serve!!!!!he is a legend....:-)

  • JackJak on June 28, 2011, 4:13 GMT

    I don't totally agree with Manjrekar here...Dravid maybe the less gifted among the 4 namely Sehwag, Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman when it comes to shot making ability but when it comes to combining defense with good technically sound strokes which minimizes the streakiness he is far better than the other 4 including Tendulkar. Out of all of them Dravid would have performed a bit better had he been tested against the good quality bowling of the late 70s and 80s. He plays the short ball far better..and the only thing that can be held against him is.. he would play a bit too defensively, but against Malcolm Marshall, Roberts, Imran Khan at his peak, Michael Holding, Winston Davis, Patrick Patterson, Joel Garner, Dennis Lillee his technique would have been far more tighter than Laxman's, Tendulkar, Ganguly's or Sehwag's. But then Dravid would have been one among the many defensive batsmen of the 70s and 80s so probably he wouldnt have been considered great like he is now.

  • vaidyar on June 28, 2011, 4:11 GMT

    Great article. Mainly because it comes from Manjrekar. Dravid when he came in was considered the next Manjrekar for India, but went way beyond that. Like Sanjay points out candidly, he avoided falling into the pitfall of obsession with his own technique. The story is that this change happened after the 99-00 series 3-0 whitewash in Australia. Dravid spent time talking to the sports psychiatrist brought along by John Wright and the focus shifted from technique to runs. Wonder what all those players in the 80s, and 90s including Sanjay could've achieved with the right support sytem, eh? But yes, agree on the talent part. He is all about driving oneself to achieve what doesn't come naturally to him. The apt comparison would be the Waugh twins. While Mark was exceptionally gifted while lacking the mind for it, Steve was mostly the mind, canning shots he was getting out to, and prepared to gritting it out. No wonder Dravid sought him out as a mentor early on and had a huge influence on him.

  • ram_sachin on June 28, 2011, 4:09 GMT

    Super Likes to the article, The unsung hero has just now been sung again. Dravid's the best amongst the all time No.3 for India without a doubt.

  • on June 28, 2011, 4:06 GMT

    Nice article explaining the rigour and mental toughness of this guy who has served Indian cricket for a long time.... Hope some youngsters are inspired by this and replicate the same post hos era...

  • on June 28, 2011, 4:00 GMT

    It is ridiculous to say that Dravid does not have great talent. While I understand that it is meant to be a testament to his powers of concentration, it is erroneous. Dravid, at his best, has grace and elegance that very few batsmen possess. When you watch Dravid cut you get to witness this elegance. I believe it is rather naive of Mr. Manjrekar to only think of Dravid as a defensive batman when he is so much more.

  • bismoy on June 28, 2011, 3:52 GMT

    Wow Dravid is a great player when playing against NZ or west indies......when he played against SA ,everyone known what happened ..wall crumbled and how???

    Not to forget he was awful against sl in sl.

    Its time dravid retire,he can score only against weak bowling attack not against SA,Aus or SL .

    Thanks to captain sammy who dropped dravid on 6...otherwise we will not have so many article to praise a person who has long lost his form and is just a shadow of himself.

    Real test of dravid will start vs England in England.Let see

  • ambsmams on June 28, 2011, 3:51 GMT

    "A discipline that has now got him 12,215 runs in Test cricket." You can't argue with that number. One should also mention that for most part of the opponent's batting, he stands in the slip cordon - primarily first slip, where his focus needs to be sharp as well. It is as if he is batting for the full match!

  • on June 28, 2011, 3:46 GMT

    One of the finest cricketer world has ever seen...

  • on June 28, 2011, 3:43 GMT

    Great post. Dravid would have excelled in whatever field. We are fortunate to have this hard working cricketer. Tendulkar's, Sehwag's, Laxman's can be rare. But, if you can apply yourself, you will be there.

  • RD270 on June 28, 2011, 3:32 GMT

    Good article in general. But I think it is a little harsh to say Dravid is less talented. Look at his backfoot on-drive off the quick bowlers and spinners. None of the more talented lot like SRT, Viru or VVS even play it, let alone play it as well as RD does.

    Dravid is a supremely talented player with a supremely disciplined mind. I think he would have achieved more had he allowed himself a little more freedom.

    I am also of the opinion that from 2007 onwards he should have batted at number 5 or 6. In his last great series agains WI in 2006 he batted at four not at three. I think he should drop down to 6 and let a youngster bat at three and groom the youngster while he is still in the team.

    Whilst I have and will to be a Rahul fan for his approach and the hope he gives the common man, I am not sure that he will succeed in England at number 3. I would be very happy to be proven wrong.

  • Johnjoy on June 28, 2011, 3:22 GMT

    The most technically sound Indian batsman of the modern era...!!! Not sure who gave him the name "the wall".....the wall breaks at one point of time... but Dravid never...!! What a player...!!!!

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  • Johnjoy on June 28, 2011, 3:22 GMT

    The most technically sound Indian batsman of the modern era...!!! Not sure who gave him the name "the wall".....the wall breaks at one point of time... but Dravid never...!! What a player...!!!!

  • RD270 on June 28, 2011, 3:32 GMT

    Good article in general. But I think it is a little harsh to say Dravid is less talented. Look at his backfoot on-drive off the quick bowlers and spinners. None of the more talented lot like SRT, Viru or VVS even play it, let alone play it as well as RD does.

    Dravid is a supremely talented player with a supremely disciplined mind. I think he would have achieved more had he allowed himself a little more freedom.

    I am also of the opinion that from 2007 onwards he should have batted at number 5 or 6. In his last great series agains WI in 2006 he batted at four not at three. I think he should drop down to 6 and let a youngster bat at three and groom the youngster while he is still in the team.

    Whilst I have and will to be a Rahul fan for his approach and the hope he gives the common man, I am not sure that he will succeed in England at number 3. I would be very happy to be proven wrong.

  • on June 28, 2011, 3:43 GMT

    Great post. Dravid would have excelled in whatever field. We are fortunate to have this hard working cricketer. Tendulkar's, Sehwag's, Laxman's can be rare. But, if you can apply yourself, you will be there.

  • on June 28, 2011, 3:46 GMT

    One of the finest cricketer world has ever seen...

  • ambsmams on June 28, 2011, 3:51 GMT

    "A discipline that has now got him 12,215 runs in Test cricket." You can't argue with that number. One should also mention that for most part of the opponent's batting, he stands in the slip cordon - primarily first slip, where his focus needs to be sharp as well. It is as if he is batting for the full match!

  • bismoy on June 28, 2011, 3:52 GMT

    Wow Dravid is a great player when playing against NZ or west indies......when he played against SA ,everyone known what happened ..wall crumbled and how???

    Not to forget he was awful against sl in sl.

    Its time dravid retire,he can score only against weak bowling attack not against SA,Aus or SL .

    Thanks to captain sammy who dropped dravid on 6...otherwise we will not have so many article to praise a person who has long lost his form and is just a shadow of himself.

    Real test of dravid will start vs England in England.Let see

  • on June 28, 2011, 4:00 GMT

    It is ridiculous to say that Dravid does not have great talent. While I understand that it is meant to be a testament to his powers of concentration, it is erroneous. Dravid, at his best, has grace and elegance that very few batsmen possess. When you watch Dravid cut you get to witness this elegance. I believe it is rather naive of Mr. Manjrekar to only think of Dravid as a defensive batman when he is so much more.

  • on June 28, 2011, 4:06 GMT

    Nice article explaining the rigour and mental toughness of this guy who has served Indian cricket for a long time.... Hope some youngsters are inspired by this and replicate the same post hos era...

  • ram_sachin on June 28, 2011, 4:09 GMT

    Super Likes to the article, The unsung hero has just now been sung again. Dravid's the best amongst the all time No.3 for India without a doubt.

  • vaidyar on June 28, 2011, 4:11 GMT

    Great article. Mainly because it comes from Manjrekar. Dravid when he came in was considered the next Manjrekar for India, but went way beyond that. Like Sanjay points out candidly, he avoided falling into the pitfall of obsession with his own technique. The story is that this change happened after the 99-00 series 3-0 whitewash in Australia. Dravid spent time talking to the sports psychiatrist brought along by John Wright and the focus shifted from technique to runs. Wonder what all those players in the 80s, and 90s including Sanjay could've achieved with the right support sytem, eh? But yes, agree on the talent part. He is all about driving oneself to achieve what doesn't come naturally to him. The apt comparison would be the Waugh twins. While Mark was exceptionally gifted while lacking the mind for it, Steve was mostly the mind, canning shots he was getting out to, and prepared to gritting it out. No wonder Dravid sought him out as a mentor early on and had a huge influence on him.