Will he always be unsung?

March 14, 2008

'Sport not only bulids character but also reveals it'

A line that used to be printed on the Sports Page of the previous editions of the Times of India(before the makeover). A lot of sportsmen come to mind and Former India Captain Rahul Dravid is definetly one of them. They talk about Ganguly's strength of mind , I think Rahul's is as strong. He does the dirty work even when people are not watching.

Let's hope the Media recognises his 138 ball 139 runs (13 fours 1 six) effort against East Zone in the Deodhar trophy today. The media has been highly unkind, buthchering him for mistakes attributable to the whole team when he was captain and also by constantly criticising his batting. He is by far India's best middle order batsmen in any form of the game. It's difficult to come in and play at no.4 -no.5 and finish with a strike rate above 90 and winning India matches which he has done consistently over the last 6-7 years. In most big chases he has always been a huge contributor. It's because of people like him that the more explosive people could survive in the team. Don't forget his selflessness at all. He kept wickets when he was asked to, batted in different positions when asked to in all forms of the game.

As captain he nurtured players, supported players like Sehwag and Zaheer Khan. There are few things he did wrong except for maybe the timing of his captaincy renunciation. But atleast he went out with his head held high.

I think once people type cast a player or pass a judgement especially in india, there is no way the player can change his image. No matter what Rahul Dravid acheives there is a certain way he is looked at and thats how people will continue to look at him. I think he is a player who adapts to all situations, can bat on any surface in the world, face the deadliest bowlers with elegance and is a match winner. His worth is anyway understood only by cricket lovers abroad who have seen Indian batsmen withering away the moment they plant their foot on foreign shores. In india we tend to take some things for granted. Rahul Dravid , unfortunately is one of those things. In a country like Austraila he may well recieve a send off akin to that of Steve Waugh.

The way he is being treated is shameful to say the least. He was dropped after just 5 bad performances wheras we continue with players of mediocre quality for years. Dravid doesnt even have the kind of support that Ganguly enjoys. That kind of jingoistic supporting will never take place in Bangalore even if they have the worlds greatest sportsman from their city. That's how Dravid would like it anyway.

Dravid the player and the brand is still very strong and should be for atleast the next 2 years if administrators and selectors dont have their way. I just hope when he leaves the world stage he gets what is his due.

Cut to November 2009 (20/11/2009) : One of the finest pieces of writing on Rahul Dravid is this one - The god of fine things by Suresh Menon - On Rahul Dravid http://www.tehelka.com/story_main43.asp?filename=Ne281109coverstory.asp