Sunday, March 11, 2012

Rahul Dravid-The Circuiteshwar of Team India

How ridiculous an idea is this?

How can Suave, Gentlemanly and Proper to a fault the embodiment of classical old world cricketer be compared to multiple Knife-wielding, Eccentric, Goon Sidekick?

The one whose specialty is Extortion, Unlawful Trespassing, Black mail. Isn’t it a universe apart from somebody whose life revolves around High Elbow, Still Head & classical Cover Drive.

On the looks of it, this is a classic Chalk & Cheese comparison, but are they really that different?

Think of it, what’s Circuit’s most popular dialogue?

“Bhai, tu tension mat le apun hai na”,

Maybe not in as many words, but hasn’t Rahul Dravid personified these same words over the years?

Just like Munna could rely on his trusted Circuit for any eventuality haven’t we as the fans of Indian cricket fan sought comfort fact, don’t worry Dravid is there na?

A treacherous pitch, a match saving situation, absence of regular opener, playing an extra batsman instead of wicket keeper “Bhai, tu tension mat le Dravid hai na”.

He has done it all for the team, even without being particularly fond of it. Why? Coz you knew this guy above all discomfiture would do it for the sake of the team.

Hell, not many would remember but he even won us a match against South Africa at India’s most unlucky ground in Jamshedpur with his off-spin bowling.

He did everything we asked for and more. But he never sought to ask for what we call his pound of flesh. Even when he was the captain of Indian team, he looked like the reluctant king & in the wake off one of Indian crickets greatest disappointments he readily gave up that crown.

Our movies tend to celebrate overt flamboyance and extravagance; the same is true with our culture where qualities like grit, determination, team spirit always tend to get overshadowed.

Even then I have a bone to pick with people who call him merely a defensive batsman, the elegance of strokes, that sheer joy of that knee bent cover drive or that elegant On- Drive was imperious. That classical high elbow stance or that follow through wasn’t it sumptuous treat?

As he walks in to the sunset of his cricketing career many would remember his famous knocks.

His stirring bridesmaids effort on debut at lords 95.

Finally the hundred at Jo’burg 138.

The Masterclass at Headingly 148.

The sheer immortality at Adelaide 233 & 70 odd.

Maybe the valor at Rawalpindi 270

Sheer defiance at Jamaica 80 & 61.

Or maybe his role in the partnership that changed Indian cricket forever at Eden 180 on anti-biotics.

Tendulkar gave us the Genius.

Laxman Artistry

Sehwag unbridled Brutality

Dravid gave us something else Solidity & Reassurance.

Now that he is not there, what I would miss the most is that feeling of safety he gave in the face of greatest adversity.

Can you imagine an overseas tour without Dravid? Will anybody be able to stay on the pitch long enough? Who will come to bat at the fall of our unreliable openers? Who will be the safe-keeper patrolling the slips? When India is staring down the barrel it will not have the luxury of knowing that the man who has batted for the most number of balls in test cricket is not padded up to take the opposition on.

Brian Lara himself once said “If I have to pick up one batsman to bat for my life it has to be Rahul Dravid”. High praise indeed, especially considering the fact that the guy who made this statement could bat, and ya very well too.

Raju Hirani once said in an interview that while writing Munnabhai he didn’t think Circuit would have major role in the movie. But honestly can you imagine a Munnabhai movie without Circuit?

In much the same way who would have thought Rahul Dravid when he came into the team, would become perhaps the first name on test squad team sheet.

Like in some cases we would truly be able to appreciate the genius of the man only in his absence.

Kyonki ab, “Dravid nahi hai na”

P.S. As for the way he conducted himself and exemplified the spirit of cricket. It’s best to listen into a competitorBrett Lee - If you can't get along with Dravid, you are struggling in life.”