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Dravid will overcome
by Boria Majumdar
Dec 30, 2007
He has scored more than 9000 runs in Test match cricket. He has been India’s best batsman overseas for some years now. Yet he finds himself shoved out of his comfort zone when things turn dire. To add to his woes, failure as an opener results in people doubting his ability ignoring years of hard work and toil. All of a sudden alarm bells are going off and there are scathing comments that suggest Dravid is losing the battle in the mind. Suddenly, Rahul Dravid, the wall, appears to be cracking.

And that’s what gives me hope. The Dravid I know must have started reading Lance Armstrong again, trying to distance his mind from the cricket in the middle. That’s his way of dealing with pressure, coming to terms with it and readying himself for the battle.

For some like Sachin Tendulkar greatness comes naturally. For others like Dravid, who have it in them to aspire to greatness, it is a peak, which when scaled has a fairy tale quality to it. Rahul Dravid’s aggressive yet anxious waving of his bat to the media box located at the very top of the club house at the Eden Gardens in 2001 was one such fairy tale. Interestingly, the current situation has uncanny similarities. Dropped to number five in the batting order then, severely criticized for failing against Waugh’s mighty Australians, suffering cramps and dehydration, and much needed for the team cause, it was an innings best described as “effort and toil” personified.

Come Sydney 2008, all of us, Dravid supporters, are eagerly awaiting yet another fairy tale. In 2001, it had all come together in that one moment; both hands went up in triumph, but soon made way for an aggressive swirl of the bat that went straight up for the media box-you have had your say, now it is my turn. How much we will appreciate if he does that to us again in Sydney as if to say my bat has once again done the talking, so please, please stay off me for a while. And the superstitious in me says that 2007, a bad year for him overall is also passé and a new year will indeed herald a new beginning.

When he got out at the MCG in the second innings, his face, which said nothing, said it all. It announced to the world the crisis of Rahul Dravid, the cardinal team man, one who can certainly aspire to the position of India’s best and most dependable batsman of all time. With sweat tricking all over, it was a moment that encapsulates Dravid’s entire cricketing philosophy-nothing comes easy and despite all the hard work he wasn’t able to do his country proud. Yet if you are prepared to read deep, it also said something else. It silently said that he was out there in the middle for 114 balls but will triple it if not more in Sydney.

My colleague Sundar, Sports Editor of Times Now, asked me yesterday if the Indians have any chance in Sydney after the Melbourne disaster. Reason says no, but that one face, a failed one, gives me hope. Sydney might well see a cricketing fight back of gargantuan proportions that will transform the series for India with Dravid making the stage his own.

If this happens, it will be deeply satisfying for it will be a product of much hard work. It will be vintage Dravid- unassuming but forthright.

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