Monday, June 20, 2011

THE WALL STANDS 15 YEARS TALL

When Rahul Dravid starts his 151st Test match in a few hours from now at Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica, he will be doing so on the day he completes 15 years in international cricket.

On 20th June 1996, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly walked out to the cricket field as India's 206th and 207th Test players. Incidentally, it was also the last Test match of the great umpire Dickie Bird! Ganguly got his chance to bat on 21st June in the evening, but Dravid had to wait till the next day.

When he did get his chance, he fell agonisingly short of a Test century on debut at the Lord's cricket ground. Kumble recalls that Dravid was disappointed at having missed that hundred, and hopes he gets a Lord's hundred when India tours England next month.

But next month is way too far ahead. It is today (or tonight as per Indian time zone) that is a great moment. It would be fitting if he were to get a 100 to mark this day.

A lot of words have been written about him, his match-winning knocks, his attitude, determination and what not! I will never be able to match the cricket writers who have showered him with all the duly deserved poetic praises, much like his batting when in full flow... but in my own small way, I want to salute a great servant of Indian cricket!

He may not have a lot more time left to play for India... and his batting now may not be what it was once... but his contribution to Indian cricket shall never be forgotten. After winning the World Cup, Dhoni remarked in his press conference about the contribution made to the team by the former players like Kumble, Ganguly and Dravid. In a way, it was a salute to a remarkable generation of cricketers that India is unlikely to ever see again, and Rahul Dravid was a big part of it!

Not a lot of people got up this morning knowing that this day marks 15 years of Rahul Dravid's international cricket career, and a number of them may even sleep tonight without realising it. It's been like this throughout his career. Most of his accomplishments have come quietly. And quietly yet again, Rahul Sharad Dravid will take guard in Sabina Park...

4 comments:

deekay said...

and the wall is out to bat after fall of M. Vijay....:-)

Govind Raj said...

Shridhar, welcome back to Blogworld. Good to see you back. One most important factor about RD's debut was... He walked !

Since then he has Walled the Indian middle order for a decade and a half. Salutes to a Champion !

Shridhar Jaju said...

Thank you, Govind!

I had no clue that he had walked on his debut. Thanks for that bit of trivia!

Sad he got out after a start yet again yesterday. But a good 2nd innings knock can make up for that...

tattu said...

Good that Dravid is back to form before the England series. Will definitely help India. India needs Sehwag + Tendulkar + Dravid + laxman in top form for England series.

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