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Miandad requests India’s team management to encourage the great batsman

Thursday, November 06, 2021



‘Its time to lift Dravid’


Sai Mohan

The batsman who was once hailed as the ‘Mr. Dependable’ and ‘The Wall’ of Indian cricket and commanded laudable reverence from bowlers across the world for his resistance, patience, precision, skill and ability to score the big double hundreds, Rahul Dravid, is going through quite easily the worst phase of his career as a Test batsman.

The former India captain who sacrificed his position at the helm of Indian cricket due to differences with administrators, has constantly batted under pressure for the last few seasons and with the awareness of a sharp axe waiting to fall on his neck, courtesy of a new establishment, thought process, captain and regime in Indian cricket.

Team-mate Sourav Ganguly, who went through a similar phase a couple of seasons ago, fought back, regained his place in the team and proved his detractors wrong like only he can. However Dravid has failed to replicate his companion.

The most disturbing aspect of Dravid’s failures is that he has looked in complete control while playing his strokes but is not able to convert his starts to big scores. His statistics as a batsman over the last few seasons throw more light into his disconcerting run:-

Rahul Dravid in 2008:-

Tests: 13* | Runs: 659 | Avg: 31 | 100s: 1 | 50s: 4

Rahul Dravid in the last two years:-

Tests: 25 | Runs: 1314 | Avg: 31 | 100s: 2 | 50s: 7

Cricketnirvana.com spoke to legendary batsman and former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad to asses this great Indian batsman’s poor run of form.

“The biggest reason for his constant failures has been because he’s not sure of his position in the team. He has been dropped from the ODI team and there is a question mark on his place in the team. He has been punt under immense pressure by the team management, the public, media and everyone else. It’s telling on his performance.”

No Indian batsman since the inception of the sport in the nation has done better than Rahul Sharad Dravid when the national team travels overseas. He has been the man who has invariably risen to the bigger occasions and delivered under pressure. It is rather disturbing that he hasn’t stepped up to the plate in recent times.

“Dravid has always been the batsman who has stood up and done well under pressure. However this is a different kind of pressure. In this case everyone including the team management and probably the captain want him out at the earliest. That’s not good.”

Young batsmen who are coming up the ranks don’t exactly understand the strenuousness of Test cricket. It is evident in their first-class records and lack of hunger for the big hundreds. India is most likely to suffer when they tour New Zealand or South Africa. However Miandad disagrees…

“I don’t agree with that. We have to think positively at this level. A good player will perform at any level. I know that the sport has changed now but a bit of fine tuning will ensure that even these youngsters like Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina will do well in the longer version of the game. Batsmen like Dravid and Tendulkar must coach these guys”

Firstly Dravid gave up his captaincy and then almost immediately lost his place in the ODI team. He opened the batting to accommodate a flashy Yuvraj Singh in the playing XI but still managed to get a few runs under his belt. Clearly, he is not the same batsman.

“These youngsters have come into the team and displayed enormous talent. MS Dhoni has done a phenomenal job as captain. All credit goes to Dilip Vengsarkar for building this new Indian outfit. However Dravid doesn’t deserve this treatment. He is the man who has given his heart and soul for the nation. They should have a word with him and ask him why he is suffering. This is time to lift him and not bring him down.”

So the million dollar question has risen. Ganguly in his retirement speech said that ‘we hope to go out on a high note’. Anil Kumble has joined him in the pursuit to do so, is Dravid following suit?

“The scenario has changed now. There are good young players coming up who are challenging Dravid. There was a time when nobody could question his place. My request to entire country of India is to encourage this champion. The selectors must go up to him and ask him what his plan for the future is. They should give him a well-deserved exit.”

Miandad had more than a few words for the former India captain…

“Rahul, you are a fantastic player and in my opinion, technically the soundest player I have seen in a very long time. Your services for the nation have been phenomenal. My advice to you is to try and free your mind off whatever is going on and play naturally. You are just one knock away from regaining your fantastic touch. Think positive and everything will fall in place.”
 


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