August 15, 2007

No Hail for Dravid's Bail

August 15, 2007 Posted by Vijay No comments
India's series win against England, IN England has given a breath of fresh air to India's cricketing reputation. As a new India emerges and the great nation celebrated it's 60th year of Independence, much progress has been made, even in sporting circles. Though not significant in the scheme of things of the accomplished performers of China or the U.S, Indians all over can take heart from the performances of players like Sania Mirza, Bhupathi-Paes, and also it's cricketers.

If one takes the significance of the series win in England by the Indian cricket team, it is no less than any other achievement. Although, with only 9 major test playing nations, India should have definitely fared better through the years. While one has to be proud of the achievement of this cricket team, it also raises questions about the future of Indian cricket. Critics have gone hammer and tongs at Dravid for not enforcing the follow-on against England in the Oval Test. But Dravid knew it best, and he took a decision.

Though as Sidhu paji's Sidhuism says there are no ifs and buts in cricket, one has to also realise that after a game is over, it is much easier to praise or criticise the decisions made. The Ifs and BUTS that come to mind are :

1. IF Dravid and his team built up a lead of over 550 by the end of the second session of play on the 4th day, India could have had more time to bowl out England. But this was not to be, and India's top order batting let Dravid down. Hence the delay in declaring.

2. IF Dravid had also played an equally majestic innings as Ganguly, I doubt how many so called critics would be questioning his decision now. BUT Dravid had no other option after India were reduced to 11-3.

3. IF Dravid was not at the crease as a batsman for India at that time in the innings, England could well have snatched an improbable victory, because India gets nervy when it comes to being on the verge of history . But Dravid remained, ground the England bowlers, and bailed India out of any possible collapse.

4. IF India faces the same situation 2 years from now when Dravid would have retired from all forms of cricket, India may well end up losing. BUT no one realises the value of Dravid the Wall.

5. IF India had bowled out England on the last day and won the match, Dravid's decision would have been hailed as a masterstroke. BUT, it was not to be.

It is quite obvious tha Dravid was going for safety as against risk. Because India still are not the invincibles that Australia were (were because no one knows without Warne/McGrath how they will fare now) till end of Ashes this year, in order to take risks and get away with losses which were very few like the Eden Gardens one in 2001.

It is very easy to criticise. But the entire nation has to take into account the high morale of the Indian dressing room. The positive vibes it will create for all the future cricketers of India. The confidence can only grow higher now, with the realisation that a victory overseas can be achieved and they are also capable of wrapping up series wins. That too with only one world class bowler in Kumble.In that context India's bowlers did perform exceedingly well. So, the moment now is to value the series win, and try one's best to forget the 96 ball innings of Dravid.