Saturday, 17 September 2011

Good Bye Dravid

Dravid is now officially unavailable for selection in India's ODI and T20 team as he has announced retirement from limited overs cricket. He had already made the decision when he was surprisingly selected in the ODI and T20 team in the England tour. Even though his presence made almost no difference as India lost both the T20 and ODI's but certainly the great team man was there whenever India needed him.

Dravid was always considered as a test player who could not play ODI's. Infact whenever he played the ODI's nobody remembered those innings when he saved India, all people remembered was how slowly he got his runs. Though he actually got them slowly but then why did you select him in the first place if you think he is not suitable for limited overs cricket. Who knew at that time that this non-six hitting guy would go on to play 344 ODI's and score in excess of 10K runs.

Dravid, India's former skipper, played 344 ODI's in his career scoring 10889 runs at an average of 39.16 with a decent(well a little less improved from his 90's days) strike rate of 71.24 with 83 half centuries and 12 centuries. And boy he did hit 42 sixes in his career. Who says he does n't hit sixes. And he has done some bowling too. He has bowled 32 overs spanning over 8 innings of his career and has taken 4 wickets with best being 2/43 against South Africa where he picked up the wickets of Gibbs and Kirsten. And his bowling economy rate is 5.48 which is not very bad as compared to India's current batch of bowlers. In the all time run getters list in ODI's he is at the 7th position ahead of Lara and Gilchrist. Meanwhile he also retired from T20's though he played only 1 and that too recently where he scored 31 runs in 21 balls hitting 3 towering sixes. Certainly in the lone T20 match he showed his 6 hitting skills again.

Dravid had his golden period in 1999-2004 and in 2005 he was made India's skipper. So the man who was considered unnecessary in ODI's has led the team when it was in a  turmoil after Ganguly was stripped off his captaincy in controversial circumstances. Dravid is given opportunity only when no option is left. Such has been the treatment of the great man throughout his career. In the 2003 world cup India wanted to play an extra batsman in place of a regular keeper. So who would keep wickets? It was again Dravid whether he liked it or not. Such has been the nature of the great man.

While numbers say that his ODI career was great. But he was mistreated by the team management time and again. He was always dropped for not being fit for limited overs cricket and then was called back whenever the team was in trouble on bouncing and seaming tracks of South Africa or England. As soon as the team returned to the sub-continent he was ignored. But inspite of all this he batted well and played a lot of games and is one of the greats of the ODI game. In his last match he did well for India once more as he hit 69 valuable runs but given the current state of the Indian team, even this effort went futile as England defeated India once more. The team for which this man sacrificed so much could not even gift him a win in his last appearance. I am happy he has retired now gracefully and now the team cannot drop him unfairly. Thankfully his services are still available for test cricket. Wonder who they will bring back now when the  Indian ODI team is in trouble. Laxman???