Monday, December 15, 2008

The Dravid puzzle

In all of the euphoria, and there is plenty, following this win at Chennai, lets not forget that some things remain problematic:
If only we hadn't dismissed Dravid so early. An hour or so of him scratching around could just about have put the win beyond India..
I know Dravid is a professional, a true-blue honorable man (at least, I believe it). What is on his mind regarding his future in the game? The sad part of it is that I've come to regard the #3 position as a cipher, and Dravid increasingly as a non-entity (even on the catching front, where he seems to have smeared a few scoops of butter over his digits). Surely, he must know the game is up.


Blogger Subash said...

I am not gonna say, "Oh! How we have forgotten Adelaide '03 and Calcutta '01 and everything in between and more".. Dravid needs to have a talk with himself. Face himself in the mirror and break out of this slump in Mohali. If he doesn't, the game is up for him and I am sure he knows it too. I don't think he will retire just yet, but if he is dropped past this series, he will play domestic cricket and try to come back in to the team.

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Dhoni got away with bad captaining here.Even a high school cricket captain would have known better than to send Dravid no 3 , esp when we(India) have such steady?!! hands in Yuvraaj et al down the order .Laxman should have been no 3 , with Dravid waiting at no 6 , in case of a collapse- so "An hour or so of him scratching around " could save us from a loss.

3:47 PM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

Subash: I'll be the last one to forget about those games. Its because I remember them that this impostor puzzles me. Lets hope something is worked out for the sake of the team.

Anonymous: Dravid in this form is a risky proposition, yes. Can't disagree with your batting order (except for the fact that I don't think Dravid would have worked at 6 either).

3:54 PM  
Blogger Subash said...

@anon -- Steady hands in yuvraj?? Didn't Flintoff and harmison give Yuvi a working over in the first inning? I am glad it worked out for India. I still would've rolled the dice with Dravid at 3. If he had scored 30-40 runs, that'd have been a huge bonus. PLus, Dhoni has shown that he is not averse to changing the batting order if "he" thinks its necessary.. Cue Mohali 2nd Innings vs Aussies recently. Sachin at 4 and Laxman at 5 are very very comforting options that needs to stay that way.

@Samir -- More than people baying for Dravid's head, do we have enough options to replace him? Vijay, Pujara are there but the selectors and the team management would want to be certain before they give Dravid the boot.

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sachin was given extended runs despite his patchy form over the last 2 years. Now finally he has come good. Why not treat Dravid the same way as well?

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it was a vote of confidence in Dravid to send him at 3. But if the trend continues, Laxman might be taking that spot. For the life of me, I don't understand why Rohit Sharma and Piyush Chawla are not in the team? Chawla is no mug with the bat either and sharp fielder to boot. Plus who is gearing up for the first slip position post Dravid / Laxman?

8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Subhash : Was being sarcastic about Yuvraaj :-) .Hence wanted Dravid down the order to save the match if it came down to it , instead of depending on a guy(Yuvraaj) who cannot but bat to ball in a test match ( I know I am stretching his ability/ inability - I think he is not ready for test cricket).

12:51 AM  
Blogger straight point said...

samir, his career is getting extension after extension coz we are winning...

but selectors should think that this is the perfect time to quietly slip in players like badri, rohit, pujara etc when team is winning...dressing room is like party...and no added pressure other than own performance to look out for...

2:01 AM  
Blogger Q said...

There is truth in what SP says.. it is easy to hide a failing batsman within a winning team.. The Aussies have done it in the past for a long time with Taylor, M. Waugh, Slater, Hayden...

If India was not winning as much as it has in the recent years, Dravid's career would have been long over.

Having said that, the man needs to announce his retirement. He needs to leave with dignity. He can't continue to wait for that 1 innings..

2:44 AM  
Blogger Megha said...

Right Q. How much better would a scratchy 50 make him (or his fans) feel, if he announces his retirement after that.

I think that if he does not announce his retirement after Mohali, the selectors will keep him for another series. It is an overeas one, in NZL. I don't think they will risk a new player.

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I say throw him to the tigers. Literally throw him to the tigers.

Once I get the sponsorship deal with the ECB, I will buy tigers and any The England players who fail over long periods, get thrown to the Tigers.

It'll make selection meetings so much more interesting!

11:44 AM  
Blogger Leela said...

Sameer.. er seems out of place but could you pls blogroll me?

9:05 PM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

Sorry for the late responses folks!

Subhash: The theory that we need him for NZ is a good one but it seems rather worrying that he might be expected to recover his form there!

Karthik: I don't mind the extended run but qualitatively this feels different.

Sunny: The slip position is definitely a worry; we cannot sustain a pace attack around non-specialist fielders.

Anon: Yup, the only point I'd have considered him using was at #6, lower down.

StraightPoint, Q, Megha: The only reason the calls for his sacking are not louder is: winning! (as you all point out) And how unfortunate that Dravid cannot get his act together to make a well-timed farewell.

As far as the tour to NZ goes, I say take the debutant, give them the experiences. Dravid has seen it before; let the youngster learn.

Suave: He's going to get thrown to (or at) something for sure!

Leela: Sure, will do.

8:57 AM  

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