Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Why Dravid Should Quit ODIs


Once Ricky Ponting and Co. leaves the country with the Futures Cup, someone from the BCCI needs to take Rahul Dravid to the corner, lay a hand around his shoulder, appreciate his contribution and convey to him that the ODI series against Pakistan would be his last. And also tell him that the Board has a grand farewell plan for him at the end of the series.

Tough to put it in words but truth is Dravid has exceeded his shelf-life as a one day cricketer. Our affection for the man and his craft should not be allowed to clutter our common sense. An avid reader, “The Wall” surely has not missed the writing on the wall.

Of India’s Holy Trinity, Sachin Tendulkar is more effort than effervescence and Sourav Ganguly continues to oscillate between sublime and farce. But, at least, they have proved that Team India is yet to find their replacement. Unfortunately, that has not been the case with Dravid.

Dravid’s position in the batting order, especially while chasing, has become an additional woe for his captain. Mahendra Singh Dhoni can’t really toy with his former captain, who till the other day used to pass on the instructions. The Nagpur ODI is a moot case. As if explaining a defeat was not bad enough, Dhoni had to defend the decision to promote Dravid at number four. And then Ponting too made fun of the move, questioning the logic behind it.

It’s unfair to pan Dhoni. He was just trying to accommodate Dravid. I mean once the chase had gone down to the wire, Dravid is not the kind of batsman you expect to guide the side to home with some late charge. Dhoni had no other way but to send him up. And that precisely sums up Dravid’s position in the order.

Dravid was never cut out exclusively for one day cricket and all its thrill and frill and it was because of his sheer grit and industry, give credit where it’s due, that he went on to play 333-plus ODIs, scoring 10,000-plus runs – a feat any cricketer would have been proud of.

But despite his record, the series against Australia left a message, loud and clear, that Dravid does not command a place. Of course he still can play the sheet anchor’s role to perfection but often in chase, the role itself has become redundant. In such scenario, having Dravid in the ranks is a luxury India can ill-afford.

Personally for him, Dravid does not stand to gain anything from ODIs. On the contrary, he might lose his aura, which he acquired largely due to his exploits in the longer version of the game. He’s indispensable in the Test squad and is still the most bankable of Indian batsmen. He has been an intelligent cricketer throughout and he should not find trouble seeing wisdom behind quitting one dayers.

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2 comments:

Murali said...

I think this is flawed logic and thinking. Dravid has in fact performed batter in ODI's in 2006-07 rather than in tests. More over it is not always required to charge @ 8+ an over , not in most of ODI matches. He rotates the strike and hits when ever needed. Compare his strike rate of 72 with Ganguly's @ 73 or so, not much of a difference. He will still be useful at No. 3 in ODI's as well.
Murali

Murali said...

I think this is flawed logic and thinking. Dravid has in fact performed batter in ODI's in 2006-07 rather than in tests. More over it is not always required to charge @ 8+ an over , not in most of ODI matches. He rotates the strike and hits when ever needed. Compare his strike rate of 72 with Ganguly's @ 73 or so, not much of a difference. He will still be useful at No. 3 in ODI's as well.
Murali