Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dravid and his "comeback" century

It was a treat to watch Rahul Dravid get his first century in 20 innings. It was a very good knock powered by concentration, technique and class. His century may do what many of his previous centuries have done - seal and Indian victory. I am great fan of his and its good to see him spend so much time at the crease - reminds you of the old days.

Having said that, I must admit that I am not happy with the path to the century. There were two paths - one which is followed by our cricket management - let him play till he gets back into form - or the other - which stated that he must be dropped and brought back after a stint in domestic cricket. I would have preferred the latter.

The reason for this preference is simple - its based on pure merit and is fair on all concerned. If Dravid was allowed 20 innings, shouldn't Sehwag and Ganguly also allowed the same leverage before they were dropped? They both were dropped, they both performed, got back into the team and everybody is happy. Why shouldn't that be the case for Dravid?

I do not agree that simply because he has scored 10,000 runs, he should never be dropped. That's ridiculous. If the same cricket followers, mostly young, who make this statement were to be told that simply because Govt officials have 40 years experience, they shouldn't retire at 60, but allowed till they died, would they agree? Having scored 10,000 runs means that a failure is an aberation and granted that he must get a longer runway, but how long?

More than this, I am most appalled by the other sentiment that some people are speaking - media and otherwise - "See, he finally scored the century". True. And so did Kumble after 100 test matches! How about giving Yuvraj or Suresh Raina or Rohit Sharma or Virat Kohli 15 test matches and tell them that if you can get one century in these 15 matches, you are good? I don't agree with that sentiment either.

Eventually, its simple - every cricketer gets a small runway to prove/reprove themselves and its natural that it's subjective depending on too many factors. Even then, there has to be a minimum and maximum to that also. Its not fair that some budding cricketers (M Vijay or S Badrinath) get 1 or no match at all, and give Dravid 20 innings to get that one century to prove that he is great all over again.

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