Friday, March 9, 2012

The WALL walks into the Sunset

Rahul Dravid, known as 'THE WALL' for his stoic defense finally called it a day from all cricket. One of the best batsman to have graced our game, he was a gentleman in the true sense. Always fought hard, gave it his all and made it a joy to watch him bat for those long hours. Never blessed with the talent of Sachin or Ganguly, he achieved his success through sheer hard work, skills honed by hours and hours of practice and determination which was always visible on face.

His finest innings, according to me came in the Kolkata test against a rampaging Aussie team at the peak of their prowess when batting with VVS Laxman, they batted through the day denying them a wicket. This after India were following on. I always remember that day with tears in my eyes and goosebumps all over my body. What a display it was. When they walked off after the end of the day, I stood up and applauded. My Mom and Sister stared at me. It did not matter. I was proud, I don't have words to describe that day.

He was always the perfect team man. When the Indian team wanted a stand by opener in testing overseas conditions, He Opened with a smile. When the team wanted to play an extra batsman, He Kept Wickets with nonchalance. When the selectors called him for the ODI series in England last year because it would swing and seam (and seemingly our youngsters were not able to cope with them), He Went There even as he knew that the selectors would dump him again when India would play on the Indian roads. When someone was in form, He would be dropped down the order and he would accommodate with the teams request with a grin. He probably postponed his retirement after the Indian team completed their campaign in Australia so that the team does not get distracted there.

Even today when he announced his retirement ahead of Sachin and Laxman, he was happy. In spite of knowing that he was in much better form over the last few months than those two.

Rahul, The Game of Cricket will miss you. We fans will miss you. The dressing room will miss you. All The Best for your future.

"There was and is only one Rahul Dravid. There can be no other. I will miss Rahul in the dressing room and out in the middle. I have shared the best moments with him."
India batsman Sachin Tendulkar

"'I've been very lucky to have a really good association with Rahul. He's probably the nicest guy - no he is the nicest guy - that I've met in cricket. He's a phenomenal man. He loves the game with so much passsion, it's in his blood and in his heart."
Australia vice-captain Shane Watson

PS - Images courtesy espncricinfo


N.S.Kirti said...

* does a war dance *
well, i used to be a huge fan of Dravid too. the day he made his first double century in some test match(cant remember properly) i sat through the whole match without studying :P i wonder if it is the same match as the one you mentioned :P

and the way you wrote about him, you nearly made me cry.

i was like "This is so UNFAIR!" i remember my dad complaining when he was made to sit for a verrrrrrry long time.

and yeah, he seems such a gentleman; and i love watson's comment for him :)

its GREAT to see you back DS. you cant imagine HOW happy i am.
cant keep a grin off my face :)

Deguide said...

Dravid played cricket with a straight bat most of the time. He rode the crisis ridden along with Greg Chappel with aplomb. Declared the innings when Sachin was nearly double hundred in the interest of result. Did not let down Ganguly during his exit. Came back with gutso after being hit by a bouncer. KUDOS to the WALL, no body can exactly replace you in our hearts. You ensured the game remains in the realms of Gentlemen.

Teamgsquare said...

I will miss him for sure . He was sole reason why i watched Indian cricket for this long . Thanks to his retirement i don't have follow cricket any more .

Dee........ said...

One of the very few gentleman alive in the Gentleman's game !
miss you jammy

DS said...

@ NS
Thats not the match in which he made double century but probably the match which you watched!
So glad you liked the post, your comment made me happy.

DS said...

@ Umesh
Yeah, a through gentleman. The 2007 World Cup disaster was a low point in his captaincy career. Good instances you have mentioned there.

DS said...

@ Dhiraj
Yeah, he will be throughly missed in the test arena. Who will take the responsibility of batting for long periods in the middle order now, probably Cheteshwar Pujara.

DS said...

@ Deepak
Yeah, a likable personality. Jammy, his father had a Jam factory!

Akshay Kumar G said...

Beautiful tribute. A very emotional day for me personally yesterday, the reality is finally started to sink in to me. I wish Rahul all the very best in all his future endeavors. Will miss him more than anybody else.

Please do read my final tribute to Rahul Dravid:

Anonymous said...

A touching tribute to a master. I am not a great student of the game, more of an armchair enthusiast, but I have seen a few decades of great cricket. The magic of Dravid lay not only in his mystic pairing with Laxman, but in his attitude to the game. Your post and the comments amply address that aspect of his game.