Sunday, March 11, 2012
An open letter to Rahul Dravid
First of all let me clarify that I didn't doubt your talent even in the worst moments. You were impeccable! But, red cherry had started making making room between your pads and the bat easily. Your defense was not looking that rock solid (which it was known for). May be it was too old to face the new generation of fast and furious bowlers. Your shots also were not consistent. And above all, the charisma of your batting was missing. So, it was your time to say goodbye. And, let me tell you that I wanted it badly. However, you took a little more time than I had expected. I didn't want to see you hitting ground with your bat or shaking your head in disappointment anymore after getting ''Bowled'' or ''LBW''. I was really not enjoying it.
I have been a fan of yours since my school days. To such extent that, I used to beat my younger brother when he called you ''a slow poison''. I would tell him that you are an exception. And, he realized your class gradually. I would bunk classes just to watch you playing...just to admire your cracking cover drives...your solid straight drives, just to listen to your low yet soothing voice at presentation ceremonies. The way you batted all these magnificent years, the way you lead your innings braking records one after another, the way you stood like a wall and saved Indian cricket team many times, the way you pulled controversies over mid wicket, the way you held your nerves in difficult times and the way you made a come back like a volcano. Everything will always be in my memories forever.
People may call you ''The Wall'' or ''Mr. Perfectionist'', but my view is little different about you. You stood like a strong wall in many crucial situations but I also remember many bowlers hitting your bails off. You are known for your solid defence but I can't forget those enumerable moments when your bat missed easy balls. Just for consolation, I would tell myself that no one is perfect so isn't Dravid. For this reason there was no point calling you Mr. Perfectionist as well. But, I must admit that you did teach me and many others ''the perseverance''. In my candid view, you were an exception in every manner, you are an exception and you will always be an exception (hoping that you will remain same).
When you entered the Lord's for the first time, you were calm, serious and focused unlike many other youngsters who loose their senses after hitting the ground for the very first time. Some would say that you couldn't play fast but you proved everyone wrong with that fast and furious knock of 154* against New Zealand. And, you proved me right that you were an exception. That decision of yours, to declare the Indian innings against Pakistan when Sachin Tendulkar was only 6 short of his double century, raised many eyebrows but again you were very calm. In such a situation, you were an exception. In more than one and half decade, almost all your contemporary players succumbed to one or the other controversy, but you managed to stay clean. That's where you were so exceptional. You never beat or abused anyone, you were never in news for bad reasons. That's where you were so exceptional. You played more and talked really less. That's where you were so exceptional.
As we say, All's Well That Ends Well! I am so damn glad that you have bid adieu to domestic and international cricket. Thanks a lot for retiring at the right time. However, I wanted you to retire like Michael Bevan and Damien Martyn. Nevertheless, you have proved that it is always better to walk off before anyone starts criticizing you. The Bengal Tiger didn't realize this small thing and I (as a die hard fan of his) was ashamed every time he got embarrassed. You have shown that it is always better to walk off when you are on a high. That's the pride of a real player.