Any more questions for Dravid?
Last Updated: Sunday, December 21, 2008, 11:55
Well, ‘The Wall’ finally stood tall. And tall in a way that it thwarted any attempt of his critics to penetrate or demolish it.

A century at a time when the world would not be missing even ONE chance to criticize him. Believe me when I say that I had no doubts about it. It was just a matter of time before the ‘Club 10000’ member did what he does best- frustrate the opposition and score for the nation with grace and elegance. He has given us, at least me, and himself, a respite, a sense of liberation. He is one cricketer, who seamlessly blends an old-world class approach with new-age professionalism.

It was emotional, truly. A chill went down my spine and I stood up to clap and salute this unsung Master. Before that my heart was pounding. Will he, won’t he? It was out of fear and not out of my trust in his capabilities. I feared his fading into history when he still has years of cricket in him. I have been an ardent fan of Dravid and his approach to his game for long now. For me it was special. It is not easy arguing with many and explaining to them that 10 years and 10000 runs in both for
mats cannot simply be fluke. When I find it difficult tackling his critics, imagine what he might be going through over the past months. I sighed as he played one off his pads to bring up the much, much needed century.

It wasn’t as if it was his first or anything. He has done it before and he will continue to do so for long. But what was special about this innings was the spirit of this warrior - the never dying spirit, the I-can-do-it and I-will-do-it attitude. He is a man who has never shirked the enormous responsibility that he has always been loaded with. He has never moaned, he has not cried. Instead, he has carried the load of the expectations of over a billion people with a smile.

And even now, the man of few emotions said, “It’s during this time that you realise that so many people want you to do well. Some of the people didn’t need to do that but still they supported me. I felt as if so many people have gone through the journey with me”. Now that is a true gentleman.

To overcome the worst phase of one’s career with a fighting century and displaying no emotions except raising his bat to applaud the salutation by the crowd and the dressing room, it can only be Dravid. He is not a player who would jump up in the air throwing his fist and smile as if advertising for a toothpaste brand. He knows how much he has contributed to his country, our country. He knew he could do it. It was just a matter of time.

But impressive as his statistics are, they can never represent the extent of his importance to India, or the beauty of his batsmanship.

First Published: Sunday, December 21, 2008, 11:55

(The views expressed by the author are personal)
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