Is Rahul Dravid`s retirement imminent?
Adelaide: A miffed Indian team management rejected speculation that senior batsman Rahul Dravid is contemplating retirement after his below-par show in the 0-4 Test drubbing against Australia, insisting that such media reports were "baseless".
After losing the fourth Test by 298 runs, the Indian team management gave a denial on the news of Dravid`s imminent retirement with a written statement today.
It was neither a personal rebuttal from Dravid nor the statement named him in person as media manager GS Walia read it out.
"Team takes note of the stories in the media, suggesting the imminent retirement of a member of the Indian team. We would like to clarify the situation by stating categorically that these are not correct and are baseless.”
"This is the statement I have read and there are no further questions on it," said Walia.
The denial notwithstanding, according to informed sources, Dravid has played his last Test for India as he has been given a tap of the shoulder by the BCCI after failing to notch a single hundred in the series.
He would lead Rajasthan Royals in the forthcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) but he has got the hint from the BCCI on his retirement.
Dravid had got the message from the BCCI after the second Test in Sydney itself. He did let it be known to a few senior members of the team during the Adelaide Test that this is the end of the road for him.
India`s stand-in skipper in the fourth Test, Virender Sehwag, who addressed the media after the match, also rejected reports of senior players` retirement.
"Some reports have said that senior players will retire after this series. No such thing has happened and this is a decision that they will take," said the dashing opener, who is himself under immense pressure after an unimpressive show in the series.
"These are rumours created by the media," he added.
Dravid, like most other Indian batsmen, had a poor run in the four-Test series. He made 194 runs at an average of 24.25 in this series.
Dravid has already announced his retirement from one-day cricket and Twenty20.
The elegant right hander, nicknamed `The Wall` for his dour defence, is the second highest run getter in Test history with 13,288 runs, behind only Tendulkar who has 15,470 runs. He has 36 Test centuries with a highest score of 270 and an average of 52.31.
Dravid has also taken more catches (210) than anyone else in Test history during his 164 Test matches since he made his debut against England at Lord`s in 1996. He captained India from December 2005 to August 2007.
There is also a question mark over Laxman who too had a miserable run against Australia in the current series but there was no word yet about his future plans.
The iconic Tendulkar is another player under tremendous pressure.
The right-hander, whose career has spanned over two decades so far, has 99 international hundreds to his credit but the wait for the 100th one has been rather prolonged with his last century coming almost a year back.