Friday, March 09, 2012

Rahul Dravid Good Bye and Fare well

A lot will be said about Rahul Dravid but personally I feel sad that he did not go on a performance high, but he left with his head held high and dignity intact. I will say Rahul was the "Maryada Purshottam" of Indian cricket and was idealism personified. I cannot think of a single occasion when Dravid could be faulted for his conduct. He was the guy all India loved. For the mothers he represented the ideal son, for the chicks the dependable type of guy who they could have as a partner, for the youth the brother they could only dream of having, for his peers and colleagues the person to emulate. For the purist he was a joy to watch. Yet he was fallible, failed at times but always got up to rediscover himself. Even today I feel that he could have fought on and even if he was dropped would have tried to make a comeback. Like a true Karmayogi he did his duty and performed to achieve results but maintained his equanimity at all times.

There was a phase in his career where a young Dravid found that in the explosive one day format a purist was a misfit. He could not remain technically correct and have a acceptable strike rate. To remain in the team he rediscovered and changed his batting style. In the interest of the balance of the team he agreed to do the back breaking job of wicket keeping and it is a tribute to his fitness that he did just that for a whole world cup. As skipper he presided over the turbulent Chappel era but never has he uttered a word about those times and in the true team spirit let dressing room talk remain just there. Even the incident where he declared the innings closed in a test match against Pakistan with the great Tendulkar short of a double hundred, I distinctly remember Tendulkar slowing down and remember that against all tenets of team spirit Tendulkar expressed publicly his displeasure at being denied a double hundred. Rahul has maintained a dignified silence in this matter. While Dravid has played in an era of great batsmen like Tendulkar, Laxman, Sehwag and Ganguly, his contribution to Indian team in winning causes is as high if not higher than his team mates.

Along with his illustrious colleague Anil Kumble he has been a relatively unsung hero of Indian and world cricket. His advertising endorsements are few and rare. He hits sixes but rarely, but thing he always does, he puts his teams interest above his individual interest always. His retirement today is another example of this same sentiment. I do not know weather there is something in the soil of Karnataka that Bangalore has produced sporting heroes like Prakash Padukone, Gundappa Vishwanath, Javagal Srinath, AnilKumble and Rahul Dravid all of whom are role models. Even in his finest hour in Australia a few years ago, I remember his modesty and humility when said that adulation and hero worship is not appropriate for achievemnts in a game and should be reserved for the teacher, soldier or the unsung worker who makes supreme sacrifices in the service of others.

Rahul Dravid is 39 years old and he will I am certain now become an ideal family man, mentor coach or commentator. We will see him in the IPL skipper rajasthan royals after having been snubbed by nincompoops like Mallya. Indian cricket and world cricket is today poorer due to the absence of this great human being. In an era starved of role models, he remains the model for all aspiring sportsmen to emulate.

Dr Vispi Jokhi

2 comments:

Prithviraj said...

Technically correct batsman. Once Brain Lara said -- " If I have to choose a batsman to play for my life, I choose Rahul Dravid" ... This is the respect he got from the legends of the game.. We Salute U Rahul..,

Angry Birds said...

I am big fan of Mr. Rahul Dravid from my childhood....