Rahul Dravid - The Crumbling 'Wall'?

August 19, 2007

It is a little early to say but the "Wall" seems to be in trouble - both on and off the field. His slow-paced innings at the Oval was the second such innings in high-pressure situations during recent times. Cape Town was the first, when for 15 overs, the Captain and SRT were unable to play debutant Paul Harris and ended up scoring 24 runs in those 15 overs. India eventually lost that match due to the pressure created by that slow batting. Rahul Dravid scored at a strike rate of 35. Thankfully at Oval we had a lead of 300 runs and SCG was scoring at a run per ball on the other side.

During the last 12 months, the captain’s test match average is 22 (excluding Bangladesh), it is the lowest amongst the first 7 Indian batsmen. It is also 35 less than Rahul Dravid’s career average. With just one 50, it is very clear that the captain is going through a very lean patch. He seems to be edging quite a few catches to slip or driving high towards extra cover. In other words, he is increasingly finding it difficult to read quality spinners or swing/seam bowlers.

It is an irony of sorts that since becoming captain, Rahul Dravid has marginally outperformed SCG before he was dropped from the India team. With the comeback of the Bombay/ Marathi lobby at the helm of all cricketing affairs, RD will have no such worries. Combine this with the Test series victory and our man’s tail is up. Yesterday, in an interview with CNN IBN he said:

"Indians have an unhealthy obsession for the world cup."

Obsession? Your advertising agency friends generate tons of money for you through hype before every world cup and if you relate that to obsession, sorry mate! As far as I am concerned it is not abnormal to expect your team to finish in the Top-8 of the world cup. The Captain of course meant to say, "We screwed up in the world cup, so what? We won the tough England test series after 21 years."

Basically, the Captain is beginning to feel invincible after the Test series. God bless him! Arrogance beyond a level is always unrewarded.

Of course this statement came after a provocative, "If I were in the living room" remark regarding criticism of his follow on decision. Of course, the captain meant to say, "Yes, I did not have the guts, screw you, it is my job on the line, not yours." Now, as a Captain you do what you think is right, but please do not drag poor fans watching the match. None of them have the opportunity to tell you what they feel.

Clearly, the Captain is beginning to lose his bearings, both on and off the field. It is not a healthy sign because he is our leading batsman and our captain as well. I therefore pray that the Captain gets back to his senses. In particular, he scores well against a strong Australian side in Australia and stops making stupid comments in the media.

Chandra is a marketing consultant based out of Mumbai
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Rahul Dravid - The Crumbling 'Wall'?


Author: Chandra


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August 19, 2007
07:14 AM

The 'living room' statement is the first statement from RD in the media that can qualify as outright 'stupid'. Hope its not the beginning of the end.

August 19, 2007
12:16 PM

During the Oval test, Rahul Dravid made a decision for India to bat again. This decision, from all available reports, was made in conjunction with the team management and the other seniors in the team. However, when Indian wickets started to tumble (at one stage 3 down for just 11), one could see the palpable concern/fear in the captain's eyes during his long and boring stay at the crease. However, his stay at the crease helped his partner SCG to play with more freedom. India came out of a very sticky situation unscathed. Wonder what the critics would have written, had the "wall" not defended stoically for the period he stayed at the crease, and if India was bundled out for say under 100? Rahul Dravid unquestionably is still Indian team's most loyal and trust-worthy player and his record as a captain is already better than his predecessor. Till that situation changes, he deserves his position as the captain of the team.

August 19, 2007
02:15 PM


What would have happened if SCG also defended and lost his wicket after scoring 10 runs? We would have been 45-5 and not 85-4. The issue here is not his decision to enforce a follow on. Instead it his slow batting, a similar situation that one got to see at Cape Town. Combine this with his averages during the last 12 months (22) and you get the complete picture.


August 20, 2007
04:27 AM

no matter how much people talk and dissect the decision for what it is worth, none of us have been part of the field or team, and have no idea what happens in the dressing room. It's the same way people debate over whether India should have gone into war to free bangladesh. How many of us know what really happened? The article makes big comments about what could have happened or could not have happened, but clearly myopic in terms of understanding sport in general or the mind-game that comes with it. As fans, we can all talk, but ultimately we need to respect whatever decision that was taken as their decision, because we do not know everything that happens there. No point arguing if he is a crumbling wall or a walking snail. cricket or any other sport is to be enjoyed for what it is , a sport. When we try and complicate it by analyzing it, the fun in the game no longer exists. So you can go around jumping about what went wrong and who is the mad monkey, but it is, quite frankly, just a bark, and obviously no bite...and the tragedy is, you did'nt even enjoy the game nor the win! tragic!

August 20, 2007
04:39 AM


Did you read the article or just guessed it was about his follow on decision.

The article is about his poor batting in the last 12 months and some irresponsible comments during the last 2 weeks.

I supported his follow-on decision.


August 20, 2007
06:00 AM

Chandra: First, please note this comment is NOT about limiting freedom of speech or opinion. But your post reminded me of the recent film Chak de India (highly recommended if you haven't seen it yet) which - like a lot of Shahrukh movies includes a fairly biting social/political comment. Seems that Indian press loves to build up people (sports, media, etc) and then tear them down. And we as a nation go along for this sickening bloodsport.

How do we do that? Well, we CONJECTURE! We come up with SPECULATIONS on what people said things mean. There is a sickening scene in Chak de - at the beginning - where Shahrukh's character is pilloried for the way he reacts after a game. And all his reactions are MADE TO MEAN things by the press and commentrators just so he can be pilloried.

Reading your post gave me the same impression. You watched an interview with Dravid and because you had an opinion about him already, you put words in his mouth (see your post with words in bold of what Dravid MEANT! How? Were you in his head?). Your basic idea was to write a post that could express your opinion of him and not really reliant on what had been said.

I saw that interview - Dravid seemed to be quite calm and mean exactly what he said: that we should move beyond the world cup fiasco and play the game in the moment, that it was ridiculous to harangue the team about a fiasco months ago when it would not solve anything and especially when they had finally gotten to win a test series (after 21 years in the UK - not exactly the sign of a captain LOSING IT!)

About the living room comment: given that everyone Indian above the age of two and able to talk is quite happy to play the armchair expert on cricket, and the follow on decision had already been criticized by the bulk of the commentrators, he was quite right to point out that he was on the grounds and making the decision - for good or bad. He was taking responsibility. But then most Indians cant ever see that. We can cheer a sportsperson as long as they match our personal expectations, and then turn on them for the flimsiest (non) reason.

A bit disappointed...

August 20, 2007
06:28 AM


a. On his comments: It is my opinion and interpretation and I could be wrong. Again, your interpretation and opinion could be wrong too. Time will tell.

b. His comments need to be looked at in the context of his performance during the last 12 months (excl BD). If SCG or VVS had scored at 22 for 12 months, they would have been dropped. SCG was dropped when he had an average of 40. These are facts, I did not make them or interpret them.

Anyway, as I said in my post, we will wait. Beating Australia in Australia is the ultimate Prize. If he can do that by scoring a lot of runs, he can call the whole country whatever he wants. We will take the win for that.


Ayush T
August 21, 2007
12:17 AM

I fail to understand why people were so taken aback by the "living room" comment. It was an absolutely fair call to make, and would have remained so had he lost the match.

I think the public's reaction to that comment in particular, has more to do with not being comfortable in their own skins, rather than any intent to belittle on Dravid's part.

August 25, 2007
01:24 AM

*R Dravid not out 92 off 63 balls 11 fours 1 Six

....he surely is a crumbling wall on all his detractors, including you!


August 25, 2007
03:21 AM

Tails up eh!!! :-)

average of 22 in 12 innings (Test cricket).....

And Ajit Agarkar still in team and bowling slog overs (at 9 an over)....crumbling indeed.....

September 14, 2007
04:28 AM


September 14, 2007
04:59 AM

thanks chandra:)

smart move...to paraphrase bradman one should retire when folks ask 'why' rather than wait for 'why not'

let us see how dhoni or another youngster shapes up

September 14, 2007
05:02 AM

ps: and i hope the board has the sagacity to announces sachin ONLY as an interim captain:)

November 10, 2008
06:53 PM

Sad, but true. RD is on his way out. He has carried India for long but it is difficult to imagine India will carry him for very long now. Unless, he is the new comeback kid of Indian cricket....Goodbye 'The Wall'

December 13, 2008
10:26 PM

The final nail in the coffin. Rahul Dravid to announce retirement tomorrow? Or a valiant comeback in the second innings?

December 14, 2008
11:17 PM

Rahul gone for 4 in second innings, surely his last innings. Retirement later tonight or before the second test

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