Rahul Dravid - The Crumbling 'Wall'?
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.