Whenever I felt like giving up or saw someone give up just because the task was too big to dream of, APJ Abdul Kalam gave me strength to not do so and pursue my dream. His words “There is always room at the top”, encouraged me to dream beyond my capabilities. Recently I went to Vikram Sarabhai Space Center where I got to know about his achievements very closely. I felt very honored believing that I lived in the age where greats like him have happened.
Rahul’s last match was coincidentally Sachin’s last match in ‘colored’ clothing too.The way Rahul Sharad Dravid has retired sums up the story of his entire career. Completely overshadowed..!!!
Many found his batting boring and slow, many find it reassuring, but, without doubt he was the dam that saved Indian from many catastrophes. For me arguing between Rahul and Sachin is like debating who is better amongst the Batman and the superman. Comparing these two is an insult to either, but, each one had his own role. But, there’s something in the Batman which makes me respect and connect to him more. While one was born to be a Hero the other fought his weaknesses to be compared. It requires a superhuman effort to raise yourself to a level where you are compared to a kryptonian living amongst lesser mortals and still not considered any less.
Starting from the start, he scored 96 at Lord’s on his debut, In the same match debutant Ganguly scored 131 in the same match.
You remember the match where Sachin got a century the day after his father demised against Kenya in ’99 WC, right? Did you know, even Dravid scored a century in that match?
Also he was the top run getter in 1999 worldcup. But we didnt do well in that worldcup (Didn’t even reach the semis). Only few people remember Dravid’s 461 runs.
A score of 153 against New-Zealand forgotten because Tendulkar hit 186 that match.
He scored 145 in the 1999 worldcup in England; in the same match Ganguly scored 183.
Remember that legendary match against the Australians in 2001? The one where Laxman scored 281 and Bhajji hit a hat-trick He scored 180 in 2nd innings too.
His 50 of 22 balls is the second fastest fifty by an Indian in ODI. A very unlikely Dravid innings. But in the same match Sachin and Sehwag scored hundred. How many people remember this innings? ( NewZealand, 2003)
He also has the second highest score by an Indian outside India to his name (270 at Rawalpindi, 2004). The highest score by an Indian outside India was hit by Sehwag (309) in the same series at Multan.
Indian team also holds the record for most consecutive wins while chasing, 17 wins.Though Dravid is adjudged an Unsuccessful captain for 2007 worldcup, he was a captaining the team in 15 of those matches.
He has stood in slips and retired with a un-matched figure of 210 test catches. Never shy of standing at short leg on a chilly morning.He was asked to keep wickets in ODIs, he did that too. He was asked to open at Lahore, he gave a 410 run opening partnership with Sehwag. He was thought to be too slow for ODIs, he responded with fastest 50 by an Indian and two 300+ partnerships in ODIs. He was told that he was not a twenty-20 player, he responded by hitting 3 sixes in 3 balls.
Navjot Singh Sidhu had once said “Rahul Dravid is a player who would walk on broken glass if his team asks him to.” He was that kind of player.
And now, my heart breaks for the fact that even in his last match, he was eclipsed by Tendulkar who was playing his last match in ‘colored’ clothing.
Dravid was the hero we needed, while Tendulkar was the hero we always…..wanted. So, like Batman he chose the darkness of Shadows his Teammates cast over him, to work for the larger cause.
So I guess, the nation will applause Tendulkar not him in his last match. Because he can take it. But, he will be, for me, the silent guardian the watchful protector of the Indian Cricket Team