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Thread: Rahul Dravid - What would you do? Is he still one of India's 6 best batsman?

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    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Rahul Dravid - What would you do? Is he still one of India's 6 best batsman?

    I've decided to make a thread on Dravid as I was just reminiscing and watching some of his famous Adelaide 2003 double ton.

    I remember during the 4th test of the Australia in India test series in 2008 in Nagpur, Dravid had just gotten out to Watson caught behind at a crucial time in India's 2nd innings for 3. He had been out for a duck in the first innings, and was Krezja's 1st wicket.

    I was watching on TV, and received a text message from a fellow Indian fan which said "That was Dravid's last ever test innings for India." I was inclined to agree. He looked gone.

    As it turns out, it wasn't as he's obviously part of the current test team vs. Australia.

    Since that very test match, Dravid has averaged 52.82 with the bat including four 100s. So he has been far from woeful. However, some of his runs have been padded up by a century against Bangladesh, and one of his centuries was against Sri Lanka on what was a fairly flat deck.

    But forgetting figures, I think the biggest concern for Indian fans, or long time Dravid fans, is that Dravid doesn't give that sense of security and solidity when he's at the crease anymore, even when he does score runs.

    There have been talks in the India vs. Australia tour thread that his place is under threat heading into the NZ and especially South Africa series. He hasn't been great vs. Australia in his three innings, with one good score and two poor ones. As said above, it was mentioned that even in his 77 he didn't look amazing, like say Sachin has during his knocks, or even Ponting has in his string of 70 scores.

    Is this a reality that we have to get used to? I think it is safe to say that Dravid won't be the Dravid of 2003-2006 (which was quite frankly, amazing). Even though Sachin managed to return to amazing heights after a down period, most admit that a lot of his down period had to do with injury concerns. Dravid's poor (or inconsistent) form is purely down to age IMO. You can't be on top forever.

    But does that mean he should be dropped? Names such as Vijay (who just tonned up in a very good knock), Badrinath and Pujara have been thrown up as possible replacements for Dravid. Then of course you have Yuvraj as well. Rohit Sharma, Abhinav Mukund and Virat Kohli are long term prospects as well that some want to see fast-tracked.

    I think people are so distraught at seeing Dravid bat in such an unconvincing manner at times, that the immediate reaction is "he's done, he should retire" or alternatively, that he should be dropped. But I don't think either decision is right.

    Firstly, after the NZ series ths Dhoni-led Indian tema have probably its most important test series yet. A 3 test series vs. South Africa, which will be #1 rank vs. #2 rank. It is the biggest test Dhoni's India will have faced, and India have twice been unable to beat South Africa at home. Away is obviously much tougher.

    Simply because Dravid isn't averaging 70-80 and making centuries at will like he was years back doesn't mean he isn't one of India's six best test batsmen, overall and especially for South African conditions.

    Unless you are a believer in blooding for youth at test level (which the Indian selectors most definitely are not... as we have seen over the years), I don't think Dravid should be dropped yet.

    I think the NZ series is an important one for him, as well as his last innings vs. Australia coming up tomorrow. If he absolutely bombs, there will be calls for his head. But for now, do we really believe that Vijay or Yuvraj are better suited to facing up to Steyn and Morkel on fairly bowler friendly wickets in a do or die test series than Rahul Dravid? I'm not convinced about that just yet.

    Overall, I think I'm going to back Dravid in. I think for at least another 12 months he's good enough to average around 45 in test cricket, and I think that is enough to be a better bet than the younger Indian batsmen who are fighting for his spot.

    Do you agree? Or do you think it's time for Dravid to go so the transition post Tendulkar/Laxman/Dravid will be slightly easier, rather than two of them going at the same time? Arguably Ganguly retiring two years ago has allowed for India to try batsman in his spot, with Raina looking secure for the time being. Should that occur for Dravid as well, to ensure India's batting is more secure in the long term?

    I think there is merit in that argument. But for now, I say stick with Rahul. I will be putting him in my avatar to show my support
    "I am very happy and it will allow me to have lot more rice."

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    RTDAS pasag's Avatar
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    I started a thread on this in 08, but some dickhead mod merged it. SS, IMO.

    Most agreed back then he should have been dropped.

    For me, it depends who the replacement is. If it's Yuvraj, then obv not. India need to manage the transition well also, you don't want Laxman, Tendulkar and Dravid retiring at the same time and leaving a massive whole, do it one by one over a couple of years so you never have a middle order with 5 games collective experience.
    Last edited by pasag; 12-10-2010 at 10:01 AM.
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    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    SS is indeed a dickhead.

    But the fact you made a thread about this in 2008 is why I find it so fascinating Pasag.

    Two years ago we were still saying the same thing, yet Dravid has hung on, and done reasonably well.

    Do we just need to get used to the new Dravid? He's not going as poorly as Hussey, who is also having calls for his head. He's just doing enough really.

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    International Coach G.I.Joe's Avatar
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    Tendulkar was asked a couple of years back whether he had retirement in mind. Has Dravid been asked a similar question? I'd be interested in his answer, I think it'd be very instructive. He doesn't beat around the bush, and I think he'll be honest in his assessment.
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    International Coach Shri's Avatar
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    He will get owned in SA for 4 innings. Will fracture some bone in the 3rd test and will retire, paying homage to Kumble.

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    International Debutant Black_Warrior's Avatar
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    Well clearly he is past his prime and it doesnt look like he is going to make some phenomenal comeback. Tendulkar in 07 was not past his prime..so his is not really a comeback..he had gone quiet for a couple of years..faced a lot of fitness issues, namely the tennis elbow one..so they are not in the same situations..

    Having said that, I dont want him to get dropped. I am not sure if he will do really well in South Africa..one option could be to ask him to bat at 5, and Laxman at 6. Vijay can bat at 3. That will also give India an opportunity to try someone new at 3.

    However, more importantly, I think sooner or later someone, preferably Dhoni and Kirsten will have to talk to Dravid and ask him how he is feeling..He knows best about his condition and situation..he knows how well he is seeing the ball, how well the feet are moving, how confident he is feeling.. He has to be honest about it..

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    vcs
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    I don't know what to make of Dravid's recent form, which is surprisingly good numerically (52.82 as you say). I thought he did very well for us with Gambhir in the 2nd Test against England where there was some assistance for the bowlers and they had a mammoth partnership. Also did well in NZ without scoring any hundreds. Obviously scored heavily against SL at home as well, which gets overshadowed a bit because every man and his dog scored heavily in that series.

    As you say, the sense of security is just not there anymore when he bats. There was a time when you knew if he lasted 30 balls, he'd be bloody hard to dislodge and it would take an absolute jaffa to do it, not any more. He looked convincing at times in SL when he got starts (1st innings of the 3rd Test comes to mind) and in that 77 in the first Test, but finds ways to not really convert.

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    vcs
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    I would love to bat Tendulkar at 3 BTW. Not going to happen.

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    International Captain weldone's Avatar
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    Gambhir
    Sehwag
    Dravid
    Tendulkar
    Laxman
    Raina

    This should remain India's batting lineup for the time being, with Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara being there in the 15-member team. These two guys have done well in the domestic circuit and now needs grooming for the highest level, and that's why they should be carried with the team and should be played in cases of injuries etc. of one of those 6 (which seems a regular event nowadays). However, if Dravid's slump continues for a long period and if in the process we get a very consistent performer among those 2 new guys at the highest level, then...I am sure he'll retire from test cricket.
    "I want to raise my hand and say one thing. Those who complain about my love for the game or commitment to the game are clueless. These are the only 2 areas where I give myself 100 out of 100."
    - Sachin Tendulkar, as told in an interview published in Bengali newspaper Anandabazar Patrika after his 100th International century (translated by weldone)

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    I think it will be a good time to drop Dravid for the NZ series.

    1. He will face far more potent attacks in the domestic Cricket (No offense NZ fans...)
    2. He needs a string of consecutive matches (domestic cricket can provide this) to get his fitness and form up to scratch. Not playing ODI cricket is hurting Dravid. Not everyone can keep thier form inspite of playing sporadically.

    India will need him for the SA tour.

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    International Debutant Black_Warrior's Avatar
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    Thinking about the Dravid issue makes me think about another issue I have been thinking about for quite some time now and even made a topic about it..
    Would we be having this conversation if Dravid has got 23 runs more and got a 100 in the first innings. Say he got out for 101 instead of 77. How important would those 24 runs be in determining his future?

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    Hall of Fame Member _Ed_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingjulian View Post
    He will face far more potent attacks in the domestic Cricket (No offense NZ fans...)

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    International Debutant Black_Warrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingjulian View Post
    I think it will be a good time to drop Dravid for the NZ series.

    1. He will face far more potent attacks in the domestic Cricket (No offense NZ fans...)
    2. He needs a string of consecutive matches (domestic cricket can provide this) to get his fitness and form up to scratch. Not playing ODI cricket is hurting Dravid. Not everyone can keep thier form inspite of playing sporadically.

    India will need him for the SA tour.
    Is India playing NZ at home?? If so then I would play him all the more...good opportunity for him to gain some confidence by scoring some runs against a relatively easier opponent.

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    vcs
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Warrior View Post
    Thinking about the Dravid issue makes me think about another issue I have been thinking about for quite some time now and even made a topic about it..
    Would we be having this conversation if Dravid has got 23 runs more and got a 100 in the first innings. Say he got out for 101 instead of 77. How important would those 24 runs be in determining his future?
    Very, considering how tight that Test turned out to be..

    Not so much if India had won by 8 wickets or something.

    I guess it's harsh that it can't be judged in isolation, but that's how these things work.

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    Rather than a lack of form, the reason I would see him not continuing past the NZ series (or even midway through it) is because the management has to combat this huge problem of retirement in the middle order. We have the younger batsmen to cover up and they need to be transitioned into the side soon, one by one, because when the big 3 leave, we don't want an inexperienced line up.

    The South African series will provide so much valuable experience for the younger batsmen, playing against the likes of Steyn on pitches suited for bowlers. In the interest of the future of Indian cricket I think Dravid should go. He's had his time and he's past his prime.

    He's a ****ing good player though, always defended him even when he was horribly out of form in 08, but I guess it's time.

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