Rahul Dravid is a man who is known to be the go to man in crisis and has shown the world the personification of the word 'consistency' by living it all through his career. But 24 months ago, the same man was struggling to get the bat to meet the ball and looked like a pale shadow of the Dravid of 2004 and 2005. The high standards set by himself was never being met and huge question marks emerged on the future of his career. But Dravid the wall taught us a few other words from the dictionary that we had forgotten. The words resilience and perseverance.
Just 18 months ago in Chennai, I witnessed Dravid go past the 10,000 run mark as he scored a century that was full of determined hard work and sweat. In a hot and humid condition when the pitch turned out to be nothing more than a gully cricket pitch, Sehwag went lose hitting the hapless South Africans all over the park with a better than a ball triple hundred. Batting could never have been simpler. And at the other end was Dravid struggling to score on a batsman friendly pitch. But he hung in there and scored a century that was full of edges, blows to the body and unconvincing shots and scored at a pitiful strike rate of just above 30 in a 100% batsman friendly track. But he hung in there and showed the world that the hunger and will to fight is still there and also showed his critics that he valued his wicket as his life.
And now just 18 months after Dravid is back to his sublime best, flicking the ball of his pads, square cutting, driving, and using his feet well against the spinners. The adjectives used to describe his text book technique are back in the mouths of the commentators and Dravid is back among the runs. The silken touch, the timing, the powerful horizontal bat shots, and the runs are back as a transformed Rahul is back with intent in his eyes. His 177 in the previous match came at a strike rate of 70. The Dravid of the old has returned and has returned in style. Surely even an exiled king returning to his kingdom in fanfare would be jealous of Dravid. I think his celebrations on reaching this hundred shows just what it meant to him.
If his back to back hundreds mean anything, I say it just means the start for something special.
I wrote this article for RCB. [Link]