Saturday, July 30, 2011

Blame Wall for Collapse

I’m winding the clock back a year from now. His consistency is taking a serious dip. The man who debuted alongside him retired almost two years now. The young guns like Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli are the new stars in horzion. Most importantly the youth brigade are playing shots that he cannot play even in dreams. It appears he is hogging their career, which he sure did to a generation of cricketers for sealing the No.3 to proclaim himself The WALL of India.

When his days are numbered came the tour to South Africa. The first trip outside subcontinent against a good opposition in almost 2 years. His performance turned even worse with the figures 14, 43, 25, 2, 5, 31 in three tests. However all those Pujaras, Rainas, Kohlis, Sharmas of generation next did not do any great either and clearly exposed their weakness on technique, temperment and performance.

So the Wall remained in contention. In the tour of West Indies the old pro delivered a match winning century that confirmed he still have the fire in the belly. Blink of an eye came the tour of England that decides the fate of the sides status. Much as usual the going got tough but the Wall got them going with a fighting century in the first test. However it did not help the side except for a face saving defeat.

But the media blushed and so the public infuriated. What a back drop to start the second test? In the challenging conditions the Wall repeatedly stood tall. A timely century proved Rahul Dravid  is still the the vital cog of the Indian batting line up. Sure the young guns must have realized why he is hailed the Wall home or away.

Today the Wall may have delivered a magical century, but he is still the reason for collapse, the least in my opinion. I know it sounds very harsh, but hard not to charge him. Dravid opened the innings ahead of Dhoni or Yuvraj Singh only because he has better technique to handle the new ball. Laxman moved to No.3 only to save anyother batsmen from exposed to newer ball. If the logic held merit, I’m surprised why Dravid did not blunt the second new ball but exposed Yuvraj and Dhoni? If Hat trick did the trick then Dravid still had Ishanth and Sreeshanth to stretch the lead. Once again Dravid panicked unlike West Indies to play a shot which he would not venture otherwise only to leave his side limping. It proves he don’t share the same rapport like Laxman to bat with confidence through the tailenders.

On paper, Dravid and Laxman coming at the top of the order may have justified. But you also have to remember that Dhoni partly blamed the change of batting order as one of the reasons for not saving the first test. Now how does it justify Dravid opening and Laxman at No.3? The team might have benefited better had Yuvraj or Dhoni himself opened the innings instead of too many changes. This way Tendulkar would have gained the psychological advantage of Laxman following him and Laxman would have derived more runs from the tail.

Anyways the test match turned fascinating and Broad continues to steal the show. Congratulations for his 6 wickets and hat trick. For once, I handover Media the responsibility to bash BCCI for rooting a half baked DRS. Never mind, Bhajji would not have done anything great and so I’ve no qualms on his LBW decision.

It is my strong belief that India will prevail.

Bottom line: The Wall may have reached the distinction of facing most number of deliveries in Test Cricket, but failed to hold the fort at a crucial time. I know you are mad at me, unfortunately it is the truth and even he knows it.

Cricket Lover

PS: In the earliest few posts Didn't I tell you these guys are good abroad, Dhoni makes mockery of Test Cricket and India to do Rajni act the importance of batting order explained.

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