It pains a fan to see the idol nearly fall. The fall here is only in the mind, but the damage nearly the same.
Any follower of Dravid would be disheartened to the see his decline over the years. Even to acknowledge the pattern as decline is harsh for us. Back in 2007-08, the averages were falling, the man was dropped from ODIs, was struggling to put bat to ball, was getting bowled uncharecteristically early in his innings, and we said then he was only out of form and that class had to be permanent. But many did not agree. Even the self professed Dravid fan, Balajhi, urged Dravid to go. Yet the very stubborn amongst us held on to the hope. And we were rewarded. The class returned in 2009. Dravid scored prolificly in the tour to New Zealand and ended the 2009-10 season with a dizzying average of 95.3 and we cheered the return of the Wall !
The new season has not begun too well for dear Dravs. The current SL series has left him with an average of 19 and a top score of 44. And the skeptics and pained fans alike have returned. SB suggests Dravid do some thinnking for it is not befitting of a great man to “plunge into the realm of statistically good”. While I agree with the essense of SB’s argument, numbers do not tell the entire tale. Dravid is now merely short of runs. The class the there, the feet are moving, the strokes are there, the runs need to add up. I do however have my doubts. Dravid has statistically been a better player overseas. The next two series against the Aussies and NZ are in India. It will almost be end of year when India begin their tour of South Africa. Dravid needs to score some big ones at home for the comfort feel to return. The Champions League in South Africa will give us some cues.
Despite the odds, the fan always hopes, hopes for not only the best, but for the near impossible too. There was life in Dravid’s exult when Laxman lead India to victory in the third test a few days. That to me in the spirit of a man determined to succeed. Prove me right, Dravs!