This is not going to be easy. But I will try. One sentence at a time.
Congratulations. Is that appropriate? That’s what people at work say when someone quits. And, despite the anguish surrounding your decision, this is supposed to be a happy day. At least I would like to think of it that way.
I expected you to finish in Adelaide. The same Adelaide where, in 2003, you found gold at the end of the rainbow. The same Adelaide where another colossus, Adam Gilchrist, retired four years ago, his wife and children sitting among the press, his voice breaking towards the end of each sentence, tears trickling down his cheeks as the press conference wound down.
But the Chinnaswamy Stadium fits well. That’s where it all began. And that’s where it ends. Like Gilly, you leave with your family and former team-mates watching over your retirement announcement. And like him, you leave amid breaking voices and teary eyes.
There is a constant temptation, especially when a cricketer retires, to draw comparisons. We live in a world that loves definitives. It frowns upon ambiguity. We want to determine your exact location in the pantheon. I will refrain from this. I am sure you are tired of being compared to other great Indian batsmen. And I am not about to bore you.
But I must tell you something that has bothered me for a long time. You are too conveniently slotted as a specialist batsman. I disagree. That’s too simplistic. For me, you are an allrounder – not in the way our limited imaginations defines an allrounder but in a broader, more sweeping, sense.
I find it hard to think of a more versatile cricketer. You were one of our finest short leg fielders. You were, for the most part, a remarkable slip catcher. You have opened the innings, batted at No.3, batted at No.6 (from where you conjured up that 180 in Kolkata). I’m sure you have batted everywhere else.
You have kept wicket, offering an added dimension to the one-day side in two World Cups. You even scored 145 in one of those games. You captained both the Test and one-day teams. Sure, things didn’t go according to plan but you were a superb on-field captain. More importantly you were India’s finest vice-captain, an aspect that is often conveniently forgotten. Jeez, you even took some wickets.
There’s something unique about this. In Indian cricket’s hall of fame, you can proudly share a table with Gavaskar and Tendulkar. But you can also share one with Kapil, Mankad and Ganguly – cricketers who excelled in more than one aspect of their game for an extended period of time.
The only people who will understand this are those who you played with. The only people who will begin to appreciate your value to the side are those who you propped up. Which is why it was not the least surprising when Tendulkar said yesterday, ‘There can be no cricketer like Rahul Dravid.’ Hell yeah. It’s too far-fetched.
Talking about Tendulkar, you know my best moment involving you two? Adelaide again. 2003 again. Damien Martyn c Dravid b Tendulkar 38. Ripping legbreak, spanking cut, screaming edge, lunging right hand, gotcha. That was magic. Pure magic. Swung the game. Ignited the series.
What else will I remember? Hmm. That shirt of yours immaculately tucked in. How did you manage to keep it tucked in every single time? I’ll remember the way you chased the ball to the boundary line, as if you were competing in a hundred-meter race. I’ll remember the intensity with which you studied the pitch before the game, like a geologist, scraping the surface with your palms, examining the grains of sand, gauging the direction of the breeze. You loved all these tiny details, didn’t you?
There is a perception that you have not got the credit you deserve. I don’t know if that is accurate. I wonder if you feel that way. But just you wait. Wait for India to play a Test without you. Wait for the team to lose an early wicket, especially on a challenging pitch. You’ll hear a gazillion sighs, sighs filled with longing. India 8 for 1 and you sitting in your living room, sipping tea and watching TV. I’ll be surprised if you don’t palpably feel a nation’s collective yearning for a sunnier, glorious past.
But even that I may be able to somehow handle. What I won’t be able to come to terms with is not watching you bat. Over the years few things have given me as much joy as watching you construct an innings, hour upon hour, brick upon brick.
Here I must mention what the great American author, Edgar Allan Poe, once said about the importance of punctuation.
It does not seem to be known that, even where the sense is perfectly clear, a sentence may be deprived of half its force – its spirit – its point – by improper punctuation.
An innings of yours would be incomplete without the punctuation marks that you masterfully employed along the way: the focussed leaves, the immaculate dead-bats, the softening of the grip, the late strokeplay, the ducking, the weaving, the swaying, the head totally still, your eyes always on the ball, the focus, more focus, still more focus, even more focus.
There is no point watching an innings of yours stripped of all this. I’ve cursed all these TV producers who create highlight packages with fours, sixes, your raised bat after each fifty, a jump after a hundred, more fours, more sixes and done. Finished. Poof. That’s supposed to be a summation of your innings.
It’s the same with all these photographers who click away and the websites that use those photos to create galleries. None of them even begin to portray the painstaking manner in which you create these pearls. None of them can capture over after over of graft. There is nothing more exhilarating than being exhausted after watching you bat. But there is no technology that can capture that, no software that can simulate it.
So if my grandson were to ask me about your batting, I would be lost. The only way anyone can begin to understand your craft is by watching you bat through a whole day, by experiencing your pain. There are no short cuts.
There are a million links that pop up on YouTube when I type ‘Rahul Dravid’. All of them show you batting. None of them contain your essence. There is no Rahul Dravid in there.
That’s sad. But maybe that’s also a good thing. I was fortunate to be able to watch you bat. My grandson won’t be as lucky. He’s going to be born at the wrong time. Let’s go with that. It’s much easier.
As I said, this is supposed to be a happy day. It’s the memories that matter. You’ve left us a world full of them.
So long, Rahul. Adios. Ciao. Auf Wiedersehen. Tata. Bye, bye. Olleyadagali guru.
And thank you. It’s been a privilege.
Related: Rahul Dravid and the eternal lament, When Dravid was there, Dravid and the mastery of the struggle, Degrees of fandom
146 thoughts on “Goodbye Dravid”
Super Boss. I read your blog regarding Dravid’s genius yesterday and one today.. Both have made my day. Super work. Adios to Wall..
You are my favourite writer when it comes to Dravid – I hope you know that 🙂 I hope you write a book on him – I really do.
yeah, he was almost as good as tendulkar, wasn’t he?
Some * * had to write this today didn’t he? Thu.
Since this is about Rahul Dravid, you are spared of the choicest of expletives. People from the Dravid tribe are too cultured to respond to a cheap-shot by the likes of yourself.
People from the Dravid tribe are too cultured to respond to a cheap-shot by the likes of yourself.
You are SO very right buddy!…
Being A RAHUL DRAVID fan is a BIG responsibility!… We know what stature our Hero holds!
Sachin was much better at one thing than Dravid ever was. Chasing personal records. So yeah, I guess Dravid was “almost as good” as SRT
🙂 Wonderfully written, what i thought of Dravid and wanted say about him, you have written it down.. Will miss him.. Thanks for the memories dravid!!
oh man goosebumps. nothing quite prepares a fan to watch their childhood hero say goodbye.
Excellent Excellent piece!! Nice job!! It feels unreal that he will not be playing any more. It is definitely stirring a lot of emotions. The pool of role models is dwindling!! Was very impressed by what he said about not retiring in England “When we spoke a couple of weeks ago, I asked if he regretted not having retired in England. His response was a further revelation of character. He would certainly have retired if he hadn’t had a good series, he said, but after doing so well, retiring would have been selfish. There was a series to be won in Australia, and he owed it to the team to make the trip. “.
I have been waiting for this day, for a few weeks now. The day, a Gentleman retires! It was coiming; I knew that. The Dravid presser was expected. And I have been sad for all these days! 😦
But, I have also been looking forward to your posts on this retirement. You are a very good writer, but, you are exceptional when wrting about Dravid. (Guess, it has something to do with being a fellow Bangalorean or schoolmate of his). 🙂
The punctuation mark analogy, made my day! The hits that they show in the packages are important, but more important is what they do not show about Dravid (the focussed leaves, the immaculate dead-bats, the softening of the grip, the late strokeplay, the ducking, the weaving, the swaying, the head totally still, your eyes always on the ball, the focus, more focus, still more focus, even more focus.)!
Thanks for this lovey piece!
Another thing we will miss now that Dravid is gone will be your posts about Dravid. Goodbye Dravid. Goodbye Sidvee’s Dravid posts.
very well written..and echo the sentiments. Rahul Dravid, you will be missed!
Thanks for this!
Could never communicate with the SRT or Sehwag fans who tripped on strike rates why Dravid was my favourite cricketer and why he’s even playing the game! You’re one of the few writers with whom I could connect and nod along whenever you wrote about him! Been part of more than half a lifetime for me, considering that I was rooting for him since K’taka days. Going to be difficult following cricket now.
nice. i am going to get a panic attack when we are 1 down in a test match next time…… nicely written… you really need to write a book on RSD….
AMAZING thoughts !!!!
“There is no point watching an innings of yours stripped of all this. I’ve cursed all these TV producers who create highlight packages with fours, sixes, your raised bat after each fifty, a jump after a hundred, more fours, more sixes and done. Finished. Poof. That’s supposed to be a summation of your innings.”
– Perfect. Thanks for the wonderful piece.
On another note, is he the last gentleman to play the gentlemen’s game?
@ Vinod There is still SRT and how can one not call VVS a gentleman???
Simply brilliant. I know these thoughts were somewhere there in the back of my mind. But putting it to words, just beautiful. Dravid would be proud reading this article. Thank you so much. )
I read your ‘Dravid and the Mastery of Struggle’ again and again all day yesterday…. It reminded me why we love Dravid.. He was one of us. One of the ordinary, average, middle class guys who worked his way to the top…. Something sincere in the flashy times we live in…
May a new chapter begin..
Best tribute for anyone ever. Yeah its those late strokeplays, ducking, leaves, cover drives and straight shots which was phenomenal. Two innings which stood out was one where he, along with Laxman brought back a win, after getting follow on; against Australia. Other was against sri lanka during the world cup, where he recognized the fault lines the earliest and capitalized. Ganguly later took over from him. And yes, we are gonna miss that solid defence he got to the field at no 3
The hole in the wall will not be filled. Perhaps, never.
Ha ha and that shirt tucked in. Everyone noticed it and appreciated. It was brought out in this tribute
A befitting tribute.. had a lump in my throat.
I want to add one more fighting innings of Dravid which is never remembered.. one that at 1997 Independence cup against Pakistan. When Saeed Anwar made 194, he fought and scored a 107
A blog which perfectly sums up Rahul Dravids legacy!
Sigh. This one was probably the longest. What a tribute to the man himself. THANK YOU SIDVEE. And of course, this void won’t fill any soon.
Briliant write up. Made me cry. Again.
i remember that moment..
Damien Martyn c Dravid b Tendulkar 38
Tendulkar was going in that squeaky voice of his… “what a catch!!!” “what a catch!!!” “what a catch!!!”… joined by a few million of us in our living rooms…..
So Long Rahul…
The most fitting tribute to the ERA which is called THE WALL. I have never been this emotional for any sportsman, as I am today … And thanks to your blog, you made a tit-bit easier by giving words and adjectives to millions of emotions of many million supporters all across, especially the one cherished Test match. Now watching Test match will be all the more difficult to ENJOY especially after Dravid the master will be one of us, SPECTATOR and not the CRAFTSMAN or ENTERTAINER, who has never disappointed us in his display .. No words can ever do equal justification to the respect that DRAVID commands … all we can do, stand up with up silence, clap till our hands bleed and bow to the ERA which came in and ERA which has gone past us with out repeats … we will miss u Rahul Dravid and more then that we will be blessed to have seen you playing
Reblogged this on Intuition.
HI Siddhartha, i had yesterday decided that yours would be the first article i read after The Announcement! and i am glad that i did! you have brought up a flood of emotions and tears that in office.. Thank you for this piece! i would like to leave this comment with this quote from Dr. Seuss : “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
No doubt the best batsman at par with Sachin, Dravid leaves with his head held high. Outstanding in his craft and a gentleman cricketer. He will be missed
You write best when you write of Dravid ! Thanks
Yes,Sidvee. Thanks for your write-up.
I also won’t go into the statistics about who is the greatest cricketer?
Although quantity is sometimes a necessity,eventually it’s THE QUALITY that matters much.
And,for me Rahul is the role model for his modesty on and off the field rather than his unmatched skills on the cricket pitch or ground for that matter.
If Ganguly has taught us to be aggressive,Rahul has taught us to be the winner with modesty.
I’m not going to say good bye to Rahul,as he will be in my heart and brain forever.
Reblogged this on Where is the Juice and commented:
A nice tribute, well put.
remarkable tribute.whats the procedure to move ön?just cant.
What a tribute to Rahul Dravid. Excellent. Will we ever have such a great and dedicated cricketer again ! Cricket will never be same again for me.
Sheer poetry! Always a joy to read a lover’s tale!! @sarcasan @rameshsrivats
Surreal stuff, Sidvee. The only person who could capture the essence of Rahul Dravid better, is perhaps Rahul Dravid himself.
Goodbye Dravid. And thanks for the gazillion memories.
Have read Bhogle’s article on cricinfo which is good but this one is too brilliant.. Only a cricketing purist can understand your sentiments… What a deserving article for an equally deserving man…
Well Done Sir..
If cricket were a book, this would be the point where you put it down to shed a tear.
If cricket were a song, this would be the silence from which you are sure the song cannot take off
If cricket were a religion, this would be the point where you question God’s existence
If cricket were a war, this is the point when both sides realize the pointlessness of the war
If cricket were romantic phone conversation, this is the point when someone asks “what else?”
If were a train journey, this would be the point where you feel like getting off and never moving onward to the destination
If cricket was Science, this is the point where irrationality first creeps in
And if Cricket was just Cricket, this is the moment when you realize how silly it is for grown men to be running behind a ball and walking out with clubs in hand like cavemen.
Adieu Rahul “the wall” Dravid – The painting and the painter, the poem and the poet, the sculptor and the sculpture – all at once but also much much more.
Beautifully written…a befitting article for one of the greatest cricketers of our country & state
Had tears in ma eyes after reading so many tweets on Dravid. I came across this post through twitter, but didn’t want to read, for I would break down once I read this. But couldn’t control, knowing that you are the best when it comes to write about Dravid. This is insane article. It wasn’t long like your previous post about Dravid. But, I can understand wat it meant to write this. Thanks Sidvee. From bottom of my heart for celebrating my hero, like no one else did.
A very well written Tribute !
What’s with you and Sid Monga always coming up with such masterpieces when writing about Dravid? I almost always relate Dravid, Federer, you and Monga. Exceptionally brilliant Goodbye this. I have been waiting to cry; and this brought out the tears, but did not remove the fond smile. In memory of the one cricketer I was more than a fan of! Thank you Sid 🙂
Can’t agree more with the essence of this post. Last night, I saw an extended highlights of Headingley – a game we all lived through live, and saw the highlights of several times. But this time, it was a longer package, not just the strokes and the milestones. A bouncer from Caddick, a ripper from Flintoff, a Tudor indipper that seamed as viciously as it bounced.. another one from Caddick, that took off from three-fourths of the way down the pitch. Dravid scored no runs off these balls, but survived them all, and I was left a little embarrassed that I didn’t remember these from 2002, and had never seen replays of since. True grit – that’s what made him. The producers of highlights packages don’t get it..
“There is nothing more exhilarating that being exhausted after watching you bat.”
Hell yes. Which is why watching him and VVS bat together was such a treat. The very yin and yang of batting coming together so perfectly, so happily, and so many times. Against the best opponents. Will we ever see such joy again?
I can not imagine that Rahul Dravid is retired. The day when people throw their wicket I will remember about you. There are geniuses are there in different sports, but such gentlemen in every step I never come across. The recent speech in Australia will rewind their tapes, memories. People believe cricketers are great and big hero’s. For us you are a big HERO for ever.
Down the lane people remember you as “The Wall”, but this day made me to cry, not because I am not able to see Rahul Dravid’s play, it is the spirit which you inspire many.
The punctuation analogy is great, but I guess I was expecting more from your blog about Rahul Dravid’s retirement simply because how well you have written about him before. Those previous posts set my expectation bar high from you. But at the same time I do not know what more could have been written. Yes we have been lucky to be born at the right time.
I waited for you to blog about this…and i’m not sad to say, that you’ve given Rahul such a wonderful applause with this brilliant piece.
Very nicely put! I dont follow cricket much (I like India to win though). I am still a fan! I am sure he is the reason why cricket is called a ‘Gentleman’s Game’
good write up. off late i am not following much of cricket. but i am a great fan of Rahul Dravid, the ulitimate cricketer according to me
Splendid article boss, “He’s (your Grandson) going to be born at the wrong time. Let’s go with that. It’s much easier. As I said, this is supposed to be a happy day. It’s the memories that matter. You’ve left us a world full of them.” These are touching lines…
Salute the Legend..
Brilliant piece! Had me in tears…
As many have said before, you should consider writing a book on Rahul. Better still if it is his biography after interviewing him. I’m sure a lot of people (including yours truly) just cannot get enough of him and I think you’ll do a fantastic job!
I have been an ardent sachin fan for long now. Yes, I have groaned and whined about dravid’s strike rate umpteen number of times. Yes, I have wondered at times that why did he even play for India. And, Yes I would say that watching him bat tested my limits of patience at times. However, I would be lying if I said that I ever disrespected him. Its unfair to compare dravid with sachin or anyone else for that matter. We need both of them in their own unique ways. To simply put it in d filmy lingo, if sachin is the hero we all cherish, dravid is the hero we all need. Its a shame we will not see any more of this hero!
I cried. I think that says it all. Thank you for this.
Great piece, Sidvee. Terrific observation about the videos/highlights not capturing the essence of Dravid’s batting.
I will remember his many great knocks. But even more than them, I will remember him as a person who never shirked from moving out of his comfort zone and someone whose words were always genuine.
Greatness -The belief is that it can neither be defined fully nor can it be depicted completely. I guess it varies with time and tide. Or is it that it just a makeup word that shines but never gives you the true colour of what it is associated with.
Now, why is that I ponder upon this word today. The reason is quiet simple; I have been hearing the ‘views’ (from many a critic/fan/follower of cricket) about of a certain press conference that is to take place today, Friday, 9th of March 2012.
‘The best second fiddle’, ‘The overshadowed hero’ et.al are his nicknames. So that means, he is not great but just good. Then I ask if he is not great as in “GREAT”, why are we all pondering about this ‘NOT SO GREAT’s” press conference?
He may call it a day or even just taunt us all with a jeer in the press conference and walk away still gearing up of yet another masterstroke on 22 yards of cricketing canvas. At 38 years of age and the poor performance in the last cricket series against Australia, the latter proposition is quiet unlikely.
Whatever the outcome, Rahul “The Wall” Dravid a.k.a Jammy needs none of these “media flamboyancy” or “Glowing tributes” to make him stand out. All he needs to do is keep his head down (which he has been doing in the past 2 decades or so) and walk away because he needs no words, figures or facts to stake claim for ‘greatness’ instead the depth and power of the opponent/rival’s ‘sigh of relief’ and compatriots’ ‘gasp of loneliness’ as Mr.Dependable walks away will give you the measure of what Greatness actually is.
The reign of the 3 Musketeers of Indian Cricket is gradually coming to an end. What runs in the mind of these three Indian legends of the 22 yards are still a mystery. They remain within their world as they perch upon the realms in which we mere mortals cannot even imagine let alone try to emulate. Their swords flowed runs while they made many bleed (as well as awe) in their sheer audacity of being the best.
On December 14, 2011 during his speech at the Sir Donald Bradman Oration in Canberra, Australia he said
“When I was around seven years old, I remember my father taking a Friday off so that we could watch three days of Test cricket together. On occasions he couldn’t, I would accompany one of his friends, just to soak in a day of Test cricket and watch the drama slowly unfold.”
And today I say
“Since 20 June 1996, the world has been soaking each and every day you have wielded your bat and to this date our hearts still enrage with curiosity on the drama you will slowly unfold for us”
Thank You, RAHUL SHARAD DRAVID for making cricket better and most of all making us realize that even the most timid can change the world (Whacking A.Donald in South Africa for a 6 and then after more than a decade signing off your T20 career with 3 consecutive sixes is indeed breathtaking)
I will miss you and so will I miss cricket
Your blog post just drove out my emotions for this man.
Thanks you Dravid and Thank you SidVee for this great write up
Amazing tribute. I just felt like taking a print-out of this, frame it and present it to Dravid. I was wondering what would happen if 2-3 of us just went to his home and rung the calling bell. It is almost as if we know him so well that we would expect him to come, open the door, invite us in for a cup of coffee and nonchalantly accept what is presented to him in all modesty! I remember some commenter in this blog writing about a similar reaction by Srinath.
Sid, I blame you for not being able to write any of these blogs (to even 1% of articulation of what you bring about) in my unread and in-updated blog! This blog brought varying degrees of pride (in being a fan of Dravid) and sadness (again, being a fan of Dravid!) – much like the great man himself talking about his decision tinged with sadness and pride!
On another note – how are we going to deal with the sunset of so many other unique greats – VVS, Sachin, Kallis, Ponting in cricket over the next year or so and also Federer!!! Am not attempting to skew things here, but as someone already said Dravid brought a different sets of emotions because of his struggle whereas the others are too gifted for us to even relate to on a personal level.
Once again, thanks Sid …!
Olleyadagali guru.! this is it.
Guru, you just did a Dravid with your writing! but Iguess you are more gifted than him.
Sidvee many thanks to you as well for your articles on great man over the yeard. I get a nostalgic feeling on reading your articles on Rahul as i share the same opinions and feelings for him as you.
Almost a worshipful prayer. Wont say more. Will also always remember the intensity with which he kissed the India cap after the Adelaide win. Thank you for this almost sacred write-up.
Dravid sitting at home, sipping tea, and watching India struggle at 8/1 and thinking “eega aadro nan makla..slow batting anteera???” (lets see you guys play now.. call me a slow batter???)
Seriously, what a poignant tribute. Always liked your articles where you connected with the right emotion without being overly sentimental. Just like Dravid himself. I cant bring myself to watch when India play away anymore 😦
Veni, vidi, vici!
Damn you! You made me cry with that write-up!!! I have always maintained that YOU and ONLY YOU can be the perfect biographer of Rahul Dravid!! So when exactly can we buy your book on him?
An amazing tribute to the great batsman that Rahul was. I had the opportunity to meet him on more than one occasion as I worked for one of those unfortunate Cricket websites that you mentioned in your blog. On one such occasion, I asked him why he and Sachin never sledged the batsmen while standing in the slips. He responded with a cheeky smile “What makes you think we didn’t”.
Brilliant! So well-etched. And So true!
Yet another Dravid fan! 🙂
Awesome. Very well Said.
Perfect Tribute for ‘The Nice Guy who Finished First’ 🙂
Brilliant article sir. You have said everything that all Dravid fans wanted to express but could not. Our generation was blessed to have such a gentleman as a role model.
hey nice one..would be really helpful if you could suggest your views on my article on Dravid.
Top-class as usual, a befitting post for such a cricketer. Well done.
Very well written about “The Wall.” It is absolutely true when someone says, “there is no replacement for him in the team.” It can be justified in many ways, but I would like to give my perspective. Can you replace the calmness he gives to the Indian team, the gentleman character he carries on and off the field, and most of all, the toil he goes through in building up an innings. I can never forget how sweat flows out of his Helmet sesion after session. We had greats before, Dravid is a class of his own.
One thing I can proudly say to my kids or the grand kids or for that matter anyone, I have lived in Tendulkar and Dravid’s era. I don’t need to see a book to understand how to play a shot, I can simply watch Dravid bat.
Like everyone else, it will take me time to come in terms, that there will not be Dravid to bat at no. 3.
Reblogged this on Like a Tracer Bullet and commented:
Perhaps one of the best Dravid tributes there is..
Bow down to thee, I hope Rahul reads this !
Thank you Sidvee.
Sidvee I am a fan not of your blog but the way you made a fan like me very very happy. Bless you. Its an amazingly crafted article which needed to be circulated more than ever.
It is rare when somebody else writes what one had in mind and could not for the want of right words. However, when it does happen, it is sheer magic. Rahul, in the new world of live plays & instant gratification for the consumer, managed to balance it with the old-worldly ethos that made hard work look necessary & easy. You, with your words & imagery have been able to manage the same thing as a befitting tribute to him. Kudos.
You have definitely struck the right chord.. cant even express in words how you have captured the true essence of being Rahul Dravid… splendid… wat a letter.. sure dravid will have no emotion while reading it… he is been like that through out… but a true dravid fan will feel the impact and sure tears will come uninvited…
My tribute to my favorite batsman! Check out if you have time, if you feel upset about the retirement of Rahul
Very nicely written
Great pieces both- the earlier one and this. Absolute poetry. With Dravid have gone grace and style from cricket.
The use of language is great sidvee… But I was a bit confused on whether the blog was a eulogy or to remind him of the credits that he should have got but didn’t achieve or compare how he equalled his other colleague but didn’t get his due ( which is the worst u can say to someone retiring) … If it was a farewell blog I think u should have stopped at the congratulations on the first para
Lovely Article Sid, thank you for summing things up so eloquently.
To sum up what Rahul Dravid meant to many like me, I may never again wake up at three or four AM to watch India play Australia at SCG.
Thanks a lot. What a fantastic read. Brought tears to my eyes. The way you have described Rahul Dravid, the cricketer. Not just the batsman. Yes he is a true all-rounder.
The fan in me is gutted to see him go. Yes I am also one of those million cribers who used to get irritated at times in the way Dravid used to bat. But hey who knows the real value of Dravid than the team. We lesser mortals will only realize his real value now that he has retired.
Thanks a lot for the column. I will treasure this one.
A WONDERFUL AND BEFITTING ARTICLE TO A WONDERFUL TEAM-MAN AND PERFECT GENTLEMAN CRICKETER . . . . . I WAS PRIVILEGED TO OFFICIATE FEW MATCHES OF HIM WHEN HE WAS AT ST.JOSEPH’S BOYS HIGH SCHOOL IN THE THEN “ARYABHATA” SHIELD IN LATE EIGHTIES AND HIS CONSISTENCY AMAZED HIM AT THAT LEVEL ITSELF.AS HE GREW TO AN ICON WITH HIS ” I AM READY ATTITUDE” – BE IT WICKET KEEPING IN ODI FORMAT OR OPEN AN INNINGS OR FORSAKING HIS NO.3 IN BATTING ORDER FOR ANOTHER PLAYER IT LIFTED THE SPIRITS OF THE TEAM INDEED ! HIS ALL ROUND ABILITY WAS A BOON FOR THE THEN CAPTAIN GANGULY . WE WILL REALLY MISS HIS STYLE OF DEDICATION / DETERMINATION / DEVOTION TO DUTY. MAY HE HAVE AN EQUAL SUCCESS IN HIS YEARS AHEAD TOO.
Yes he was as solid as the wall. Best of all time, at no.3 – in Indian Cricket. Real Test begins now – wait and watch. We never forget the marathon innings at Eden Test in 2001 against the AUS.
great words for a greater man! yes, MAN.not god
Excellent piece Sidvee. Dravid may not have been emotional yesterday but followers like me had tears in the eyes while reading his announcement and many articles about him, It feels like a personal loss.
Wish him great time with his family and success in whatever things he decides to take up in the future.
This is a very very sad day! He had to go but I personally felt he should have gone with a win!
This fellow is a tremendous player! He was indeed THE WALL!! I do not see any more walls built in future!
I am blessed to have watched him & adored him for 16+ years!
This fellow will be my idol (only idol) , role model for ever!
Sad day, not just for Indian cricket, international cricket has incurred a huge loss!!!
Once again well written article… Wonder what ur going to write abt Laxman ,Sachin when they retire… For me Dravid is a well constructed Cricketing Edifice ..which will shadow a long Progeny to come..provided Test cricket stands Time … a Sublime Complete Cricketer and even better person .. Cricket’s Annavaru..
Tears, tears, tears all round my face, and GOOSEBUMPS..!!! This is the reason I didn’t read your post before writing my own here – http://www.bhaleraorohan.blogspot.in . Coz I knew whatever I write after reading your post would be futile.
Brilliantly written sir!!! This is my first visit to your blog but it has warranted many more in coming days…
back to the topic, Rahul Dravid.. what can I say about him.. He is my childhood hero, my Idol for lifetime , he is the sole reason I enjoyed Test cricket much more than t20.. I may not able to sum up what I feel about him here. But I have made an attempt (my first one!) to write about it here- http://justinfinitethoughts.blogspot.in/2012/03/legend-of-wall.html
Again.. Thank you very much for your write ups… As everyone else here, I would also like to see you writing a book on Rahul…
brilliantly written !!
am sure, most of the girls must have been teary-eyed by the end of the first few lines itself..
dravid was the only cricketer because of/ for whom, more than half of the women viewers used to watch indian cricket.
kudos to you for writing such a moving and a perfect good-bye message for dravid..
hope dravid reads it soon and thank you, teary eyed of-course, for this 🙂
I won’t lie, but I shed few tears while reading this. Not in a situation to say anything, just that my first test match was Rahul’s debut test. I can’t imagine watching a test match without him.
Brilliantly written have read it twice already …………. And this for me was the best part
“Talking about Tendulkar, you know my best moment involving you two? Adelaide again. 2003 again. Damien Martyn c Dravid b Tendulkar 38. Ripping legbreak, spanking cut, screaming edge, lunging right hand, gotcha. That was magic. Pure magic. Swung the game. Ignited the series.”
Thank you bringing back all the lovely memories…….
Thank you Sir.Dravid… For lighting up my childhood. You and your peers gave us an era of cricket that earned us respect.. you gave us the chance to stand up and say ‘yes we did it’. Thanks for being an idol.. thanks for playing to the spirit..
Some day in future when my son says.. ‘what a cover drive’.. I would say.. ‘Son.. you should see how dravid played it..’
This post made me cry! Totally moving. Rahul Dravid should read this. 🙂
Damn it, if only we could make 11 copies of Dravid to play all 11 in our team.
What a cricketer, what a man, what a character. He is a legend in every sense of the word.
A true “professional” cricketer – earns his bread the hard way, struggles for it, doesnt hope that his luck might bring it in. Sweats for it – like we all do for our livelihood. what else does one need to see what he is made of. he is one of us. he represents us. he represents our life. he represents the life.
If someone asks me you want Dravid or God when India is 3/4 for 0? Would gladly say Dravid please, thank you. Atleast I know what to expect. I know he will not swing his bat as hard as he can and claim it as his natural game. I know that he knows his hundred is of no use if the team loses. I know if there are wickets falling around, the last thing he would do is to gift his too.
India has to hope there would be someone like Dravid soon if not as good as him, atleast half- as good will do or we can kiss good-bye to test cricket and Its called “Test” Cricket for a reason too.
Thanks for the memories.
P.S : if you establish a cricket academy would send my son when I have one.
The one luxury Rahul Dravid did not have batting at number 3 for India ,
that Sir Issac Vivian Alexander Richards had, was Desmond Hayens and Gordon Greenidge at number 1 and 2. I am sure serious test cricket lovers will understand what I mean. His critics often ignore and also are ignorant of this fact. Rahul Dravid had been with this handicap, the entire of his test cricket career. Blv me Dravid’s records with this handicap surpasses every other record in my own personal books.
Good point, Balu. And Viv never had to constantly worry about opening the batting.
I wish I could write about Rahul Dravid the way you do. Thanks for this beautiful tribute. RD was more than just a batsman or cricketer for me. He is the reason I started watching cricket actively. And yes, I consider myself fortunate to be alive when he played the game. He’ll be missed on the field, but I’m extremely happy for his family who get to re-discover the man.
Great article.The best part about it was u didnt try and compare him to SRT or anyone else. It just doesnt do anyone any credit, including the players and only degenerates later into a slanging match between their so called fans. And that bit abt the adelaide test was brilliant. And very true. Pure magic. I really think we were the luckiest people in the world of cricket to have such a talented group of guys who were also essentially very decent men off the field too…
Rahul you are my best captain.
Yes you had difficult time but then when did you not have it. You were always there for the team when it was in difficulty. So it follows you were going to be its captain at the time India was facing a lot of problems which needed difficult decisions and face painful situation with grace dignity and resolve and sacrifice. You did it as unflinchingly for the team as you have batted for the team.
While doing that you also won many tests, ODI matches and series . And played great test and Odi innings and partnership. For in cricket its partnership that matter as you know very well .
And finally after a win in Bangladesh, Ireland, Scotland and England you sent a comparatively young team to south Africa for twenty twenty wc and returned to India to announce your resignation from captaincy. Giving Kumble and Dhoni a stable team .
You praised Gambhir also for his batting in England ODI when people were going gaga over Robin Uthapa knowing full well to make room for this young players you will losing your place as soon you announce your resignation.
And you must have thought with difficult tour coming, India would need you in test. But you were not as prolific, but i hope you know we would have lost to south Africa if you weren’t there on the series when you completed your 10000 runs. there would have been no Perth or drawn series in south Africa and we would have drawn series against England were it not for you and Gambhir . Your thirties were as good others hundred because that meant the team had scored more then 2 hundred. I want to mention the new Zealand and sri Lanka series, you were great. it was a pleasure to watch you.
And as India won series after series at home and away and became no 1 i would look at you in the dressing room, smiling . I hope you know your hard work gave us the chance. and knowing you it wouldn’t have mattered whose name it is in.
And the world cup with all the players you wanted to be playing in it doing it. watching Yuvi and Raina chase was like watching you and Yuvi and Kaif at the 2003 wc.
And the final, the only thing i kept on telling my family is Dravid is batting for India, we will win. For sir that night your team showed us they have learned form you, for they batted as if you soul was in them.
It is very difficult to do what you do day in and day out but that day they did. Some would say you wouldn’t hit the six to win but they wont remember the pull shot you hit to win against Pakistan at the 2003 wc. the team had learned from the 17 consecutive chase win we had under your captaincy.
You are again going for the team .For young players so that they can began the journey you took. And knowing you, you would be wishing to here how well the player and the team is doing . For that would be best gift to your hard work, not that we need you again.
And they will try for you sir. it will take more than one player to do it. for you were a special all rounder. The like which almost never comes again, but for you i hope they have even 1.5 % of you . And they all try ,That’s all we can ask of them.
As you said you were sad but proud and happy.
I am also sad but proud and happy .
and upset, very upset .
But there is no reason to be for you gave it your all and it gave its all to you too..
Excellent write up…Cheers…
Reblogged this on ::Cenarios::.
Great piece. One of my favourite innings (and moments) is actually from a one dayer- remember Dravid taking on Donald in the final, in 1997 I think. To call it úncharacteristic’ would be a disservice to the man, but at the time, it seemed an almost illogical act of defiance. Cue: man-love.
Rahul Dravid’s … retire hurts… Indians and world of cricket.
The article summarises the feelings of most of Rahul Dravid’s fans. What it does not reflect is the suffering and mental agony he had to go through at the hands of the so called “Cricket Administrators”, who are willing to reserve a berth in the team permanently, for the blue eyed ones, to allow them to realise their personal objectives than that of the team and the country.
Great piece. Besides his batting he should also go down in history as one of India’s greatest Vice Captains. A team man to the core. He will be greatly missed when team India next steps on a cricketing field in whites.
i’m an Aussie cricket fan and Rahul Dravid is my favourite non-Aussie player. He is such a gent, and as for his game, his driving through the off side was poetry. I hope young cricketers watching clips of him realise how beautiful a shot maker he is. He’ll be very much missed in international cricket and I am so grateful that he is captaining the Royals in the IPL so I still get to watch him.
Beautifully written… I totally agree with the concept that sometimes a front foot defense can also be included in a highlights package. In all the brouhaha over IPL and T20 we are losing sight of one of the aspects of the beauty of the game…
lovely lovely blog
I thought had written well on Dravid before i read yours. Would Really like it if you will read my blog too
Since 1992, I have watched most & followed ALL of India’s Test Matches… On 23rd August 2012, at lunch time, when my colleagues asked me what the score was (They very sure, I would have the latest update) is when I realised India’s 1st Test vs NZ had commenced !!! No DRAVID, meant no Test Matches for me… However, the cricket fan in me, made me go back and start following the score then on !!! Dravid meant Cricket to me…It was because of Dravid, as school kids, we would —- Leave the Ball alone…Play 5 (4:00pm to 6:30pm) days of Underarm “TEST” Cricket inside the compound, have slip fielders —- ALL OF THIS IN TENNIS BALL 🙂
Dravid has not only contributed to Indian Cricket in the matches he has played, his legacy will continue to inspire and guide millions of young aspiring sportsmen…
As a fan the only complain I have against him was to keep us informed about his decision a little in advance, we would have gone in numbers to see him bat one last time… The recently concluded IPL gave me a chance to see him play for Royals, probably the ONLY time, I have cheered for a team other than my home side…simply because, I connect more to Rahul ‘The Wall” Dravid, than RCB… HE IS A TRUE CHAMPION
Thanks for the comment. And welcome to the club of those who left tennis balls outside offstump 🙂
Found your blog by good fortune today. Didn’t know that you were writing after Cricinfo as that was when I used to regularly follow you. For one of my piece I quoted you as you were reporting from Sydney http://deepanjoshi.com/2011/03/30/on-that-day-in-sydney/
This one is a beautiful piece and great to have found your blog; gives me something good to read for upcoming days. I had asked about you from a sports editor friend must be three years ago and he told me that you were in Australia. Am doing a Dravid Series for TOI after ‘Timeless Steel’ came out; would be very pleasing to have you as a reader http://author.toiblogs.com/thediaryofacontrarian/entry/talent-luck-and-the-mathematical-rahul-dravid-part-i
Hi Deepan. Thanks for the kind words. I will check your Dravid post.
I thought about your article per force because it just wouldn’t leave me and that in turn led me to think why it wouldn’t leave me and then some words read long ago flashed inside me and I could see the answer to that why. “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
Who says you need proficiency in language, a large vocabulary, or something extraordinary inside your head to write well; while they all may be important what you really need is a heart and, of course, to have that heart at the right place.
Cheers and all the best
Thanks Deepan. Fine line about bleeding at the typewriter. Hemmingway sure knew the true secret to writing. And yes, sometimes thinking too much at the keypad doesn’t really solve anything. Some of my favorite pieces are ones where it seems the writer is pouring out the contents of his heart.
No need for the thanks, the pleasure is all mine. Yeah, Hemmingway put it very well and I find the other version (of cut a vein) to be quite crude and ineffective.
I never loved Dravid. Perhaps it’s because to my agitated mind, he appeared too correct – perhaps even politically so. I never loved Dravid. After all, he stood silent on the issue of Ganguly’s rift with Chappell. I never loved Dravid. He didn’t appear to publicly support his fellow debutant during Ganguly’s comeback days. I never loved Dravid. I respected him.
I respected him. For perhaps having been content to have played second fiddle almost always throughout his cricket career, and perhaps, deliberately so. I respected him. For having almost always confined himself to no. 2 so that others (including some undeserving ones) could go ‘numero uno’ full throttle. I respected him. Because somewhere deep down inside, I felt perhaps he, of all, best epitomised bringing back the gentleman into the gentleman’s game. And for that I will always remain indebted to him.
Thank you Sid V. For bidding adieu to a gentleman the gentlemanly way.
After all, a Japanese proverb says ‘The grace of a gentleman depends upon the way he takes leave’
Arigato, Dravid-san. Gozaimas.
One year ago …this day 😦
read this AGAIN today after someone posted links on twitter. Still brings RD to life…beautifully written. Have always felt RD could have chosen to do anything other than playing cricket and would have been as successful simply because of the hard work, dedication and discipline he puts in everything he does. Guess your article captures that side very beautifully. Always a pleasure to read your articles on my most favourite cricketer ever.