WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH GET GOING
Rahul Dravid hit a composed century in the first Test against West Indies and bailed India out, yet again. When wickets were falling around him like nine pins, The Great Wall of India stood tall and gave India a comfortable lead to defend, yet again. With a pain staking yet determined 112 batting for over 400 minutes and 274 balls with 10 fours and even a rare six, Rahul wall Dravid showed yet again why he is the premier No 3 batsmen in the world.
This is not the first time Dravid has had to battle it out in a test to save his team or help them to a respectable total; he has done it time and time again. Interesting bit of trivia – India has lost only one match in which Rahul Dravid has scored a century, against Zimbabwe at Harare way back in 1998. With as many as 32 centuries for the man, this is to say something.
Yesterday at Sabina Park the conditions were tough and the situation was desperate. Half the team was back in the pavilion for hardly any runs with two batsmen going on a duck. It was time for the most experienced player in the team to stand up and take responsibility and Dravid did just that. It did not matter that he had just landed three days ago and was still having traces for jet lag, it did not matter that he was playing competitive test cricket after months, it did not matter that he was exhausted in the heat and humidity, all that mattered was runs. Slowly and steadily he formed partnerships with the other batsmen and repeated the procedure every time a new batsman came on crease. He kept encouraging his partners, offering them tips and even admonishing them for a foolish shot. He stitched up the Indian innings thread by thread and the fact that after him the highest score for India was No 10 batsman Amit Misrha is to say something.
Dravid stood at the crease with his characteristic stance, sweat pouring off his face as rivulets, eyes scrunched up in concentration and with only one focus – the oncoming ball. He played each stroke with great caution, leaving the ball often and attempting to play the decent deliveries. He ran his runs hard never letting his eyes move from the ball. Every time he saw a not-so-good delivery, he rose up and creamed the ball for a textbook shot which fetched him runs, he did not try to be flamboyant and hit only those balls which were there to be hit. He stood there stoic and strong and was the last man to be dismissed.
Indian cricket fans are used to this picture of intense concentration and have seen him do exactly this, a number of times in a number if tests. In his 15-year long career he has bailed India out and set up a win numerous times scoring over 12, 000 runs and 32 centuries with an average of 52, it is his this unfazed attitude and determination that has propelled him to the top and kept him there earning him the nickname “The Great wall of India’. I believe that this line, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going’ was written especially for Rahul Dravid. As an Indian cricket fan I hope that he continues in this same vein and maintains his ‘The Wall’ status standing up and scoring big for India every single time.