Wednesday, 30 December 2009

A Decade of Perseverance

Last evening while Team India was at the brink of victory against SL at Cuttack, another set of veteran players were receiving an honour from the CNN-IBN team & the Prime Minister, at Delhi. Indian cricket team, which scaled the peak of Test cricket to break on through to the No. 1 spot for the first time ever, was given a special prize which was collected by former India captains Sourav Ganguly, Anil KumbleRahul Dravid along with VVS Laxman and Murli Karthik.
Surprisingly some of them are not even a part of the team today but have been highly instrumental in scripting the No.1 Test status, over the last decade.A culmination of the combined efforts of former players, captains, coaches, the support staff and the administrators. It all started with Dada spearheading the team in 2000, Dravid taking over the baton from him, Kumble stepping in when India was at crossroads and eventually Dhoni leading the pack very ably now.


All this made me delve into my archives and contradict a blog I had written in 2007. A blog where I had glorified Dravid's captaincy to epic proportions...a cumulative effect of the fact that I am his ardent fan and was overwhelmed by his stand then. Something that evoked awe and admiration than conviviality. Come to think of it, I feel he hasn't been an extraordinary skipper. Its just that he's used his available resources well. Here's the post -

It is not easy to be a cricketer in India.To be the captain of the Indian Cricket Team is to be the punching bag of the nation. The problem perhaps lies not in the actions of our cricketers but in the aspirations that we choose to place on them. Our cricketers carry the burden of an entire nation's fragile self image.
For the teams' sake Rahul Dravid decided to withdraw from the ICC 20-20 WORLD CUP. For his own sake he's now sacrificed the 'extra-special' privilege of captaining India.both according to me are praiseworthy decisions. After all in world run by power hungry and over ambitious indiviuals who would give up the country's most high -profile and sought after job?
Who would opt out just after winng THE HOLY GRAIL in cricket -A TEST SERIES IN ENGLAND? But even this series win was over shadowed by the much hyped 'follow-on controversy'. Could we read Dravid's actions differently?? Could it not be that, far from wanting to shy away from winning, this was a move sought to cold-bloodedly guarantee the victory??? It requires a particular kind of strength to seal a petty victory rather than leave even a small chance of valorous defeat...!!! There is pattern to Dravid's behaviour, even when he was deputising Ganguly he took the ruthless decision to declare when Sachin was on the verge of a double century. His action could be read as the triumph of business like tough-mindedness over the nobler idealism of sport..!! Likewise India's captaincy contrary to the rosy picture is actually one of the most complicated and unrewarding tasks. Dravid is going away from captaincy on a high! Most of the guys hang on the job coz it gives them extensive media coverage, power over the team-mates and the license to stay on in the team even while not performing. Dravid clearly does not belong to that school. He knows his job well, that he's here to score runs for the team and stay on a winning roll. He'd rather be the best batsman than not-so-good captain and a laidback performer. Now how many can think so far and moreover so SELFLESSLY??