Sep 17, 2011

Story of an unsung hero

Tags : dravid retirement one day cricket
How it all began?

Date: 11 January 1973
Place: iCreate conference room, Brahma's office.

Vishnu was doing his usual day job. He and 5 of his colleagues create the soul of new human beings. They usually pick cards from a box which will have behavioral characters written on them like "Intelligence", "Integrity", "Confidence", "Beauty", and more. Every lord picks a card, and the outcome of it decides the character of the soul. In this instance, 2 out of the 5 Associate Lords were on sick leave (they actually went to watch Enter the Dragon movie which topped the charts), and only 3 Lords were on duty. This means, whatever behavior that is picked,  the person will have an unusually higher concentration of it. To their astonishment, when they took out their cards, they ALL read the same word: 

"Patience".

"Wow, this is brilliant! Only once we've picked ALL PATIENCE some 2536 years before, and that happened to become for Gautama Buddha", one of them expressed in amazement. Other one made a guess: "He is gonna become a famous saint!". The third lord uttered differently: "He will make up a world-class surgeon".

What actually happened?
He never went on to become any of it. 28 years later, he along with another similar soul tormented 11 australians by driving them to fermenting fatigue by batting all day without losing a wicket. The pinnacle moment of his life is that day which shocked the cricketing world, especially the Kangaroo continent. Check it here.

This lad from the Dravidian state of Karnataka went on to become a cricketer. He was named Rahul Dravid.
For a man of his patience, he could've well become anyone special like the Lords anticipated, but Cricket is a miraculous choice. The world witnessed what can happen with Patience+Patience+Patience!

Out of sorts, completely!
As soon as you see his name, solidty comes to the mind. When the going gets tough, Mr.Tough gets going. He looked completely out of sorts when he began his cricketing career. His first FIVE ODI scores were 3, 4, 3, 11 and 13. Fortunately for him, youngsters had more chances then, to get themselves acquainted to the international arena.

But it didn't end there...
His maiden ODI Hundred came against Pakistan in my favorite city: Chennai, but it never was a memorable day for him. It was some 3 hours before that, he was among the 11 unfortunate people who were smoked by Saeed Anwar who scored 194 runs, which then was the highest ever individual ODI score. Anwar over-shadowed Dravid's first big success!

Although Dravid never got to get as many centuries as a Sachin. He would 've done it had the total number of ODI overs been 60 or 75. He is too slow in scoring, but steady all the time. he is the best player you can send in, if you want to consolidate in the middle overs: around 15-40. His career strike-rate is just above 70. He has 83 half-centuries (wow!) and only 12 centuries (duh!). This conversion rate says it all!

Oddest ODI of Dravid
On a rather odd day, he made history by scoring the second fastest half-century by an Indian. There was some amount of aggression inside him to prove a point. As the overs came near 40th when the first wicket fell, Dravid was intentionally not sent in, considering the need for some quick runs. Three batsmen who usually bat after him went in, slogged here and there, and are back to the dressing room soon. Now it's Dravid's turn. He has to walk in at the 45th over, and there was someone inside the whole world wasn't aware of. He went on to smash Tuffey, Styris, and oram all over the park, and got to his 50 in just 22 deliveries. It was Agarkar, who still holds the record for fastest Indian 50, just a ball less than Dravid: 21 balls.

Defining record:
Only twice in the history of the ODI's, any two batsmen has put together more than 300 runs, and it's Dravid who is involved in both the partnerships. A 318 with Ganguly, and a 331 with Sachin.

Tributes to Dravid's ODI

Leaving on a high!
This post is dedicated to one of the best friends of mine, C.P.Barani:
He is one among the few who idolized Dravid before the age of 15. Watching him play when i was a kid wasn't at all a great experience. It's 4's and 6's what that you love watching as a kiddo. That is one reason why sachin was admired more than him. Perhaps I should 've born 10 years ago to have enjoyed his batting. Just 2-3 years back I gained the maturity to admire the resillience of Rahul, and the toughness of test cricket. His real cup of tea is playing the longer format, and I have another year or two, to enjoy watching him bat. It will be interesting to see the age group statistic of Rahul's and Sachin's fans. Sachin will have similar % of fans from Age 1 to 100 but Dravid will have a drastic difference from those who are above and below 20.

Close to 11,000 runs in 350 odd games still sets a very high standard. This man is no ordinary player. A street in Bangalore will be named after him soon. I wonder if India is going to get a Wall street!

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