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Share with us how close is the team to your heart or that one moment that gave you goosebumps .

The man we call 'The Wall'

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Rahul Dravid a few days ago completed 15 years of International service to the Indian Test team. And a couple of days later he stood and played one of his most technical innings taking India to a winning position. Yesterday, when I was watching Rahul Dravid play that vital innings on the telly, past midnight (Indian time), I started to think of the&nbsp;qualities&nbsp;that has made this one man so influential with the willow at first drop.


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Dravid in the last couple of years has been not at his usual level of brilliance and the runs haven't been flowing as they once did, but the man still is India's man for crisis. Rahul Dravid as we all know is often overlooked and he almost never gets his proper due, but despite that the man doesn't make any fuss, and just goes about doing the job that only he knows - bat the opposition out.


There are two things I've always admired about Dravid. &nbsp;The first is his ability to show no or minimum expression; his face and body language is always the same. &nbsp;He is composed and I sometimes doubt whether he feels any pressure or tension below that emotionless face. Well&nbsp;of course&nbsp;he does, but the ability to cover that with a expressionless blanket and give nothing away is a skill diplomats and negotiators desire. This quality however reflects the man that Dravid is, and that he feels at ease controlling his emotions under a calm and composed exterior.


The second and the biggest admiration I have for Dravid is the levels of concentrations that he is capable of. I've always maintained that players who can club the ball for sixes at will and play small cameos are a dime a dozen while players like Dravid are worth their weight in gold (The world with the IPL and other T20 leagues doesn't agree with me here). &nbsp;However the thought process remains the same that big hitting players who come and go can never compete for a place in a Test team (look no further than the Pollards, and Afridis). &nbsp;And a place in the 11 wearing whites is the highest honour in cricket a player can have. &nbsp;Rahul's powers of concentrations is simply out of this world. &nbsp;Batting for over 400 minutes (402 to be exact) and facing 274 balls (that's nearly 46 overs!)&nbsp;takes&nbsp;immense levels of concentrations and will power. &nbsp;On a pitch that wasn't suitable for stroke play, and where the ball is takes off from odd areas, surviving itself is a task. &nbsp;Facing fast bowlers on a pitch that has un-even bounce and&nbsp;assists lateral swing is a nightmare for any batsmen. &nbsp;Added to this is young Bishoo who though quite young and new has made himself look like an incarnation of a younger version of the blonde magician Shane Warne. &nbsp;With each ball doing something&nbsp;extraordinary&nbsp;or nothing at all, it takes more than a super human effort to stay at the crease.


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It takes concentration, very good technique and the mindset to see the storm through. &nbsp;I love what Rahul said at the press conference after scoring his 32nd Test century. &nbsp;He said that it was important to weather the storm, and that was one of the things he always says to the younger team mates. &nbsp;And very importance is personified to the extent that his wicket becomes equated to the value of a nearly a life! &nbsp;The price that he puts on his wicket tells even a newbie who doesn't know a word about cricket just how important Dravid considers it. &nbsp;The little emotion he showed after being&nbsp;dismissed&nbsp;yesterday, clearly indicates just how much this man values his wicket! &nbsp;It's just not enough to consider your wicket precious! &nbsp;One has to actually take the efforts to&nbsp;safeguard your wicket so that the wicket is not given away. &nbsp;Ball after ball for 402 deliveries, this man did that! &nbsp;Braving the conditions, and the thought of quitting. &nbsp;In modern day, only three names come to my mind who can do this day in and day out and they are Shiv Chanderpaul, Paul Collinghood and Micheal Hussey. &nbsp;Of these Collinghood has called it quits, and no longer plays for England wearing whites, and Chanderpaul and Hussey are still not as consistent as Dravid.


Talking about his concentration, I forgot to mention one of Dravid's most successful elements. &nbsp;His technique is second to none and in modern day cricket, I'd say that the world's oldest Test player is indeed the world's most&nbsp;technically&nbsp;correct batsman. &nbsp;Technique is often overlooked if not under-rated and in today's performance driven world, a boundary of an edge through third man and a boundary of a straight drive down the ground is treated as the same. &nbsp;However when playing on a pitch such as the one at Sabina Park, Kingston technique is almost everything. &nbsp;Yesterday the&nbsp;commentary&nbsp;on Cricinfo when Dhoni got out to Bishoo read as,


<i>Dhoni has been positive because he knows he doesn't have the technique to defend on this wicket.</i></blockquote>

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For me that line is everything that is needed to explain the worth of the man we call 'The Wall'.



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Latest comments

India's great wall Rahul Dravid.!!!!
kiran0520 on 26 Aug 2011, 06:06 AM
He is really the wall, the back bone of Indian test team.
RoyalF1 on 14 Jul 2011, 06:49 PM
great fan of his .....there can be no one like him
majesticmahi on 10 Jul 2011, 04:24 AM
He is a wall of china for Indian team.
shriram-jagadeesan on 07 Jul 2011, 05:11 PM
Congrats to Dravid on completing 15 years in Test Cricket & We cannot forget his contribution to the team and the unforgettable performance he made.
utsav-chirimar on 06 Jul 2011, 07:55 AM
I salute you my hero.
shriram-jagadeesan on 05 Jul 2011, 08:27 AM
Every now's Dravid is THE Big indian Wall in cricket we all wish him is the best & Best ..let me tell u The Big RED Hawk Gayle is in RCB u..Just he loves to b continue in RCB ...The peoples Team RCB..now he is Big wall in IPL ..
It all Happens in IPL...i am wish him too...Continue In RCB
vinodsexy on 04 Jul 2011, 11:40 PM
We need some classy players like Lara or Dravid for the next IPL
Adarsh-Kulkarni on 04 Jul 2011, 02:13 AM
the wall getting stronger and stronger......over the years .
steven on 03 Jul 2011, 10:49 PM
Absolutely..sad we lost him to RR though..the man stood for Bangalore!:))
RoyalShaan on 02 Jul 2011, 08:07 PM
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