Monday, October 29, 2007

Rest and recuperation for Rahul or is it RIP?

“If you rest you will rust” used to be the words of my Geography teacher in school. Sadly I did not listen to my teachers which explains my current state, but I was reminded of these words when I read about Rahul Dravid’s omission from the first two one dayers against Pakistan. Suddenly our selection committee has become a lot more professional or a lot more vindictive, take your pick. Yes, Rahul Dravid has been struggling both mentally and physically on the field. But the time is to support him now for all the wonderful things that he has done on the field for this country. Batting at every conceivable position, keeping wickets, putting up with a lot of nonsense from some of his colleagues, bearing the brunt of Saurav’s moodiness as captain when he was vice-captain. You name it, Rahul has done everything possible for a largely thankless country. He has batted more consistently than anyone else in India for years. He has put up with the aggression of McGrath, the wiles of Warne and the bounce of Flintoff with equal aplomb. It is the spitefulness of the board and the machinations of the selectors that he seems to have no answers for. The enemy, as always in our wonderful country lies within!

A bunch of jokers
Terry Jenner who probably achieved greater recognition as Shane Warne’s coach than as a player once called the selectors a “Bunch of jokers”. Looks like the ills of this breed are not restricted to our shores but this particular one is a shocker, and Kiran More I am sure who has his own agenda calls this decision to drop Dravid as a big joke. i am sure the former Indian captain would not have found this particular decision to drop him funny and yet one worries for the intense, committed individual that he is. One just hopes that he does not decide to hang up his cricketing boots in a hurry as he is just now facing the consequences of his decision to quit the captaincy.

Whither consistency?
Dileep Vengsarkar continues to shoot his mouth off about fielding ability and rotation policy and opportunity for youngsters depending on which television channel he is speaking to. Rahul Dravid is one of the best slip fielders we have ever had and has held crucial catches even in one day matches. It is only after he became captain that he moved to the outfield. Speaking of youngsters what about Badrinath and how come Sehwag returns to the team based on just one Champion’s trophy innings? If performance against Pakistan gives him the nod ahead of youngsters, then what is wrong with Dravid’s performance against the same team? Will the same consistency be followed with Sachin, Saurav and even Yuvaraj who more often than not flatters only to deceive should they fail? I am not sure. But what I am sure about is that the people who live in the Southern part of India are not violent unlike their counterparts from say the East of India .No effigies will be burnt, no processions will be taken out. After all we smiled even at Karunanidhi’s comments about Lord Rama! But Rahul Dravid needs support from all of us who love the game and for which game he has done so much in the recent past. He has won more matches for us than any other Indian batsman. He has just been unable to manage the administration. I somehow feel that this is part of a larger agenda to get him completely out of cricket. How on earth is he supposed to get his form back? Will it be the Ranji Trophy for God’s sake where no Indian international player ever plays!

Don’t give up
I think there is a lesson, albeit a sorry one, for Rahul Dravid and some others as well. It is suicidal to give up positions of authority in whichever part of the world you live in. Whether you are captain of the team, chief executive officer or even The Chairman of Selectors just do not throw in the towel too easily. There are people waiting in the wings with knives out. Whatever might have been Rahul Dravid’s reasons for quitting, and I too had a point of view on this which I spoke about in this very blog, he needs to learn from that. He lives in an unfair world and he is surrounded by people who all seem to have personal agendas which have no relation to the game’s well being. Rahul Dravid don’t get mad, just get even and for God’s sake hang in there.
(Ramanujam Sridhar is CEO, brand-comm, and the author of One Land, One Billion Minds.)


Anonymous said...

One of the most intriguing aspects of Rahul's exclusion is media coverage. The watch dog whose duty is to watch the happenings vigilantly turned blind eye on the whole saga.
Media neither tried to question the logic behind exclusion nor did they care to explain the vested interests of selectors and thier ilk.
One of the most sedate news papers, The Hindu which often gives enough importance to cricket in particular and sport in general has also 'failed' to gauge the importance of the whole episode.
Noted columnists Peter Roebuck, Rohit Brijnath, Rajan Bala, Vijay babbili and etc....never bothered to take up the issue.

Rohit Brijnath (nothing personal here), who often glorifies sachin's deeds shoud well be knowing how committed Dravid is, but I couldn't find any of his columns laced with wisdom.

Sunil Gavaskar cared two hoots, and one of the cerebral and out spoken commentators Ravi Shastri came out to support his mate Vengsarkar, birds of same feather flock together! But the same Ravi never asked to drop, i am sorry, err.. rest Sachin Tendulkar. We all know sachin has more fitness problems than Rahul.Why don't you give him rest. This is an outrageous decision by a bunch of XXXXXXXXXX, I feel sorry for myself for having failed to find a word to describe the selectors. Once Mohinder Amarnath described them as a bunch of jokers.Today he would agree that it is very demeaning for jokers to compare them with the selectors.

It seems, according to news, even brand new captian wanted Dravid out of the team, but why? Jsut to be in the good books of the powers that be! mastering the art of chamchagiri!

I have never been a great fan of Dravid, at some point I also felt he was not fair to Laxman, but that's a different issue, but as an ardent fan of Indian cricket I really feel sorry for Dravid and many fans. Indian cricket really owes him for his yoemans service.

All I can say is Mr Dravid,they can drop u from the team, but not from the hearts of millions across India. You shall be there forever, as a good crikceter who put his country first than anything else and for your true sportsmanship.

Note: Comparision with Sachin is just to emphasize the need for same yardstick, nothing more than that. There is no doubt that he is and will be, one of the greatest cricketers that not only India but also the world has ever produced.


Mohan said...

Do not be surprised if Sachin becomes the captain. Dravid giving up captaincy is part of a larger plot, which is the retribution for his declaring the Indian innings in Pakistan when Sachin was inching agonizingly slowly towards a double century. That decision was neither forgotten nor forgiven.

Ramanujam Sridhar said...

You are probably right.It is sad that personal achievements and milestones always get precedence over team performance.Dravid was trying to enhance team performance selflessly .Sadly the people who surround him have different agendas.

Sunder said...

There is some screw up technically - whenever I go to the link, I get onto the old blog!
Anyway, I am not too surprised at Dravid being "rested", although the manner & timing of it leaves a lot to be desired. Maybe it is just the additional motivation he needs to get back to form and start scoring in Australia.

Ramanujam Sridhar said...

I do hope that he gets back to form and scores .I hope he starts scoring in the test matches with Pakistan before Australia.

R Kasthuri said...

It happens to the big guns too

Ben said...

Rahul has been the Mr Consistent for India for so long and even more so than the likes of Sachin, Sourav ,Sehwag etc who have suuffered from the "Swing Low & Swing High's". After all the goings on following the Chapell/Sourav clashes, Dravid was responsible for pulling the Indian team together and start working as a unit. He seems to have suffered a loss of recent form and immediately the selectors seem to have taken the opportunity to Rest" him permanently.
He has a lot more to offer Indian cricket in all forms of the game except for the T20 game. With so many ex-captains in the team , perhaps the selectors are wary of the new skipper feeling intimidated by all the ex-captaisn in the team. The third umpire does indeed makes total sense and does not get taken
for a ride with all the hot air & indian hype !

Ramanujam Sridhar said...

Yes he has been "Mr.consistent".The trouble is that there is so much turmoil within the system that good guys get hurt.People like Ranatunga come to mind as successful in more ways than one as they show you the value of the need to also manage the environment.

Ramanujam Sridhar said...

Yes Prashant
Media has chosen to be strangely silent on such an important issue. Somewhere Rahul seems to have lost out.