By Denzil Fernandes
Perth, Jan 11: When it comes to self control, restrain and responsibility both on and off the field I do not think there is anyone to look upon more than India’s batting machine and Karnataka’s joy Rahul Dravid. Still looking as fit as ever, Dravid celebrates his 39th birthday today and it is but fitting that all of us should join together and wish him a lovely day throughout his remaining years.
For sure, Dravid is no ordinary stuff as far cricket is concerned. There is huge and deep mind inside him which tries to engage and learn all that is good not only for his cricket but also for his future. He is one of the cricketers who can talk and walk in the same style and manner both on and off the field. Probably his schooling at St. Joseph’s in Bangalore must have helped. There has never been an occasion for him to be pulled up for whatever reason. His cool and calm approach for everything has been the hallmark of a good and successful cricketing individual.
Today, Dravid stands at the crossroads of retirement from international cricket. He himself does not know how long he will continue to bat for India. But whenever he has clicked with the bat, he has gone on to score for his country. No wonder, then, today he is the highest scorer for India just behind Tendulkar and striving for perfection even at the age of 39. Dravid, incidentally is the oldest cricketer playing Test cricket right now.
Dravid’s current tour to Australia has not been anything great to write about. After his spectacular batting form earlier, everyone expected the Bangalore boy to hammer the Aussies. Unfortunately, Dravid was unlucky to be bowled 3 times in his 4 innings in the first Two tests. However, with more determination Dravid wants to show his worth by assisting India with a good score at the 3rd Test in Perth. When he batted in Perth in the ealier Test last time, he missed a century narrowly while scoring a brilliant 93 which laid the foundation for India’s victory then.
The affable Karnataka star is now at the last leg of his illustrious career. In all probability, like his other erstwhile colleagues, Tendulkar, Laxman and Zaheer Khan, Dravid will call it a day when he returns home. But that is not sure if the man has fire in his belly which has carried him so far so well. Like any cricketer who has shone at the top, no one wants to really retire and hang his boots.
Come what may, Dravid will always remain the shining light of Indian cricketer. A fine learner and also a good speaker which he clearly showed when he was the main speaker at the Bradman memorial lecture recently in Australia Dravid probably will start life as an after dinner speaker once he leaves the game. He has so much to give back to the game for sure.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man they say. Dravid is a man for all occasions. Ever a perfectionist, one is sure that the ‘Wall’ as he is fondly known by all his fans all over the world will surely hit form in the forthcoming 3rd Test at Perth for India’s sake and for his own sake. That probably will be a farewell which he may yerning to give both for his team and also the cricket loving Australians. He has always given his best as a captain and players for India sacrificing his own liking and playing for the side even in an unfamiliar position as a wicketkeeper. Dravid is a complete team man ready to go all out for the sake of Team India. The team will surely miss once he starts padding up for India.
While one congratulates Dravid on his 39th birthday, here’s wishing the most charming Indian cricketer all the best for his future.
Happy Birthday Dravid !