Sunday, 21 August 2011

Dravid Shows Fight

It's been a series that's lacked a little something.

As good as England have been, it's been a bit of a breeze, with Team India not offering a lot of resistance once they've been pushed up against the wall.

If this was boxing rather than cricket, it would have been stopped a long time ago.

England started by coming out swinging, landing some lusty blows early. And while India had the odd couple of hours when they decided to fight back, generally they've just laid back and taken the relentless beating that England have given to them, with no real sign of resistance.

Apart from one man.

Rahul Dravid, who moved to his third century of the series at the Oval, has been the only Indian player to show anywhere near the required level of guts for test cricket.

While his teammates have barely mustered half of his runs, Dravid's tons at Lord's, Trent Bridge and the Oval have been gutsy, determined, and full of application. Three things that his fellow tourists have been quite clearly lacking throughout the series.

In almost every regard, pretty much every other Indian player has gone missing. With the ball, they've been happy to watch England rack up mammoth partnerships while heads have dropped and bowlers do nothing. And with the bat, nobody has wanted to dig in and grind out the tough runs when England's seamers proved that conditions have been far from bowlers graveyards.

Except Dravid. In a series when everyone was expecting the hundredth hundred of a legend, we've seen a different kind of fulfillment of another. Sachin, just like Raina, Laxman, Dhoni, Sehwag, Mukund, Ishant and the rest of them, have gone missing when it's mattered the most, and will ultimately go home empty handed. Dravid, however, has put his hand up, regularly, and while he will too leave with nothing from the series, his legend will be enhanced.

This series was billed as the heavyweight championship of the world, but instead it's been more of a mauling in a pub car park. Only Dravid, the old campaigner, has stopped England from landing yet another knockout blow. If his teammates had shown anywhere near the fight he has this series, it almost certainly wouldn't be the battering that this bout has turned out to be.

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