Rahul Dravid’s recall to the one-day team: a friend reacts

My friend Ravi, an intelligent and knowledgeable cricket follower, sent me an e-mail yesterday after he heard of the selection of the Indian cricket team for the one-day series against England. He has always been an ardent follower of Dravid and is one of those who believe that Dravid is one of those cricketers who- despite his acknowleged greatness- has never really gotten his due. I present his mail below (with some minor edits), which perhaps echoes the sentiments of a large section of Indian followers:

Couldn’t help laugh when I read that RD was recalled for ODI series in England…. and I had to respond to this joke.

He was dropped in Oct’2007 as it was perceived that he does not fit into the scheme of things for India in the shorter version. This was after he had resigned abruptly from captaincy after coming back from England, where had scored a 85 ball hundred in an ODI….

He is then called back to ODIs in 2009 after a disastrous T20 WC campaign where the Indian youngsters could not handle “BOUNCE”. He may have played about 3 games and was again left out…… to be recalled now in 2011 since most of his team mates cannot handle “SWING, BOUNCE”. ….. maybe even “SPIN”. That’s about the batsman

The irony is that it’s a World Cup winning team……..The “WORLD CHAMPIONS”……… need a 38 year old …. probably not even to win … but to reduce their margin of defeat.

In my opinion no one would be laughing harder than the man himself for BCCI’s step in the wrongdirection.

Ravi wanted my views on it and I didn’t have a straight answer– I was just in one of those moods!

BCCI is showing that it is a flexible organization that can adapt itself very quickly; it is flexible and not as rigid as the rest of the envious world makes it out to be. They realize that Dravid is the man in form and they are adopting a horses for courses policy—he is the horse that can respond to swing, seam, bounce and spin. What’s more, he may well keep wickets, which will allow Dhoni to focus on his captaincy and also contribute a bit as the fifth bowler. That way we can have an additional batsman and really strengthen our already formidable batting line up.

You see, BCCI and the selection committee use hindsight and foresight in their selection; it’s bunch of smart guys we have out there.

Nevertheless, later in the evening, Rahul Dravid himself gave the best response to the selection panel- he announced his retirement from the shorter format of the game to focus on test cricket. Being the gentleman that he is, Dravid didn’t decline the opportunity to play in the forthcoming series– which he couldn’t be blamed for even if he had done it.

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