Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Dravid joke:

1.

Rahul Dravid, Andrew Flintoff and Shoaib Akhtar got arrested consuming alcohol which is a severe offense in Saudi Arabia.For the terrible crime they are all sentenced 20 lashes each of the whip.
The Sheik announced: "It's my first wife's birthday today, and she has asked me to allow each of you one wish before your whipping."
Flintoff was first in line, he thought for a while and then said: "Please tie a pillow to my back."This was done, but the pillow only lasted 10 lashes & Flintoff had tobe carried away bleeding and crying with pain.
The Pakistani was next up.After watching Flintoff in horror he said smugly: "Please fix two pillows to my back."But even two pillows could only take 15 lashes & Shoaib was alsoled away whimpering loudly.
Then Rahul Dravid was the last one up.The Sheikh turned to him and said: "U are from the most beautiful part of the world & your culture is 1 of the finest in the world. For this, you may have two wishes!""Thank you, your Most Royal and Merciful highness," Dravid replied."In recognition of your kindness, my first wish is that you give me not 20, but 100 lashes.""Not only are you an honorable, handsome and powerful man, you are also very brave."The Sheik said with an admiring look on his face. "If 100 lashes is what you desire, then so be it. And what is your second wish, ?" the Sheik asked.



Dravid smiled and said, "Tie Shoaib to my back"!!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Dravid injured:


Rahul Dravid has broken finger of his right hand.He was hit by the Brett Lee's delievery in 24th over of Indian innings.Lee hit Dravid on the middle finger of his right hand with a short ball and Dravid has had to retire hurt.It was a big blow for Indians at that instant of time but Sehwag proved it wrong.
Dravid hasn't been included in India's one-day squad for the CB series and is expected to be fit for the home series against South Africa, starting in March. Dravid couldn't grip his bat too well after the injury and, after receiving regular treatment from physio John Gloster, decided to leave the field in what will probably be his last appearance in Australia.
He was taken for an X-ray soon after and spent the day using ice-cubes to heal the finger. A final report it awaited but he is unlikely to be ready for action before at least another couple of weeks.

Dravid will have to keep himself away from cricket for atleast 2-3 weeks,according to the physio.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Dravid,Ganguly have lots of cricket left in them:

Begging to differ from the Indian selectors, Chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket and former captain Arjuna Ranatunga said veteran batsmen Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid deserve to be in the ODI squad of their country.
Ranatunga said he would back both the seniors for one-day assignments as they were still capable of delivering the goods.
“I personally feel that Dravid and Ganguly have a lot of cricket left in them, even for the one-dayers. The only area (they lack) is fielding. That is the area where Indians were never good. Now things are changing,” Ranatunga said in an interview.
“A lot of youngsters like Yuvraj are coming in. They are putting in lot of effort in their fielding. So it is a good challenge for some of the seniors,” Ranatunga said.
Ranatunga likened the situation to Sri Lanka dropping star fast bowler Chaminda Vaas and dashing opener Sanath Jayasuriya to include some younger players.
“You have to practically do it. It is very difficult to get rid of a senior player if he is performing. But, in the meantime, you have to think of the juniors as well. There has to be a mixed composition where the selectors should look into protecting the seniors and bringing up the juniors to fit in to their shoes,” Ranatunga said.
“My theory is to replace someone like Jayasuriya or Vaas you have to achieve a certain standard. It is not easy,” Ranatunga said.

Dravid and IPL:

Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly may have missed out on making it to the one-day squad for the tri-series in Australia, but the two former captains are considered iconic by the Indian Premier League.

Dravid, Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh are the four players who would command a percentage of income over and above what's offered to the highest player in their team at the Twenty20 professional league, IPL Chairman and Commissioner Lalit Modi said on Friday.

"These four players would have to play for their respective city-based teams," he added.

Master batsman Tendulkar will play for Mumbai, bought by Reliance Industries' Mukesh Ambani with a winning bid of USD 111.9 million.

Dravid will play for liquor baron Vijay Mallya's Bangalore outfit, Ganguly will turn out for Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan's Kolkata team and Yuvraj for actor Preity Zinta's Mohali side, according to Modi.

On Thursday the IPL closed the team franchise bids for a staggering USD 723.6 million.

Modi, also a BCCI Vice-President, said the professional league is looking for a title sponsor for the League, to commence on April 18, apart from six associate sponsors "on the lines of the ICC (International Cricket Council)".

Dravid vs England:

This was probably the best tour (in terms of scores) for Rahul Dravid.He scored runs with an average of above 100.

Dravid vs Australia:



This video reveals the performance of Dravid vs Australia in 2002-03.He won a match for India 1st time in Australian soil,in Adelaide.Watch the superb technique with which he played and enjoy!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Dravid's test cap:A story


That was quite some time ago, when an entire nation was debating over Steve Waugh’s Test cap — leading to calls for urgent need for repair or even a possible replacement. It’s time now for another similar request to be made — this time all Indians have to join in this representation and hand it out to Mr Rahul Dravid.
The Baggy Blue, if one may call it that, is dear to Dravid, and despite the old worn-out look— especially the Indian crest — the former Indian skipper wears it with the same bubbly pride with which he wore it first at Lord’s in 1996.
That sentiment in itself is big in today’s commercial world of instant cricket.
Dravid knows his cap is now an attraction in itself. He speaks about the sentiments associated with it, and after much persuasion agrees that it just may do with a repair.
“Why do you ask me to change my cap?” he asks. “Does it look ugly? I know it’s old. Very old. But I am very sentimental about it. I feel very comfortable and it fits me well. But yes, I would want someone to do something about its elastic band. It keeps coming off, and I have to redo it,” he laughs.
The 35-year-old bat, however, doesn’t think that his cap can be matched with Steve Waugh’s. “I can’t match Steve Waugh’s. He’s played 168 matches, and he wore it for 18 years,” he says. “I still am very far off from that,” the 118-match veteran adds.
Waugh’s cap was so tattered and worn out that it sparked a national debate if it was fit for an Australian skipper anymore. When it was repaired, there was extensive media coverage.
As the debate centers on Dravid’s cap now, other India caps also come under scrutiny. Anil Kumble’s cap is pretty faded. It is one step advanced than those with the elastic band—it has a strap at the back.
And now with the Indian team getting a new kit sponsor, the Test cap has got a whole new look and manufacturer. Ishant Sharma, the latest one to wear the Test cap, feels very proud of his new-look, new material cap. “I am more comfortable with this style and it fits neatly on my head. I wouldn’t like the elastic one,” he said.
Different people, different choices. But the sentiments are the same. “Rahul is very fond of his Test cap, and I have seen it right through my playing days. He’s very attached to it. However, I was never really into all this,” said Venkatesh Prasad, the bowling coach.
Chetan Chauhan, former Indian opener and the present team manager, said: “Dravid is very touchy about his cap and he has every right to be so. I still have mine. I take pride in it. It’s something every cricketer aspires for. It’s great for him to be so proud of it,” he said.
For the moment, Dravid is just thinking about the crucial Test starting tomorrow. Flash back to 2003— one can see Dravid hitting the winning runs here, clutching his Test cap. This time, Dravid, personally is closing in on another milestone—he is just 119 runs away from completing 10,000 runs in Test cricket.
And when he reaches that, it may be perfect to gift him a old-fashioned Test cap as a token of appreciation. Nothing will mean more to him.

Read more about Dravid's personal information.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

End of Dravid's ODI career?


It looks a bit different story.India will be playing without their Wall,Rahul Dravid.After the decision of selectors to drop Dravid from ODIs,there is a big question on Dravid's ODI career.The selectors have given the youngsters full opportuinity to show their quality.

Dravid was first dropped from ODI team when he was unable to score against Aussies in India.He was not considered for next series against Pakistan.That time it looked like he was given rest just to find his form back.He played superbly against Mumbai to score 214 runs in Ranji trophy.It was now upto the selectors to give justice to him,but that has not happened.He has been dropped again for the big Triseries including Srilanka and Australia.
After going through the events that occured in last few months,it looks that the doors to the ODI squad have been shut for Dravid.Selectors are showing full faith in youngsters and trying to build new,young Team India.This idea doesn't look very bad.But,it is sure that Team India will miss Dravid a lot.It is not a "one minute task" to find a player like him (there are a few players similar to Dravid like Raina,Kaif etc. but not like him).

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Dravid dropped again:Why?

So the shocking news has arrived.Dravid and Ganguly have been dropped from ODI squad.
Dravid has been dropped for 2nd consecutive series (1st against Pakistan).He must be surprised by this decision taken by selectors.After being dropped from Pakistan series,he had hit a double ton against Mumbai (in Ranji trophy) to show that he is not out of form.He is getting punished just because he had not scored much against Australia in ODI series.
He came back strongly in Test series against Australia hitting 93 in Perth to help India win the match.With his form coming back,it was a shock for him to be dropped from squad.
Ganguly was another victim of poor team selectin.Inspite of his great performance in the year 2007,he has been axed from the team.

The Indian team includes 90% youngsters (most of them from 20-20 team).With only 2 experienced batsmen in squad (sachin and Yuvraj),it will be interesting to see how the new team performs.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Dravid's 93:


Today's innings can be known as "comeback" innings for Dravid.He showed his character today to hit 93.He might be relieved now because he was being criticised for not fulfilling the expectations.
He started slowly,took his own time to settle and then started getting quick singles and doubles.He used cover drives quite fluently today.After being dropped on 11,he did not gave any chance for opposition to break through his defence.With Sachin Tendulkar,he added 139 to India's tally.He added quick 64 with Laxman to help India raise the run rate.
He was out in the last session with a cheap shot (he never plays such strokes).Though he is now being criticised for throwing away his wicket,we must not forget his superb 93.

Dravid has defended his dismissal:


Indian star Rahul Dravid was left lamenting a missed century after falling late on the opening day of the third Test against Australia but defended the shot that brought his downfall.

Back in his favoured position at number three at the WACA, Dravid teamed up with Sachin Tendulkar for an important 139-run partnership and seemed set for his first century of the series.

However, on 93 he spooned a gentle off-spinner from part-timer Andrew Symonds straight to Ricky Ponting at mid-off.

It was a crucial wicket for the Australians as they fought back in the final session and Dravid was furious as he walked off, several times swinging his bat at the ground in disgust.

The loose attempt to loft the ball over the on-side was at odds with his guarded approach throughout his 276-minute vigil at the crease and he was disappointed with the timing of his dismissal.

However, he said the shot was there to be played.

"The shot was on," he said. "I had played the same shot earlier.

"When you connect it looks OK but when you don't it looks pretty stupid.

"It was disappointing, especially coming so late in the day with the new ball coming."

Dravid said he was mindful of trying to be positive at the crease, having struggled to keep the scoreboard ticking over as an opener in the first two Tests.

"It's a fine line between trying to be positive. A lot of times you play shots and they come off and it's fine," he said.

"We've also discussed about trying to have a positive mindset."

Dravid, who faced 183 balls and hit 15 fours, admitted he was pleased to be back at number three after his stint at the top of the order.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Rahul Dravid is better suited to the No.3 position:Gary Kirsten:

Gary Kirsten, soon to take over as India's Test coach, says he personally feels Rahul Dravid is better suited to the No.3 position. Kirsten, who landed in Perth a couple of days back, felt "specialists" were very important in Tests and expected the team to discuss this issue over the next couple of days.

"Rahul is probably more suited batting at No.3 and that's certainly something that will be discussed over the next few days," he said in his first press conference since landing in Australia. "Sehwag's spot will be discussed. He has got a big hundred and also has the respects of the Australians, the way he plays. It will become a part of the decision marking."

Dravid opened the batting for the first two Tests, with the team accommodating Yuvraj Singh at No.6. However, Yuvraj's failure in six innings have reopened the debate, Dravid likely to return to the middle order.

"We have discussed various options at a very informal level. After today we'll have a little bit more discussion about what to look at. From my own personal view, specialists in Test match cricket are very important. Let's see what happens. I'm sure you'll know in maybe a day. But again I'm not involved in the selection process but someone who's opinion is taken."

Kirsten also felt the team would face a "tough dilemma" regarding Harbhajan Singh, their offspinner who's been in the centre of the controversy over the last week. "He's been very much involved in the last week," he said, "but the thing that I enjoyed about was his batting performance in Sydney. We've identified that it's very important that members of the lower order make a contribution with the bat and did that in the Test."

Would the team pick him in the playing XI, considering the pacy pitch prepared at the WACA? "I'm not sure," he said. "History says that two spinners are unlikely at the WACA but Harbhajan is one of our strengths. We might look to play him but I certainly haven't discussed it with them."

Kirsten also felt the players, who he termed as "custodians of the game", needed to come together to ensure that the spirit of the game is maintained. "I think we need to put this behind us," he said of the recent events. "Yes it's lingering on but I had a long chat to Anil Kumble about it. At the end of the day players can sort this issue out."

Kirsten is expected to stay with the team for three weeks, during the next two Tests. He will also help them prepare for the one-day tri-series that follows. "I have a few commitments with the Warriors franchise in Eastern cape in South Africa. I need to go back to spend some time with them. It hasn't been discussed yet but there is a chance of returning for the second half of the one-day series."

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Dravid's Birthday:


It was Rahul Dravid's birthday on Friday. The former captain spent the better part of his 'special' day fielding in the hot sun against ACT XI, who kept the touring side on the field for the whole of second day. Dravid did come out for a while, as did Wasim Jaffer — the only two players along with wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik who did not bowl — before going back on to the field. The self-effacing superbat, however, refused to cut a birthday cake at the ground. The birthday celebrations were therefore held at the team hotel in the evening.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

'I'm in a pretty relaxed state of mind' - Dravid:


Having endured one of his leanest patches in Test cricket Rahul Dravid feels his form is "slowly coming together". He ground his way to an agonisingly scratchy half-century in the first innings in Sydney but Dravid thought his last two innings were moves in the right direction.
"I feel like I've been batting quite a bit of time in the middle," Dravid said after his 62 in the first innings of the warm-up match against ACT Invitational XI in Canberra. "I just feel the timing has not been as good as I've liked it to be. It's slowly coming together. It's a question of keeping on fighting. I've been good in the second innings in Sydney and here as well."
During India's previous away tours, Dravid went through three Tests in South Africa in 2006-07 without a half-century and didn't make much of an impact in England in 2007. The rough patch continued through the home series against Pakistan as well. Take out Bangladesh and Dravid's last hundred came in June 2006.
Dravid, who batted at No. 4 today, spoke about the period. "A lot of balls you feel, shucks I should have hit that for four. But you hit it to the fielders. You play a lot of balls and if I had converted four or five into boundaries the score could have been 65 or 70 instead of 50. It's about piercing the gaps. You just need to beat the field 4-5 times."
In this period Dravid has often not had the rub of the green but he was lucky to get several breaks in the first innings in Sydney, when he added a vital 175-run stand with VVS Laxman. "The way Laxman was batting took a lot of pressure off me," he said of the stand that set up India's platform. "I just recognised what my role would be in that situation. I knew what I needed to do and I'm sure roles might be reversed when things are going for me. I was a little disappointed that I got out after 50 but it was important to lay the platform for what we thought was a very good first-innings score."
Experts felt Dravid's poor run was owing to his tense mindset and urged him to relax his mind before a big game. "I feel I'm in a pretty relaxed state of mind," Dravid said with a smile. "I've been quite relaxed, irrespective of the impression that's been given."
Dravid's half-century, along with Wasim Jaffer's 92, pushed India to 9 for 325 in their first innings at the Manuka Oval. Dravid made the most of some loose offerings from legspinner Ryan Bulger and struck a few confident drives off the seamers as well. Was he happy to return to the middle order? "I'm happy to play for my team, irrespective of where it is," he dead-batted. "I was happy to keep playing and spend some time in the middle."
However, he didn't want to commit about his batting position for the third Test in Perth, starting in a week's time. "It's up to the team management. I'm sure they will decide based on the combination and conditions. Irrespective of where I bat, hopefully me and Wasim can put a good partnership."

Monday, January 7, 2008

Dravid's wicket turned the game:Ganguly


Former India captain Sourav Ganguly believes the twin dismissals of Rahul Dravid and his own -- both umpiring howlers -- cost India the acrimonious Sydney Test against Australia.
India needed to bat out a little more than the last two sessions to secure a draw but the top order crumbled and they slumped to 54 for three before Ganguly (51) and Dravid (38) joined to steady the rocking boat.
But just when they seemed to have put India back on the track, Dravid was ruled caught out by Bucknor despite the ball brushing his knee-roll and then Ganguly was given the marching order even though Michael Clarke took a bump catch, also grounding it while rolling over.
Though he fell short of criticising the umpires, Ganguly has no doubt that the crucial dismissals cost India the match.
"We had the possibility of saving the game. Obviously if me and Rahul had carried on, things would have been easier for the team. But once you are given out, you are out," the dejected left-hander told Times Now channel.
Ganguly stood his ground after being 'caught' and asked to comment about the dismissal, the former captain said, "I was in a different angle so I could not see it properly. But I'm sure the replay must have shown what it was."
Ganguly said the players were naturally upset but steered clear of inviting troubles by commenting on umpiring and the racism row that earned Harbhajan Singh a three-match ban.
Asked if it was the most controversial match he played in ever, Ganguly said, "I don't want to get into it. It has been a tough Test match -- I would like to put it this way.
"And in terms of controversies, I'm sure the entire world is aware of it," he said.
"We played well in the match. With Australia 134 for six (in the first innings), we could have dominated the match. But it did not go our way. We batted well to score 500 and it could have finished in a much better way for India.
"It was a different Test match," he said.
Though the players are finding it tough to shrug off the disappointment, Ganguly said the need was to look forward.
"Yes, we are pretty upset with the loss. We could have saved the Test. We were in a good position on day one and also in certain stages over the five days. But still we could not save the match and we are disappointed from that point of view.
"But we got to look forward. We have two more Test matches to go and we would try our best to do well in the series," he added.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

2007: A forgettable year for Dravid:


He started 2007 firmly established as India’s captain, with a Test average of almost 57.5 and his enduring image as `The Wall’ only slightly dented as a result of one poor series in South Africa. At the end of the year, he is back as a player, having resigned the captaincy, his average has fallen to 55.4 and his image as `The Wall’ has been further dented following sub par scores against both England and Pakistan with only one century against Bangladesh for what it is worth to show on the plus side.
He ended an eminently forgettable year by copping his share of the blame for India’s crushing defeat at Melbourne thanks to a tardy approach which saw him negotiate 180 balls for a measly tally of 21 in the two innings.
It certainly wasn’t Rahul Dravid’s best year in international cricket. For over a decade, he had provided stability, substance and style to the Indian batting in both forms of the game topping the 10,000 run mark in ODIs and the 9,000 run mark in Tests. Indeed at the end of the series in the West Indies in mid-2006, he had the highest average (58.75) for any batsman with an aggregate of over 5,000 runs in Test history - of course with the exception of Don Bradman.

The slide started in South Africa even though his stature as a captain stayed high with the series victory in the Caribbean and the historic maiden Test win in South Africa. Despite the subsequent loss in the series Dravid remained entrenched as the captain. Back home, he looked ahead to leading India in the World Cup in the Caribbean and successive victories over West Indies (3-1) and Sri Lanka (2-1) put the Indians in the right frame of mind for a strong World Cup challenge with Dravid himself in good nick crossing the 10,000-run mark in ODIs.
Hardly anyone could have foreseen that the darkest chapter in Dravid’s career was round the corner. Against all expectations, India lost to Bangladesh by five wickets and this immediately put them under pressure. A runaway 257-run win over Bermuda during which they notched up the highest total in World Cup history gave them more than a ray of hope but they still had to beat Sri Lanka in their final group encounter to qualify for the Super Eight. However the millions of Indian cricket fans the world over were stunned when Sri Lanka won by 69 runs to knock out India from the tournament.
The TV images of the players’ shattered faces said it all and it could clearly be seen that Dravid was perhaps the most affected. He was fully aware of the enormity of the disastrous campaign. As he put it ``Nobody realizes the enormity of the defeat more than the players. They worked really hard and it is an opportunity that comes once in four years. It is something that you really look forward to in your career so there is definitely a lot of introspection and disappointment in the dressing room.’’
Accepting responsibility for the debacle Dravid said ``I am the first one to stand up and say that we should have done better and it starts with me. I am not trying to put the responsibility on anyone. I take full responsibility for the fact that we haven't progressed to the next round.’’
The mood in the immediate post World Cup period was predictably ugly and incensed fans hurled stones at an under construction house owned by Dhoni in his hometown of Ranchi while effigies of Dravid and coach Greg Chappell were burnt in various places around the country. The post mortems started and the debacle was even discussed in Parliament. Dravid and Chappell were squarely in the firing line but not surprisingly it was the latter who became a vilified figure. He had been the subject of much criticism for his policy of over experimentation and cricket fans held him more responsible than Dravid.
On the team’s return, even as Dravid kept his thoughts to himself Chappell went from bad to worse blaming the selectors for picking the wrong team for the World Cup and the senior players who he said operated like a `mafia’ ganging up against the juniors. Less than a month after the disastrous campaign, Chappell, sensing the public mood, quit but there was never any chance of Dravid being axed as captain. He kept the post for the tour of Bangladesh and knocked up his 24th Test century at Dhaka while the team predictably emerged victorious in both the Test and ODI series.
By the time the Indian team left for England, Dravid felt relieved enough to announce that ``the team has moved on from the World Cup.’’ A 2-1 victory in the ODI series against South Africa in Ireland put the team in a confident frame of mind for the tougher tasks in England. But while luck deserted him as a batsman it stayed with him as captain. Fortunate to get away with a draw in the first Test at Lord’s, India were 98 runs adrift of victory with just one wicket in hand, Dravid won a good toss in the second Test at Birmingham, promptly put England in to bat in bowler friendly conditions and the result was a meritorious seven-wicket victory.
Up 1-0, the Indians were in a position to make it 2-0 in the third Test at the Oval when Dravid took one of the most inexplicable decisions of his captaincy. India piled up 664 and England were dismissed for 345 early on the fourth morning. The situation cried for the fielding captain to enforce a follow on but to general astonishment Dravid opted to bat again.
It was not just exhibiting a defensive mindset it was quite meaningless made even more so by the skipper taking 96 balls to score 12. England given a lifeline saved the game comfortably and Dravid’s leadership qualities became the subject of debate. However with the Test series won - the first time in 21 years that India had won in England - and with the ODIs lost by the narrow margin of four matches to three Dravid came back with his reputation more or less intact with only his run famine a cause for concern.
And yet not long after the team returned Dravid came up with the bombshell - he was resigning the captaincy. Not unexpectedly there was much speculation as to why he took the decision and in an interview to a national news agency a few days later Dravid summed the situation by saying that ``obviously it (the captaincy) takes a lot out of you and I felt that I was not enjoying it.’’
Actually, Dravid had given broad hints as to what was to come in the course of a revealing interview to former England captain Mike Atherton in England during which Dravid spoke out his mind. Asked if he found leading a cricket crazy nation a burden Dravid said ``Burden is too strong a word and people say that because of how I look. I am not naturally a cheering looking soul on the field. I do enjoy it but there are aspects I find tough. What I find hardest is the absolute lack of proportion. It makes it very hard to build a team when two or three bad games provoke such an extreme reaction.’’ Asked whether becoming only the third Indian captain to win a Test series in England would shift public opinion back in his favour Dravid replied "Ah, but that will be quickly forgotten if we lose the one-day series."
Cynicism was not a quality that one associated with Dravid but there was little doubt that he was becoming increasingly intolerant of criticism. Even though he came across as an erudite and confident personality, the growing criticism against his leadership, which ranged from the indifferent to the predictable, from the curious to the defensive took its toll. The tour of England was evidently the last straw for Dravid who took a number of incorrect decisions and was hauled over the coals.
The decision not to enforce the follow on at the Oval was woefully incorrect but Dravid defended himself by the age old cliche of the bowlers being tired, a view that was challenged by his spearhead Zaheer Khan in the course of a TV interview. Dravid also made wrong decisions in the ODIs as on more than one occasion he put England in to bat after winning the toss and in excellent batting conditions the hosts made hay while the sun shone on their way to winning the matches.
Surely, the series could have ended in India’s favour had only Dravid opted to bat in the first and third ODIs both of which England won after being inserted. There were also rumours that selection committee chairman Dilip Vengsarkar, who was in England, was interfering in matters of team strategy and this had led to sharp differences with Dravid. But in the ultimate analysis Dravid will be remembered as a batsman who rose to every challenge and as a captain who turned his back on a challenge.
Having opted out of the Twenty20 World Cup, Dravid found runs hard to come by in ODIs and after an unproductive run of 80 runs in nine innings including three ducks he was axed and by the end of the year had still to regain his place.
Despite his lean trot, there was never any talk of him being axed from the Test squad. He just needs one profitable outing to get back his confidence and whatever his limitations as a captain it is obvious that he still has much to contribute as a batsman.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Dravid criticised-Reasons behind it:

Rahul Dravid has always been criticised for being very slow in scoring the runs.
When he started his career,he was not fast in scoring the runs in ODIs.He was criticised throughout his career for the same reason.
In Tests,he is suitable player.With solid technique,he has the capacity to stand on the pitch for a full day.But,several times in his career, he was made target for India's defeat,because he played with very slow strike rate (around 5-10 %).Sometimes, such slow innings may change the mindset of the team.

Few more reasons behind criticism are:
1.Lack of aggression in captaincy.
2.Declaring the innings when Sachin was not out on 194.
One of Dravid's most debated decisions was taken in March 2004, when he was standing in as captain for an injured Sourav Ganguly. The Indian first innings was declared at a point when Sachin Tendulkar was at 194 with 16 overs remaining on Day 2.
3.Rahul Dravid has had a mixed record when leading India in Tests. India lost the Karachi Test in 2006, giving Pakistan the series 1-0. In March 2006, India lost the Mumbai Test, giving England its first Test victory in India since 1985, enabling Flintoff's men to draw the series 1-1. While the loss in Karachi could be put down to several Indian batsmen playing badly, the defeat in Mumbai was arguably the result of Dravid's decision to bowl first on a flat dry pitch which later deteriorated and ended with an Indian collapse in the run chase.
4.After India failed to qualify for the Finals of the DLF Cup, Indian skipper Rahul Dravid was criticised by former all-rounder Ravi Shastri who said that he was not assertive enough and let Greg Chappell make too many decisions. When asked for a response, Dravid said that Shastri, while a 'fair critic', was 'not privy' to the internal decision-making process of the team.
5.Under his captaincy, India exited from the World Cup in the first round itself.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Achievements of Rahul Dravid:

He is known to be the Wall of India.He has shown his patience during batting which helped India to win many matches.He is capable of staying on the pitch for 1-2 days.He has shown this quality several times in his career.Most of these matches were won by India.
He has won many matches for India in foreign soil.

1.India vs Australia at Adelaide,Australia.
Australians managed to score 556 runs in 1st innings because of splendid performances by Ricky Ponting(242 runs),Simon Katich(75 runs) and Justin Langer(58 runs).It was a tough task in front of Indians.Indians started confidently but Bichel reduced them struggling at 85/4.This was a true test for Dravid and Laxman.They changed the game with a great partnership of 303 runs.In the end Indians managed to score 523 runs,Dravid scoring 233.In 2nd innings,Agarkar took 6 wickets to restrict Australians at 196 runs.Indians managed to chase the target successfully because of Dravid's 72* runs not out.Indians won their 1st match ever in Australia against the home team.

2.India vs West Indies at Kingston,Jamaica.
The Sabina Park pitch was totally helpful for bowlers.Dravid took Indians to a respectable total of 200 after the score of 91/6.Dravid scored 81 runs.Indian bowlers bowled superbly to reduce West Indies at 103/10.In 2nd innings,it was Dravid again to take Indians to safe score of 171,Dravid scoring 68.Chasing the target of 268,West Indies just managed to score 219 runs.Indians won the series 1-0.

He has won matches for India against Pakistan,South Africa,England,Australia,West Indies outside India.

This is the biggest achievement for him.
What more has he achieved?

Laxman talking about Dravid's 53:


Even while VVS Laxman was running amok, godlike, at one end, at the other, a man far more accomplished as a Test batsman in every way, was struggling to come to terms with cricketing mortality. While Laxman's superb performance will naturally draw the hosannas, Rahul Dravid's gritty knock at the other end cannot be forgotten. They were a sight to watch, one man in supreme command and the other, perennially tortured, barely hanging in there. Dravid nicked, edged, rode his luck but hung on, while India, riding on two of their favourite sons for this kind of situation, slowly climbed out of the barrel. And it was a partnership, the 175 they put on for the second wicket, not a solo performance. "I was really pleased for Rahul when he reached his 50," said Laxman later. "He was not timing the ball well initially, but it was a fighting knock.. He showed great character today. They bowled well to him, it was a gritty knock by him. Towards the end, he was getting his timing back. We both play our own games, we don't interfere with each other's approach. As a team, we needed the partnership. Rahul's knock was very important in that regard." Still, Dravid, on this day, made for some uncomfortable viewing. Someone famed for knowing his off-stump, on this tour so far, he's been guilty of fishing ever so often. He would probably consider himself lucky that catches were either grassed, proven bumped or caught of a no ball, allowing him to ride his luck and get to his half-century. According to the experts, Dravid's problem centres around his looking to play on the front foot, which is fine, but in the process, he also seems to go way too forward in his stride. By doing so, they believe he is getting too close to the ball and allowing himself no room to free his arms. Then again, by going that far forward, he also flirts with the danger of going too far across and playing balls way outside off-stump. Yet, he refused to let go, not throwing it away even when the crowd baited him, booing every dot ball he played and cheering mockingly every time he took a single. Australia were as grateful for his wicket as they were for Laxman's. "They were crucial wickets right at the end there, Laxman and Dravid, they were batting beautifully," said Brett Lee later. "For us to go in with one wicket down at the end would have been a different story, but to get those last two were brilliant. We're in a pretty good spot now."

Cheers for 'crawling' Dravid:


Rahul Dravid may have got off to a better start at the SCG than he did at Melbourne, but he batted as slowly as he had in the previous Test. The SCG crowd, which cheered every good shot right through the day, raised a din every time Dravid was on strike. And each time Dravid blocked the ball or let it go to the wicket-keeper, they cheered lustily. When Dravid got stuck on 18 for 39 balls, they simply enjoyed it. Finally, when Dravid took a single because of a misfielding, the entire stadium erupted as if he had reached his century. Dravid, who generally maintains a poker face when at the middle, was amused by the crowd's reaction and even raised his bat in acknowledgement. Well played, Jammie!

Dravid will bounce back: Srinath:


Rahul Dravid may not have been at his best with the bat against Australia so far but the right-hander would soon hit a purple patch, believes his former teammate Javagal Srinath.
Having agreed to don the opener's role, Dravid virtually crawled in the first Test at Melbourne and though he redeemed some of the lost pride with a half century in the second Test at Sydney today, he hardly looked fluent.

Srinath, however, believes 'The Wall' would soon be back in his elements. "I think whatever happened to him happens to every cricketer. Everyone goes through this phase in their career. As Anil (Kumble) said, it's all in the mind and he does not need to reinvent himself," said Srinath, who was here to launch 'Gatorade Pacers 2008', a talent hunt aimed at unearthing India's next pace sensation.
"I think his defence is his core competence and while it has been frustrating for others to see him defending on and on, there was nothing unusual. And I also don't think he was under any kind of pressure from the media. Take it from me, he would never allow himself to be so."
Srinath was also impressed with Kumble’s captaincy and said the seasoned leg-spinner should have been made skipper long back. "In India, we tend to ignore the bowlers. He has been impressive in the series against Pakistan and I think he should have been made captain five years back.’’
"Anyway, it's always better late than never and he has showed that he can deliver the goods."

Srinath also lavished praise on VVS Laxman for leading India's fightback in the second Test with his fifth century against Australia. "He forged a good partnership with Dravid and displayed good all-round stroke-play. I think Sydney has become his happy hunting ground."

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Don't play with Dravid's career: Kirmani


Former wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani today lashed out at the Indian team management in Australia for "playing with the career" of Rahul Dravid by pushing him to the opener's slot.
Kirmani felt Dravid has established himself as a dependable number three in the batting order and the team management's decision to send him as opener was not justified.
"Dravid has been consistently performing at no. 3 slot and he should have continued at it. It was not a right decision particularly when specialist opener Sehwag was in the squad," he said.
He said he had been taken aback by Sehwag's exclusion from the final eleven despite the right-hander having an impressive record in Australia.
Kirmani said he did not see any reason for having two spinners in the playing eleven on bouncy Australian pitches.
Questioning the commitment of current players, Kirmani said, "During our time, we used to play for the country and its pride. But, now the people are more inclined towards the game because of the money and glamour it involved."

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Download a Youtube video:

Youtube has changed the way we perceive entertainment. The videos on the site are funny, intelligent and wonderful enough to share with friends. But there’s a problem: every time you want to view the videos or show them around, you need to be online. And Internet connections are neither reliable in terms of speed or uptime, nor are they cheap if you are on a pay-per-use plan. So what do you do to download the videos to your PC?

The new iPods, including the iPod Touch, can play these videos, but it’s unlikely you will buy an iPod for that reason alone. Besides, what if you want to watch a video which is not on YouTube, but on Google Video or MySpace, or any of the other video-sharing sites. If you, like me, have faced this problem, here’s a practical solution. And no, you don’t need to spend money on it. Here’s how you can download the videos:
First, you need the Firefox Web browser from Mozilla. If you don’t have it yet, this is one more reason to do so, besides the fact that it is fast and efficient to download. Just go to www.mozilla.com and download it for free. If you already have Firefox, make sure it is Version 2, or just go ahead and download the update.
Once you have the Firefox on your PC, download a tool (or an add-on) called the DownloadHelper. To do so, go to http://tinyurl.com/2zj6z5 and click on the ‘Install Now’ button. A window will pop up, warning you to install softwares that you trust. Don’t worry, there is no virus here. After installation, which should take about a minute, Firefox will have to be restarted. Do so by clicking on the Restart Firefox button.
Once the Firefox has restarted, you are more or less ready. You now need to download a player that will allow you to play the FLV files (YouTube and other flash videos). You can play them on your regular Media Player, but it will require a Codec. I suggest you use a free player like the FLV Player for which you have to open the page in http://tinyurl.com/j54bt. After downloading the player, set it up.
To get the video from YouTube, go to www.youtube.com and browse to the video you want. Once you are on the page that has the video, go to the top of the screen where you will see the three balls of DownloadHelper change from grey to some other colour (see image). Click on the down arrow next to the coloured balls, select the file and download it.
Save it on your desktop or any other folder. Remember that each video file is about 5 MB or more, so it will take time to download. Once this is done, double click on the video and it will open in the FLV player downloaded earlier.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Team behind Dravid, says Zaheer:


Hitting the nail on the head, assistant coach of the Indian team Lalchand Rajput said the failure of the famed batting line-up in the first Test against Australia was the result of a defensive mindset rather than any technical flaw.
India suffered a huge 337-run defeat to Australia on Saturday after the visitors were all out for less than 200 runs in both the innings of the match and Rajput said the players lacked in self-belief.


*Kumble supports Dravid
"They do not have any technical problem. It's the one in the mind. They need to apply and believe in themselves. Self-belief is very important and it can help you survive in any field," Rajput said.
Rajput denied that Rahul Dravid's failure in this game would prompt any knee-jerk reaction. He said the former captain could still be asked to open the innings in the second Test.


*Celebrating Sourav
"Dravid opening the innings was a team management's decision. When we come overseas we see what is best for the team.
"Dravid too does not have any technical problem. It's more in the mind and I am sure he will comeback strongly. I do not think there is any need for drastic changes. We will show some aggression on the ground and more intensity."
Rajput said the management believed in the ability of the batsmen as well as the tremendous record they have in all conditions.
"This is a side which has done very well in West Indies, England and India. I am sure our players will come back.
"When we start a Test, I think we have to be in a frame of mind where we are positive. The start was very crucial which we never got. It put a lot of pressure on the rest," he said.
Rajput asserted that the team would bounce back in the second Test in Sydney, starting on January 2.
"There are two strategies in cricket -- one to be defensive and the other to be offensive. In the first Test we were a bit defensive. We do have a strategy and we will come back," Rajput said.


*Team behind Dravid, says Zaheer


Runs may have dried up for Rahul Dravid but there is no dearth of support from his teammates including Zaheer Khan, who believes the right-hander is due for a big knock against Australia.
A team man to the core, Dravid agreed to the makeshift opener's role, a move aimed at accommodating Yuvraj Singh in the playing eleven, only to cut a sorry figure in both the innings of the Boxing Day Test.
Zaheer, however, asserted that despite his poor show in Melbourne, Dravid continued to have the wholehearted support of his teammates and exuded confidence that the former captain would soon hit the purple patch.
"We always back our players. That's what is more important at this level. He's a great batsman and that's why he's ready to accept that," Zaheer said.
"He is definitely due and we are all behind him," he added.

India to persist with Dravid as opener:


India have decided to persist with Rahul Dravid as opener despite his poor form as they go into the second cricket Test against Australia here on Wednesday with a question mark on the avaibility of pace spearhead Zaheer Khan.
Zaheer, a vital cog in India's bowling attack, suffered a muscle pull during the net session forcing the team management to wait till Wednesday to take a decision on his inclusion for the crucial game.
Unfazed by Dravid's flop show in Melbourne where India crashed to one of their biggest Test defeats, the think tank has decided to persist with him as an opener by leaving out Virender Sehwag from the playing eleven.
Many former cricketers had called for Sehwag's inclusion in the team but the Indians apparently are in no hurry to tinker with the batting line-up on a SCG track which was expected to provide some assistance to the quick bowlers.
While the injury to Zaheer has come as a big blow for the jittery Indians, there was at least some good news for the visitors with Sourav Ganguly, who was down with high fever, having recovered fully.
In case Zaheer does not recover, Irfan Pathan was likely to take his place in the playing eleven with the team management having sounded out the Baroda paceman to be mentally ready to take the field.
The crushing 337-run defeat in the opening Test will no doubt have a demoralising effect on the visitors who need to put up an inspired show to stop Australia from equalling a record-breaking sequence of 16 consecutive Test wins.
The Australians have opted to retain the same team that did duty in Melbourne, which means that the talented Shaun Tait will have to wait for his chance.
Indian Skipper Anil Kumble stressed the need for his batsmen to break the shackles and play freely in the game.
"It's very important to get partnerships. When we had that 60-70 run stand (between Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly) it was fine. When we have a partnership, it's important to go on and make a big score," Kumble said.
"I thought our batters were very uptight in Melbourne. They needed to play their natural game," he said.
Australian captain Ricky Ponting, on the other hand, sounded confident and said his team had the momentum going into the match after the huge vicctory in Melbourne.
"We have the momentum going but if we just sit back and expect it to happen, India is a good enough side to let the momentum going. It could cause us a headache," he cautioned.
The Australian captain felt too much was being made about India's lack of preparation for this series having been granted just a solitary first class game.
"I think too much is being made of it. They came after a three-Test series against Pakistan. They played on a track which was more suited to their style of playing," he said.
"A lot is being made of India's batting but it was to the credit of our bowlers that we didn't let them have a lot of scoring opportunities," he added.
Ricky Ponting's men have tasted blood and are chasing their 16th successive Test win which would put them at par with Steve Waugh's record shattering Australians of early 2000.
All the batsmen, barring captain Ricky Ponting, ran themselves into some sort of form at the MCG but it was their bowling which caught the eye.
Brett Lee, Stuart Clark and Mitchell Johnson have made it an almost seamless transition in the post Glenn McGrath-Shane Warne era and are now quite adept at delivering blows even on pitches which are more like sub-continental tracks.
Curator Tom Parker has predicted that the pitch would be more favourable for fast bowlers than it has ever been in the past.
"I think we will see a lot of bounce and good carry in it. I do not see any gremlins in it. I expect it to be a very similar to the Ashes deck last year," Parker said.
India's most successful cricket coach John Wright feels that Virender Sehwag's return to the side as an opener could ease the mounting pressure on Rahul Dravid.
Wright, former New Zealand captain, who was in charge of the India team on their successful tour down under four years ago, was not willing to add to Dravid's pressure by publicly analysing his much-scrutinised performance in the first Test, where his combined tally was 21 runs from 180 balls.
As Dravid fought his way past cameras and reporters to climb on the team bus at Sydney Airport Monday, his former mentor, Wright, reinforced the value of a positive frame of mind in Australia and said the former India captain could be liberated if Sehwag was brought back to the top of the order.
"The Indian team is best when it is playing its shots. Sehwag certainly gave us a lot of momentum on the last tour and I don't know what form he is in but I just feel you have to be positive against Australia and put the bad ball away," said Wright, the New Zealander who four years ago came close to orchestrating Australia's first home defeat since 1992-93.
"Rahul looked to me as if he needs a bit of time at the crease. He is a big rhythm player and I am sure he prefers (number) three.’’
"He succeeded in Australia last time so he has got that behind him. I just felt, looking from here, that the lead-in has been insufficient, so Melbourne for any Indian batsman was going to be a very, very severe examination. The team needs him."
Dravid dominated the Australian attack four years ago, with more than 600 runs including a double hundred in Adelaide. This time, Sehwag was a last-moment inclusion in this touring party from outside the shortlist but was not picked for the Boxing Day Test, where he last time pounded Australia's bowlers for 195 without appearing to move his feet once.
Dravid and opening partner Wasim Jaffer could not have provided a bigger contrast in Melbourne, where they were suffocated. If Sehwag is recalled, Yuvraj Singh would almost certainly be dropped from the middle order after the languid display that so displeased team management in Melbourne.

"Australia bowled very well but you can't allow them to bowl at you," Wright said. "I'm probably biased, but he (Sehwag) gave us so much at the top of the order. He's the sort of player that needs to be backed and be given a lot of confidence to go out there - as long as he plays straight - and back himself. I would love to see him back in good form. Then Dravid can slot in at three and things follow from there."
Dravid has endured a tough year since resigning as Indian captain, a job that carries the expectations of a billion people, after the historic away series victory over England. Those close to him say he is feeling more positive after his improved performance in the second innings.
Former India captain Ravi Shastri has urged Dravid, who has more than 9,000 Test runs to his name, to "chill out".
Shastri said Dravid should not beat himself up about his performance in Melbourne. "He is an ambitious character and a terrific player for India so he sets standards for himself," Shastri said. "Sometimes you just have to relax."