Memories of Rawalpindi

“The people back home deserve a fighting team” : Rahul Dravid sometime in 2006 (not sure but it was either Pakistan Series or West Indies Series)

A message wakes me up in the morning ‘Can Dravid bat worse than this?’ from a Dravid fan who is too critical. I wake up to remember my most cherished innings in Test Cricket, the Rawalpindi double hundred, 270 to be precise scored by the world’s best cricketer ever (no arguments are needed here please, I had read in my mathematics ‘Sets’ class that you can’t have a group of most beautiful women as a universal set whereas you can have most number of planets in the solar system because beauty varies for person to person. Same thing here, for me best is only one).

“Fear is an emotion provided by nature for our protection. It has to be overcome and the challenge faced. Only two types of people are totally fearless. One. you find in the graveyard, the other in a mental asylum. Rahul is someone who takes decisions and accepts responsibility for the same. That is the hallmark of a champion. He is an ideal role model for anybody who wants to reach the top of his/her chosen profession.

B.P.Bam – Sports Psychologist

Let’s remember the similarities. Rahul Dravid struggling to make runs, having a hard time. Dropped on 70 (or 71?) (in this case 28). Not looking himself, his usual calm self. He wasn’t in either. The team wasn’t exactly in trouble, alright. But might have been. Who knows? Last time Sehwag and Dravid put on runs together, in the game Sehwag made 319 and Dravid 130 odd (when he reached his 10,000 Test runs), the batting order collapsed as soon as Dravid was out. Forget speculation. I somehow knew that Dravid will make it up. I started watching it, Dravid was 11 or so, not even a strike rate of 20. The opportunists called critics (not the one who messaged me) would have been licking their tongues and some didn’t even care but had put the keys in. The writers for reputed places who are supposed to give an end-of-day report would have had to do a lot of editing, though not really praising. Some youngistaan fans would have had a heartbreak.

“He has always been like Arjuna….with a bow n arrow in hand n a target in mind…..he sees only the eye of the fish…n nothing else!!” Ayaz Menon on Rahul Dravid (ICC Cricket Awards – 2004)

Forget them, Dravid struggled, and still went on to make a 100. The wicket, not as easy as was made out., especially since Dravid loves faster pitches more than slower ones. I remember the 270 innings pretty clearly. After the end of the day, Dravid said in an interview to NDTV that he has to go and take rest, he’ll be batting all of the day tomorrow. The next day, he said he has to score tomorrow again. This is called attitude, an sms that would have fetch a thousands of forwards, a quote about cricket which I haven’t found anywhere except in my memories. Today, I could see the same attitude. I have to bat the whole day, and he almost did!

Rahul Dravid is one player I could go and watch. Come to think of it, if I wanted someone batting for my life, it would be Rahul. : Brian Lara

The general attitude is when you’re having a tough time, go ahead, hit a few balls with closed eyes and it’ll be alright. Not Rahul Dravid. I said it’s my most cherished innings, the 270, that’s the reason. He never showed any signs of giving up despite struggling. VVS Laxman had also said the same thing once, as Lara had.

‘All this going around is not aggression. If you want to see aggression on cricket field, look into Rahul Dravid’s eyes’ Mathew Hayden (not exact quote, but the gist is same).

Thank You Rahul Dravid for teaching me precious lessons of life through your Rawalpindi innings.

Thank You Rahul Dravid for raising the level of an out-of-form batsman to an average of 30 plus. (Sorry Duminy, and almost every other batsman ;-))

Thank You Rahul Dravid for being my idol, I hope I emulate some of what I’ve learned, I badly need the lessons called life preserved in poetry in motion your art of batting provides.

Rahul Dravid is a documentary, it depcts life, is unbiased, and shows reality. It doesn’t want to sell itself, but just wants to be appreciated by the like-minded people who understand the art. It doesn’t publicize itself. It exists because it believes in itself, despite no attention, no publicity, no praise (except from the like-minded people). Rest all today is commercial cinema! Despite that, this documentary is commercially successful too. : Raghav Gautam

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