Graham Ford’s Runaway Bride act (for thats the politest one can be) has done this. Its turned the focus solely on Rahul Dravid. This is going to be his summer. It will have to be. It had to be that way the day he reconciled it all by saying “Coming to a place like India, you’ve got to be 100% sure you want to do it – it takes a lot of patience, drive, energy. If he had second doubts, it’s right not to come here. It’s not a lost opportunity because the person who comes here has to have the drive and energy.”
Roger Waters in Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2) : “If you don’t eat yer meat, you can’t have any pudding. How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?“
Have a good life, Mr Ford.
For some reason, Harsha Bhogle sees Ford’s cold feet as something the BCCI should apologise for. Its something unforeseen, he admits but yet he feels, displays BCCI’s arrogance or lack of planning and deserves a “Sorry, we goofed“. This, when even the skipper’s version (above) bears out the BCCI’s.
There’s more that I don’t get in that article. “If, however, they had followed a process, like Mr Srinivasan’s India Cements does so well, they would have interviewed four or five candidates and ranked them. So the moment the first candidate said no, the next would have been ready.” …I wonder if Mr Srinivasan’s India Cements (its amazing that they aren’t BCCI’s business model right?) ever had unsuitable candidates? And guess what – everybody knew we were looking for a coach. And only two guys applied – Dav Whatmore and Graham Ford.
That leaves the other issue that Harsha mentions – and thats planning. “Now, the BCCI has bought time. A truce seems to have been achieved with the players, even if it seems a temporary truce. And a trusted, respected man has been asked to hold the baby till a more permanent candidate emerges.” 80 days (starting next week) is the deadline that the BCCI’s Niranjan Shah’s announced (fwiw!) to select the new coach. Is that too much planning? Does it matter what he says? We’ll see. Without the benefit of hindsight its tough to tell.
Importantly though , in the article is a little snippet about Rahul Dravid asking for extra warm up games ahead of the Australia series. Its a tiny piece of news which suddenly restores Harsha’s voice for Indian cricket. It looks beyond the immediate and leaves unstated that Rahul Dravid is not officially skipper for the Australia series. Simply put, a cricketer who plays for his country. But with a vision beyond the here and now. India, Cements, The Wall – Maybe Mr Srinivasan would be proud.
In another piece, Pradeep Magazine speaks to Rahul Dravid. Its more a collection of things said, and really, the kind that one would have preferred to watch in a television interview than read in a collection of choose-your-order quotes but considering that it has nuggets like ” (there is) too much negativity in Indian cricket, which does not help….I’m not saying that there are no problems; yes, there are, but that does not mean that we blame the outside world for our failures.” or “In a team there are energy-givers and energy-sappers. We have a whole pot of energy and in the course of time you realise who will add energy to it and who will take energy out of it. It varies… And the more energy-givers you have, the better it will be for the team.” More things left unsaid like in The Wall’s boring post match “process” talk. The search for like minded people to fuel the drive.
Just nod if you can hear me …
And then is this piece on the BBC by Rohit Brijnath. Clearly, and not surprisingly, this is the most analytical of all the pieces. It highlights how Dravid can’t do it alone and yet, in many ways, he must.
“Indian cricket has been good for its followers in one way. It has taught them to master the art of looking on the bright side. Thus, the England tour must be seen somehow as opportunity. In this case it is a chance for the captain to bloom. Unhindered by a coach, Rahul Dravid must show that this is his team.”
The ironies are unmistakable. The skipper sees the dark clouds of negativity as the dangers that could corrupt his young team. Something they need to be “cocooned” from. The true fan sees the bright side and an opportunity.
Last night, as he smiled at Chandu Borde’s astute assessments that he’d been following England, and that they seemed to have a few good batsmen in Collingwood and Strauss and Vaughan was a bit prone to injury, Rahul Dravid said that this was probably his last tour (as a player anyway !) to England. He wanted to make it memorable. There are a few others on that team who will feel similar. They felt similar about the World Cup a few months ago and they must have hurt. Its on them that India depends. Its not all about The Wall.
Shine On, You Crazy Diamonds ….