Did anyone outside India really think that Rahul Dravid should have been dropped at any point during his relatively prolonged spell of poor form? We certainly didn’t. It’s Rahul Dravid.
Looking back now, it seems that run of poor form ended about this time last year in Mohali when he hit 136 against England. Today’s 177 not out against Sri Lanka was his first Test hundred since then, but he’s been steadily knocking fifties, so when India fell to 32-4, they had the right man for the job.
His eyes had gone
As soon as batsmen get into their thirties, spells of poor form are greeted with pronouncements about their eyes going or that they’re ‘past it’. It’s rarely true. Steve Waugh retired at 38. He may have scored a bit slower, but he averaged 70-odd in his last year of Test cricket. Graham Gooch hit hundreds into his forties. Mark Ramprakash is still in the form of his life and he’s 40 now.
With a batsman as good as Rahul Dravid, a bad patch is just that – even at the age of 36 (nearly 37). India’s much-maligned selectors deserve credit for persevering with ageing big names when there have been a lot of calls for change. Poor form in younger players is more easily tolerated, but you have to acknowledge that players like Rahul Dravid don’t come around all that often.