Finally after months of agonizing, after trying everything from watching videos to making technical adjustments, the runs came. For Rahul Dravid, this innings comes as a new lease on life. On the superficial, most obvious level, it puts an end to the speculation of whether he will be picked for India's next Test match and whether he is past it with the bat.
Dravid says that the lean patch taught him, among other things; just how many people desperately wanted him to succeed. But what it would have also taught him is the role runs play in his life. Dravid has been a hard working, thinking and earnest servant of cricket and it has rewarded him well.
It was only understandable that Dravid took to a life-changing event, the birth of his son Samit, like any proud father would. Where previously the most important thing in Dravid’s life was the next delivery he would have to face, now there was something even more meaningful. That's not to say that Dravid trained with any less purpose, was careless at the crease or even spent less time on the game. In a sense, there was a strong sense of purpose to his life, even when he scored a duck. "When I speak to my son he just asks, 'where are you, dad? What's happening? When will you come home?" said Dravid when he spoke to press after his hundred.
What this period of run scarcity – 21 Tests before this one have yielded just one century – would have taught Dravid is just how important runs still are to him, personally.
It's inconceivable that cricket will ever again be the most important thing in Dravid's life, but it's still important enough to matter to him, and he's still good enough to contribute. There ends the retirement debate, at least while the runs keep coming.