Different strokes: Will the sun set and will the son rise?
For Dravid the evening of his career is threatening to stretch into a gloomy passage that will terminate only in darkness. For Yuvraj, there have been so many false dawns, reports Anand Vasu.cricket Updated: Dec 10, 2008 23:00 IST
If you gave them an evening off, one would play with his son for a couple of hours, have a quiet dinner with his wife and slip into bed with a good book. The other would spend an hour picking the right party shirt, a few minutes rounding up his best buddies, and head for a high-energy night on town.
Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh seemingly have nothing in common, but if you scratch the surface you’ll find that at the moment they’re both desperate for the same thing — runs.
For Dravid the evening of his career is threatening to stretch into a gloomy passage that will terminate only in darkness. For Yuvraj, there have been so many false dawns that questions are being asked on whether the sun will ever rise on his Test career.
“There’s lots of pressure on Yuvraj,” agreed Kevin Pietersen. “The last time around we asked him some questions with the short ball. There are a lot of good batsmen in India fighting for a place in the side.” Point made, pressure on.
But even KP would not be tempted into lighting a fire under Dravid. When asked if Dravid was a “soft area” his team could target, Pietersen said, “I would never ever say that Rahul Dravid is a soft area in any batting line-up. He is a serious player.”
In recent times, it has been suggested that Dravid is perhaps taking it all a bit too seriously, that he needed to lighten up. But that has never been Dravid’s way. Attempting to hit his way out of trouble would be as silly as Yuvraj trying to occupy the crease with technical perfection and absolute solidity.
Dravid will have to respect the bowling, maybe struggle a bit for that big score. Yuvraj, tagged the next big genuine talent after the generation of the Fab Four, just needs to be himself. Dhoni said as much.
“The biggest fault will be if he tries to fill Ganguly’s shoes. He is a very different individual. He needs to be himself and that is what we need, from a team’s point of view — Yuvraj Singh as Yuvraj Singh."
Dhoni didn’t have to say it, but the team could certainly do with Dravid being his old self as well.