All eyes, and the
-in-law (mother-in-law), will want to see a good innings from Rahul Dravid on Saturday.
Nagpur is where Dravid’s wife, Dr Vijeta Pendharkar, comes from. While this may not have a direct bearing on his backlift, it has brought significance to his appearances in the city.
Nagpurians would be all the more happy if Dravid does well on Saturday since it would mean an end to his poor form.
In four tries in this series Dravid has scored only 44 runs. Two innings ended in ducks.
It's been a time of success and readjustment for Dravid.
He led India to their first Test series win in England in 21 years. There was a heart-breaking loss to the same opponent in the NatWest series. Then he opted out of the World Twenty20 and relinquished India's captaincy.
Fitting into a new role, that too while contending with a world-class bowling attack, has not been easy. In terms of statistics as well as body language, Dravid has not been as intense as he usually is. Something's amiss.
Could it be his changing spot in the batting order? The man with 10,578 runs in one-dayers has batted at No. 5, 4, 5 and three the four times India have batted so far. That could not have been easy, especially for a man not in his best touch.
The good news is he batted with focus in the nets on Saturday. The few thousand fans crammed into a couple of sections of the Vidarbha Cricket Association cheered him, regardless of his recent performances. As reward or as a clue to what's coming up on Sunday, he lofted the last ball of his practice into the stands.
Dravid and his fans can also draw hope from his record at the ground. In five innings here he has, at the very least, scored a fifty. Nagpur, and India, would not mind another big knock.