Dravid spoils his own party | india | Hindustan Times
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Dravid spoils his own party

It was his party, but he spoilt it. For Rahul Dravid the third Test against England here was his 100th, a landmark in his illustrious career. Before tea time on the fifth day today when his side collapsed for 100 in a batting display that he himself described as "bizarre", there was nothing for Dravid to celebrate.

india Updated: Mar 23, 2006 01:40 IST
PTI

It was his party, but he spoilt it.

For Rahul Dravid the third Test against England here was his 100th, a landmark in his illustrious career. Before tea time on the fifth day today when his side collapsed for 100 in a batting display that he himself described as "bizarre", there was nothing for Dravid to celebrate.

His decision to put England in after winning the toss will haunt the Indian captain for a long, long time. It will rank among the most glaring tactical blunders made by a Test captain.

No wonder rival skipper Andrew Flintoff today described Dravid's decision as a bonus. England ran away with the match and tied the series 1-1 after amassing 400 in the first innings which put India on the backfoot.

Dravid himself admitted later that his decision probably cost India the match.
"Looking at the result, in hindsight, it was a bad decision. We thought that we had five bowlers and three seamers in the eleven and expected good bounce and movement in the first session to pick up a few wickets," he said.

"But it did not happen and once they made 272 for three on the first day we knew we were on the backfoot," he said after the home team crashed to a humiliating 212-run defeat to allow England to square the series 1-1.

Flintoff was "obviously pleased" with Dravid's generosity.

"I would always have batted first. Once he chose to field first I knew they were knee deep. Obviously I was pleased," said the England skipper. When it comes to making the wrong decision after winning the toss, Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin's decision to ask England to bat first in the Lord's Test during the 1990 series is probably the most unforgettable.