It does not happen too often when we see an athlete defying the so called the rules of a game. All the cricketing gurus would agree that, Gavaskar School of Batting always preached keeping the cricketing ball along the ground, not attempting a big cover drive when you see a juicy half volley and facing the new ball intelligently. Notice the word ‘Facing’, you are supposed to preserve your wicket from one end & let the opposition bowlers spend some time in the sun and not giving away your wicket.
In the nutshell, Cricketing was seen as a marathon, where endurance, stamina, temperament were as important as the number of hundreds scored by a player. Scoring runs was more important than that of the strike rate at which the runs were scored. If someone made his maiden fifty without hitting a six, it was always seen as champion’s temperament. This was a player who could stand in the twenty two yard pitch for a big half of the day, face 116 balls and score 32*(not out) runs without hitting a six. When Dravid started playing, in one of the match he faced 33 balls before troubling the scorers. I know how much I love ‘The Wall’; he literally was a force who could take down the fastest bowler not by the rate of scoring but with his defensive maneuvers. Once the bowlers were tired Rahul will launch an assault ensuring that he will not throw his wicket; they have to earn it.
Similarly we had V.V.S.Laxman, if you want to see how he scored his runs in the international arena ask, Australians. I had always believed that Australians will play the aggressive cricket, no matter what are the circumstances. Australia dominated the World cricket starting 1999 world cup until 2007 world cup. In the tests they were stopped by the surging Indian Team under the leadership of Sourav Ganguly. As much as I loved cricket around that time; I can tell you with conviction I hated the VVS and Rahul; not because they were bad players but because they were so rigorous preacher of Gavaskar school of batting. I know it’s a very silly reason to hate the World Class cricketers. But at the time, I didn’t understand what Test Matches really were. I will opt nine out of ten to watch an ODI than a test.
But then a new cricketer joined the ranks of Indian Cricket. Indian Cricket will never be the same.