A gentleman's unfinished business
Let us rewind the clock a bit to the 1997-98 season of Indian cricket's most reputed Ranji championship. The Karnataka cricket team led by Anil Kumble faced the Uttar Pradesh team in the final match. The match was drawn but Karnataka were awarded the trophy since they took the lead in the first innings. The player of that match was none other than Rahul Dravid.
We all know that he is one of the greatest players to have graced the game of cricket but despite being a legendary batsman, Dravid was never lucky enough to get his name etched on the World Cup trophy.
In the 1999 World Cup tournament which was organized in England, he was the top scorer with 461 runs and three hundreds. However, the Indian cricket team could not qualify for the semi-final stage, thus marking Dravid's first bid as a failure.
Dravid was part of the Indian squad of the 2003 World Cup held in Australia but ended up losing to the mighty Australians in the final. Dravid returned to India with yet another World Cup loss written against his name.
Dravid took another shot, this time in 2007, when he was at the helm of affairs. As destiny would have it though, Dravid tasted yet another failure as Team India crashed out in the first round of the tournament.
Fast forward to 2011. Indian cricket fans' most joyous moment (post the 1983 World Cup win) came when Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit that smoking six to seal the victory as well as the World Cup. This definitely brought smiles on the faces of the fans, including Dravid. He knew something great had been achieved, something that had eluded him throughout his career.
Post his retirement from the game, Dravid took up the task of coaching the U-19 cricket team (as well as the India A team) in June 2015. He was quick to pass on the passion and the discipline to the young boys and the results were there for everyone to see, with the U-19 team reaching the finals of the World Cup organized in February 2016. Destiny mocked him though as the Indian side lost to the West Indians in the summit clash.
There is a famous story that goes by the name “The King and The Spider”. King Vikram takes shelter in a cave post his defeat to his enemy. He observes a small spider that falls down, because a thread of the web breaks. It tries to climb up repeatedly and succeeds eventually, resulting in the completion of the web. The King gets inspired to fight and takes on the enemy, and, after a series of attempts, succeeds in regaining his kingdom.
In helping the young Indian boys win the prestigious U-19 World Cup this time around, Dravid emerged as the king.
'Life comes a full circle' is one of the most famous quotes thrown around. For Dravid, this is 100% true. He must be a satisfied man now and so too his fans who started the “World Cup Deserves Rahul Dravid” trend on Twitter.
As everyone had predicted, the future of Indian cricket is in the safe hands of the one and only Wall, Rahul Dravid.