|Rahul Dravid gets a standing ovation from the crowd after a brilliantly crafted 69 in his final ODI innings|
Image Courtesy: Cricinfo
Its exactly 9:45PM in my watch, Dravid batting at 69, realizes he needs to up the ante as only 8 overs to go. He has been trying to go for the big shots after reaching his half century but failing to middle the ball on most occasions, been edging quite a few balls. Clearly trying to get a move on and increase the scoring rate but not getting those boundaries as often as he would have liked. So this time goes on the front foot and tries to clear the mid-on boundary unselfishly as he has always been contributing not for his personal cause but for the team's cause for over 15 years, but misses the ball and it hits his stumps. My heart stopped for a moment. Rahul Dravid walks off the ground after playing his very last innings wearing the blue. He is being congratulated by his team mate Virat Kohli and all the English players for his outstanding contribution in this format of the game - such a nice gesture by the English players, showing their respect for the great man. As he walks off the ground to a standing ovation by the thousands gathered in the ground, silently tears start to stroll down my cheeks. I just couldn't control my emotions. I was witnessing my Idol wearing the Blue jersey for the very last time. He graciously acknowledges the crowd and walks off the ground. What a great end to a stellar innings and a brilliant career.
I just hope that our bowlers would at least be able to defend a competitive score of 304 and win this match. Dravid deserves a good send-off. He has been humiliated, insulted, disrespected and used in the past. But a great player like Dravid deserves a nice send-off. Hopefully we can finally come together as a unit and win our first match in what has been a dismal tour and end this tour on a high. Hopefully three hours from now, tears would be strolling down my cheeks again and I just hope those tears would be happy tears. (If weather gods permit, that is. I am optimistic, let's hope for the best for Dravid's sake at least).
Rahul Dravid, one of the greatest Cricketers to have ever played the game, an absolute Legend, My Idol, My Inspiration. I will surely miss you not wearing the blue jersey and playing for India again as will millions of your fans and well wishers. Thank You for all the wonderful memories. I will always cherish them.