The Reuters global sports blog
Rahul Dravid will go down in the annals of Indian cricket as a champion batsman who had no qualms about playing second fiddle during an illustrious 15-year career built upon the soundest of techniques.
A purist’s delight, Dravid will be fondly remembered as someone whose batting was as perfect as a coaching manual and the numerous rescue acts he performed would secure him a place on the wish-list of any international captain.
Nicknamed “The Wall” for his impeccable defence, the 39-year-old announced his retirement from test cricket on Friday after a disappointing tour of Australia, where he was bowled out in six out of his eight innings.
Probably the nature of his dismissals in Australia where the ball found it much easier to breach his previously watertight defences, convinced Dravid to call time on his career despite being the highest test run-scorer in the 2011 calendar year.
The fallout from England’s crushing first-test defeat by Pakistan has led many pundits to call for Monty Panesar to play as a second spinner in next week’s second test, despite the fact it was the batsmen and not the bowlers who failed to turn up for the world’s top-ranked test side.
Number 11 Panesar may have performed heroics with the bat in Cardiff to save the first Ashes test in 2009 but the Pakistan bowlers will hardly be quaking in their boots. Including Panesar would seemingly mean dropping seamer Chris Tremlett, who did not get a wicket in Dubai but still bowled decently. England getting Pakistan down to 289-8 having only scored 192 first up themselves was a good effort from the England attack.
Last week’s crazy Cape Town test match between South Africa and Australia, where 23 wickets fell in a day and the visitors narrowly avoided the lowest ever test score, will go down in cricket’s esteemed annals.
They meet again at the Wanderers from Thursday. But would test cricket fans want to see a repeat?
The ICC has unveiled the best test team of all time as voted for by fans on the governing body’s website. The ICC offered a shortlist to choose from.
Here it is:
Adam Gilchrist (wk)
Is it a bit 1980s focused? No Englishmen either but maybe that is not a big shock. Sehwag probably the biggest surprise.
To those uninitiated with cricket, to hear complaints about a playing surface being ‘flat’ would only further confuse them. As if the game, also hit by tragedy this week, wasn’t complex enough.
Now, a recent trend of high scores has led to criticism from some of the game’s former players, who are equally baffled by pitches that serve up nothing more than run feasts.