In case, you have not caught on, this is about Dravid.
Here is the guy who has amazing technique, a great temperament for batting, perfect gentleman, a perfectionist and consummate team-man; take him, add some second-guessers to it, create a parallel structure and slowly watch him disintegrate; He has been now turned him into a perfect specimen for a case-study on psychological experiment. Freud would be rubbing his hands in glee and would call variety of people – Greg Chappell, Sharad Pawar, Zaheer Khan, Tendulkar and Mr. D himself – Dilip Vengasarkar to get their expert opinion, for his case-study.
In my belief, Dravid is a complex man – a perfectionist seeking excellence in whatever he chooses to do and driven more by intent rather than agenda. He is someone who would look at the goal and hope the team around him will look at the goal and align themselves to achieve it without the politicking and without their own agenda. If you had seen him bat in the last few innings, it is clear that he is going through a crisis of confidence. Just cannot believe someone who played so well in the final OD innings in
Flash back to recent events: He won a series in West Indies and then in
This could be pop-psychology – but Dravid I believe is a person who strives for perfection; and that too with great intensity. When you do that, then most times even a simple thing could become complicated. Not saying opening is a simple thing – but Dravid would have built a lot of what-if-scenarios around it and would have made it more complex than it ought to be. He had already talked about the change-over between innings as one of the what-if scenarios. He also comes across as a person who can get quickly get into a siege mentality and sink deeper into crisis of confidence; and the more he gets deeper into, the more he gets into point of no return. Case in point is his stagnation as a run-scoring opener in the warm-up game and in the first-innings. We see a completely different and tentative batsman – the guy who is intent on battling it out in keeping his wicket intact rather than scoring runs.
This had happened once, earlier to Dravid – when he was dropped from the OD team for his ability to rotate the strike and score briskly. At that time, two things happened – one, he reinvented himself and more importantly, he had a strong support from the leadership – Ganguly as the captain, had insisted that Dravid to be in the team in the lower order and also got him to keep wickets. That kind of unconditional support and faith was required to get Dravid into the mind-set of a champion. The rest is history – his OD confidence carrying into stupendous test forms, setting up a host of hundreds and double hundreds, leading to famous test wins for
I believe Dravid is more needed in the test team and in the middle-order to provide the solidity that others can build around it and he has still 2-3 years in him. He certainly needs that kind of leadership support now – if not from Kumble (who is not much dissimilar to Dravid in mental make-up), from his team-mates, like Tendulkars and Gangulys. Dravid being, perhaps, the most self-less in that group, would definitely make the others look good too.
Ps: On a different note, can anyone find a logic in screwing up three positions within the batting order to get Yuvraj in – The opener slot, the #3 and #6 and sacrifice an opener, Dravid and Laxman ? Why cant we just drop one of the middle-order rather than screwing up the set-order!