There was a time, 3 years back, when I wrote about Rahul Dravid and his retirement from ODI cricket. Looking back, since July 2008 he has been picked twice, appeared in around 10 matches and this time he formally closed the chapter on that.
So, did he finish the way he wanted to? Can’t say. He might have preferred playing till, maybe 2009 and make way for the next generation for the WC’11. But will I take this retirement? Yes! With both hands!
Unlike most of his career, there was no one overshadowing this moment for him. Trust me, he might not have it the same way in tests. It’ll be hard to get a fairytale ending there too, considering the crossroads Indian cricket finds itself at. And even if it is so, it will just not be something the “Dravid way”, where there are no fairy tales. Everything comes drenched in sweat.
But in a way, I was glad Sachin was not there playing in the team. Nothing against him, just that this man deserved his moment. And it happened the way it’s happened all his career – A supporting act for a fiery innings at the other end. No special shots to remember, just nudges and pushes during overs 15-40, the most boring part of an ODI innings.
Anyway, to say that he’ll be missed in the ODIs is an overstatement. He left the scene 4 years back. He just came back to say his goodbyes to the format, something he was denied 4 years back. Now it’s just back to business as usual with the tests.