It is strange how tag teams are combined across countries. Ricky Ponting reckons Rahul Dravid should send him a thank you note for encouraging him not to quit international cricket in 2010.
Rahul Dravid is one Indian cricketer who is beyond criticism at the moment in an otherwise shambolic state of affairs that has become Indian cricket as a result of their 4-0 Test series whitewash in England and the loss of their prestigious no.1 Test team title. At thirty-eight years of age, Rahul Dravid is carrying the beacon light for Indian cricket as if he were starting out – the same though cannot be said of some of the younger lot of Indian cricketers who do not seem determined enough. Furthermore, Dravid was not even in the picture since Sachin Tendulkar was the one whom the media and cricket loving public were following with fervor with the latter approaching his 100th 100 in international cricket.
However, as the end of the disastrous tour of England, only one man is standing and that is none other than the Man of the Series, Rahul Dravid. Dravid though refused to speculate on his future at the end of the tour that has seen him score three Test centuries to add to his one from the tour of the West Indies to make it four Test centuries out of seven Tests since India resumed national duties following the IPL 4 season which he also happened to play for the Rajasthan Royals.
But Dravid received support from unexpected quarters which the former Australian captain, Ricky Ponting revealed. Ponting apparently had a word with Dravid after the India Australia series last year where he encouraged the Wall, as Dravid has been monikered, not to give in to the idea that his age was an hindrance or that he was past his best as some of the criticism seemed to suggest. Apparently Dravid and the then Australian captain kept in touch even during the Ashes.
Following the Ashes – the third loss for Ponting as skipper, Ponting led Australia for one final time in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 in the Indian sub continent before deciding to continuing on merely as a player. Under immense scrutiny himself, Ponting was gracious enough to lend Dravid a word of encouragement, showing how much Dravid is admired from his fellow peers even though it is Sachin Tendulkar who enjoys an immediate association with Indian cricket. England spinner Graeme Swann has also been raving about Dravid and his outstanding efforts, stating that Dravid was the real danger man as far as he was concerned.
Ponting believes that Dravid is still as good as new and that there is still much cricket in Dravid left despite some wanting to retire Dravid. Dravid though appeared fresh as a daisy even though the task and the assignment in England were beyond his call of duty. Ponting stated that while people were quick to write Dravid off last year, Ponting has seen glimpses that Dravid was not quite past his best and therefore, extended the encouragement.