Mumbai: Former India fast bowler Javagal Srinath reckons Rahul Dravid can go a year without training and still score runs against top-class bowling in Test cricket.
Prior to his century at Kingston, Dravid last played international cricket in January on the tour of South Africa. "It was a fantastic knock; a perfect scenario for him to come good. I am glad he is still one of the go-to guys in adversary, a true champion," Srinath said.
Of late, Srinath, the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) secretary, has been spending lot of time with Dravid, who is on the KSCA managing committee.
Did Dravid reveal future plans to his close friends? "He hasn't spoken anything specific (about his future). He's the sort of guy who can go a year without training and matches, and still get a hundred. Honestly, I don't have a clue about what he has planned. We just have to wait and watch. It augers well for Indian cricket that he is fit and scoring runs," said Srinath.
Meanwhile, former India wicketkeeper and chairman of selectors, Syed Kirmani wants young Test hopefuls such as Murali Vijay, Abhinav Mukund, Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina to utilise the time with Dravid. "He is a motivation for youngsters, who need a role model. When it comes to art of batsmanship and ability to tackle fast bowling, there are fewer people to learn from. Whether it's Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar or VVS Laxman, the youngsters need to utilise this time and gain valuable education," said Kirmani.
He stressed that only an experienced batsman could have rescued India from a tight spot at Jamaica. "This is where experience makes a difference. Show me an example when a youngster has come to the team's rescue when the chips are down. There might be exceptional cases. In the last few years, every time India have been in trouble, one of the seniors have delivered. That proves that India are still dependent on experienced players," Kirmani added.
Can Dravid go on for a few years? "If he remains motivated, he can go on for a lot more time because he's as fit as ever," said Srinath.
Kirmani refused to look at the age factor. "At this age (38), he is still batting at No 3, the most difficult position. Along with Sachin, he is the greatest example for fitness and performance," said Kirmani.