Rahul Dravid: The 'Berlin' Wall?

Updated: 25 January 2012 14:08 IST

Once upon a time he was called 'The Wall' for giving that steady look to the Indian cricket team, but the way Rahul Dravid is struggling these days, does he not personify 'The Berlin Wall'?

New Delhi:

Once upon a time he was called 'The Wall' for giving that steady look to the Indian cricket team, but the way Rahul Dravid is struggling these days, does he not personify 'The Berlin Wall'?

With over 24,000 international runs, Dravid, undoubtedly, is among the best batsmen of all times, but it seems his heydays are over. It seems the opposition has finally found a loophole in his technique, which was once hailed as one of his basic strengths.

On the Australia tour, Dravid has been bowled out six times out of seven innings, including his first innings dismissal at Adelaide. Has his defence weakened or have his reflexes slowed down? Whatever may be the reason, but if there was a list of the most heartbreaking moments in Test cricket, then watching Dravid's bails flying and wickets cartwheeling will rank above everything else. Why? Because not very long ago, every bowler of the world knew, getting Dravid's wicket was among the toughest jobs. They knew that Dravid put a very heavy price tag on his wicket and they would have to work really hard to earn it. But, now it seems like a child's play.

Since June 1, 2011, Dravid has played 26 innings in 14 Tests and has been bowled out 11 times. He has been caught out 12 times, out which 4 times he was caught behind. This suggests that a good line is all you need to crack The Wall's defence.

In Australia, Ben Hilfenhaus has troubled him the most, not that he has scored big against other bowlers. Hilfenhaus has picked his wicket thrice on the tour and every time he bowled him out. First, it was in Melbourne, where Dravid was dismissed for 68 runs in the first innings. In Sydney, he got rid of the Indian stalwart for 29 runs in the second innings. And today in Adelaide, he barely allowed him to open the account as he sent him back for just 1 run in the first innings.

Other Australian bowlers who had a go at Dravid are James Pattinson, who got his wicket in the second innings at Melbourne for 10, Ryan Harris, who deprived him of his second half-century of the series in the second innings at Perth and dismissed him for 47. Peter Siddle picked his wicket twice. First he had him caught by Ed Cowan in the first innings at Sydney for 5, and later he bowled him out at Perth in the first innings for 9 runs.

With six bowled out dismissals, Dravid has equalled the Indian record of most bowled dismissals, which is jointly held by C Sarwate (vs Aus 1948), BS Chandra (vs Eng 1977) and Anshuman Gaekwad (vs WI 1984).

However, he can take heart from the fact that he has not made a world record of most 'bowled out' dismissals in a series. In fact, the record is 8 times, held by Jack Mason of England in 1998 and Australia's Bill O'Reilly in 1933.

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