Home > Features >

Classical jugalbandi: Guru Rahul Dravid and chela Ajinkya Rahane sing a rare raga in T20 cricket

Classical jugalbandi: Guru Rahul Dravid and chela Ajinkya Rahane sing a rare raga in T20 cricket

Ajinkya Rahane (left) and Rahul Dravid exemplify the old-school of batting in the slam-bang T20 cricket while batting for Rajasthan Royals © AFP

By Sarang Bhalerao

In this slam-bang version we yearn to see the classical stuff. The basic tenets of batting like getting to the pitch of the ball and driving the ball through the carpet — a philosophy might sound incongruent in today’s day and age. There are advertisers for sixes. Majority of the shots are courtesy of beefed-up bats, muscles of the batsman and innovations — a facet of modern batting that has made cricket a spectacle and bowlers a long-suffering species on most occasions.

Sadly, this is not a format where watertight technique exhibition — getting bat and pad together and defending a good ball — will get wholesome praises. A defence is frowned upon. A French cut for a boundary is considered to be part of the game — appreciation for the same befuddles the batsmen of the next generation.

Yet, there are two batsmen who exemplify the old-school of batting. Rahul Dravid is akin to an ustaad who has hit high notes on many an occasion. He continues to do that, his relentless pursuit for perfection gets the best out of him. Ajinkya Rahane is picking up nuances; the connoisseur of the art is his reference point. Rahane is well-versed with the alaap: that mingled with confidence and the greatness will embrace the 24-year-old like it had embraced the 40-year-old, decade and a half back.

Against Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday, Delhi Daredevils bowlers had a spring in their stride looking at the conditions on offer at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. But breaching Jaipur’s citadel needs nerves of steel, strategic planning and tactical astuteness. Delhi had valour, but Rajasthan had class to overcome the challenge. The duo played weathered the initial storm. Siddharth Kaul, Umesh Yadav, Morne Morkel and Ajit Agarkar tested Royals openers’ fortitude.

Dravid was beaten; occasionally embarrassed, but he is a practitioner of the philosophy: ‘Nothing is more embarrassing than losing the wicket.’ Rahane played a few loose shots, but he admonished himself and sought inspiration from Dravid. Proper cricketing shots took over. Both guru and chela avoided all corruptions in their approach. They key to their game was laced with finesse. It was a sight for sore eyes.

In hindsight, the path to victory was traversed with consummate ease. The conclusion is what we see, but the means to achieve the end tells you a different story.

The batting was like plain ‘dal chawaal (dal rice)’. Isn’t that what one yearns for after being on a heavy diet? Dravid and Rahane have redefined batting; T20 looks much more beautiful when the disciple and his heir apparent sing on the same raga.

(Sarang Bhalerao hails from a family of doctors, but did his engineering. He then dumped a career in IT with Infosys to follow his heart and passion and became a writer with CricketCountry. A voracious reader, Sarang aspires to beat Google with his knowledge of the game! You can follow him on Twitter here)

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Nottingham

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Dambulla

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Birmingham

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

More

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 29, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 61 runs

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Basseterre, St Kitts

No result

India tour of England 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Cardiff

India won by 133 runs

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 26, 2014  at Hambantota

Sri Lanka won by 77 runs

Photos

Aaron Finch's record 156 vs England in T20I

Videos

Alastair Cook looks ahead to 3rd ODI at Nottingham

Zimbabwe vs South Africa Live Cricket Score, 3rd ODI at Harare: South Africa win by 61 runs

England, take ODIs seriously if you want to win

Hiralal Gaekwad: the southpaw who lost out to Vinoo Mankad

Lord Ganesha XI: Eleven cricketers who were named after the elephant God

Suresh Raina’s new avatar on India’s tour of England 2014

Australia Australia and South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan South Africa Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs Pakistan Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014

Suresh Raina feels Murali Vijay, Sanju Samson, and Ambati Rayudu are options to open

Rajinikanth finds a fan in Ross Taylor!

Prosper Utseya’s hat-trick in vain as South Africa clinch 61 run victory against Zimbabwe in 3rd ODI

India tour of England 2014: Alex Hales wants to play Test cricket

Aditya Verma: Will oppose N Srinivasan or BCCI if AGM is delayed

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 3rd ODI at Dambulla: Pakistan’s likely XI

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 3rd ODI at Dambulla: Sri Lanka’s likely XI

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 3rd ODI at Dambulla: Key clashes

Statistical review of most centuries scored in a single day in ODIs

India enjoy an Emphatic victory against England in the 1st ODI — just like the first Test

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

666 Posts | 6 Fans

12 runs in one ball

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Watch Stephen Hawkins endorse the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 3rd ODI at Hambantota: Key clashes

Apple iWatch won’t ship until next year: Report

Canada Welcomes 150,000 New Citizens In 2014

Ganesh Chaturthi 2014: Gurmeet Choudhary and Debina Bonnerjee celebrate Ganeshotsav with the team of Khamoshiyan – view pics!

Patti Tripathi: From News Director to Entrepreneur to Women’s Empowerment

NGOs pursue education for all

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 3rd ODI at Dambulla: Key clashes

Apple iPhone 6 photos with full casing leaked ahead of September 9 launch

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here