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India tour of England 2014: If it’s England, it must be Rahul Dravid

Rahul Dravid has a magnificent record in England © Getty Images
Rahul Dravid has a magnificent record in England © Getty Images

Rahul Dravid has been appointed batting consultant — not formally by The Board of Control for Cricket of India (BCCI), but to help Indian batsmen on MS Dhoni’s request — for the upcoming  Test Series in England. Humjee Break-Sheikh delves slightly deeper into the aspect.

Rahul Dravid’s record on English soil reads 1,376 runs at 68.80 with six hundreds. Take out the horrendous 2007 series, and it reads 1,250 at 83.33 (nobody, even Dilip Vengsarkar, comes close to the number). But then, Dravid had led India to victory on English soil in 2007 — the first time India had tasted a series victory on English soil since 1986.

Why was Dravid successful under English conditions? He was an excellent front-foot batsman and played or left the ball at the last moment, ensuring that he would have seen the ball break away or into him, even if it was very, very late: few Indians since Vengsarkar have displayed technique of such quality against the swinging ball.

So, given the fact that he, along with Sourav Ganguly, are to be there in England, commentating for Sky Sports, there can be few better options than him to provide the much-needed advice to the Indian batsmen before the upcoming Test series. With the tendency of Indian batsmen to poke at deliveries outside the off-stump, Dravid’s experience and expertise will definitely come in handy.

The series will be a Test for India’s young batting line-up (if one discounts MS Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir’s injury-stricken 2011 was the only outing for a batsman); barring Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli none have displayed the technique to compete at the highest level (Shikhar Dhawan’s success story had, all said and done, come in ODIs): it is time to see whether Dravid’s tutelage helps them to any extent.

(Humjee Break-Sheikh eats, drinks, breathes and lives cricket. Unfortunately, he does not believe in social media.)

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