The Wall stands tall among the ruins

The Wall stands tall among the ruins

In a series where the Indian batting has been exposed th­r­eadbare, Rahul Dravid has st­ood out. Whether it’s swing, seam, bounce or for that matter spin in the last Test here, the elegant right-hander has shown exemplary technique and great staying power to ma­ke runs when his team-m­a­tes have floundered almost ev­ery time they have had the opportunity. And in a series wh­ere reputations of some great men have been tested, Dravid alone has managed to retain it. The pitch here was supposed to be the best batt­ing surface of all the Test venues in the series but the famed Indian batting made it out to be another minefield. Dravid, though, appeared to be batti­ng in a different zone. The right-hander scored his third century (146 n.o.) of the series and finished with a series tally of 461 runs after he was given out in controversial circumstances in the second innings.

He had opened the innings for the fourth time in the series, carried the bat through and had held hopes of saving the match for India during the first innings. Swann had singled him out as the most difficult Indian batsman to bowl at, and Dravid lived up to that impression.

In the process of bringing up his 35th Test ton, Dravid overtook Sunil Gavaskar’s Test tally of 34 to become the second highest century-maker for India behind Sachin Tendulkar. He also lies fourth in the overall list of centurions, behind Tendulkar (51), Ja­cq­u­es Kallis (40) and Ricky Po­n­ting (39). The Bangalorean also became only the third Indian to carry his bat in a Test innings, after Virender Seh­wag and Gavaskar, as he batted for over six hours and faced 266 deliveries.

Despite Dravid’s masterpiece, a 4-0 whitewash appears imminent after India were bowled out for 300 in the first innings and forced to follow on on the fourth evening, 291 runs in arrears.

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