India Uncut

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Friday, March 18, 2005

The heart of greatness

What makes an innings great? Is it context: the situation of a match, the quality of the bowling etc? Or is it the control that a batsman demonstrates during the course of his innings, the matching of intent with execution?

Don Bradman often said that his 254 at Lord's was a greater innings than the 334 at Leeds that came later in that series, because every ball went just where he intended. So it was in Rahul Dravid's first-innings 110 in this Test. "I got into my rhythm quickly," he told reporters after the game. "I was in complete control all through. It was one of my better innings."

How did it compare to the 180 he had made at this ground during that classic comeback Test against Australia in 2001? "I wasn't in control for the first 50 runs of that innings," he said. Which was greater? Looking at context, I would opt for the 180. But for the sheer pleasure of watching a master at his peak, I'd pick the 110.

He's in lovely touch now, and so is Sachin Tendulkar, as I type these words. Must I keep typing. No, I shall watch.
amit varma, 2:47 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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