Everybody and his daddy is digging into Rahul Dravid for not enforcing the follow-on against England in the 3rd test match. I t is difficult to say how many of these “pundits” would have lauded Dravid if India had indeed enforced the follow on and England would have gone on to make 500 in the second innings. India would then have been left with 150 odd to get in the fourth innings. With the series at stake and England sniffing a real chance of getting back, who knows what would have happened !
Enforcing follow-on ‘s was a very straight-forward affair for captains till 2001. That was when Steve Waugh , on the back of 16 consecutive test victories, enforced the follow-on against India at Kolkotta. We all know what happened then. Dravid was there, so I guess he does know what can go wrong with a follow-on. Your bowlers are tired, the fielders are tired. If the opposition gets off to a good start, the shoulders in the field start dropping….
I feel Dravid was focussing on the series more than on this test. Which is not such a bad thing after all. You got to have your priorities straight. There was very little intensity for India yesterday, both with the bat and the ball. But I believe there was a method to the madness there. Maybe, they just wanted to shut England out completely. Dravid wants to go home with a series win on English soil: the margin doesn’t matter to him.
Everybody (and their daddy) is entitled to his/her opinion. But this business of criticizing the captain and the team at every opportunity is getting a little tiresome. What is needed for our news channels is to provide us with an analysis of the decision, the strategy, the plays of the day. Not some psycho-babble about fears and sub-continental domination over the “western powers”.