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England tighten grip despite Dravid’s epic

I don’t know whether I should be feeling happy or sad for Rahul Dravid. His last three hundreds have come when India was in desperate need for someone to step up and score a big one and yet, they have all resulted in a lost cause. The veteran scored his 35th hundred surpassing the great Sunil Gavaskar and still I don’t see any reason to celebrate his hundred.A  certain statistic revealed that Dravid had batted for 24 hours in this series. So just take a moment to think and comprehend that the man has been batting for almost all the time that India has been asked to bat!

India’s horrid time in this tour continued on Day 4 at the Oval. India were all out for 300 chasing England’s mammoth score of 591. Actually, this must be viewed as an achievement since this is the first time that India has managed to touch 300 in this series. Resuming the day with half the side already in the dressing room, Indian were staring down at another humiliating defeat. The two D’s, Dravid and Dhoni, resumed play with Dhoni making giving Dravid company for about an hour. Dravid was once again running out of partners.That’s when Mishra decided to show his skills with the bat since his skills with the ball yesterday weren’t very impressive. His hung around long enough so that Dravid could complete his ton and in that process he played some delightful strokes including a six off Swann.

Now coming back to Dravid.Having been asked to open again, Dravid seemed almost angry. He lashed at a few deliveries and this hundred was the best amongst all three simply because it was strokefull and much more fluent. He didn’t seem to perturbed by the fall of wickets at the other end , he played his shots  and was particularly severe against Swann. He plucked three back to back boundaries against Swann to race into the ninetees.Another epic innings by an outstanding cricketer but then again,  this would be forgotten because of Bell’s heroics.But that’s not something he is not used to, is he?

After India was asked to follow on, it was Dravid’s dismissal in the second innings that reignited the debate about technology and DRS. The ball hit the pads and Cook caught it at short leg. Rightfully, England appealed and it was turned down by the on-field umpire. They decided that they were going to review the decision and to the astonishment of everyone present in the stadium, Dravid was declared out by the third umpire Steve Davis. The replays showed that ball had hit the pad, the hot spot couldn’t detect anything and the only thing on the basis of which Dravid was given out was the fact that there was a slight deflection before the ball hit the pad. Apparently, Steve Davis thought that this assumption provided enough evidence that he had nicked the ball.I am not aware of any law that states that you can declare a batsman out just on pure “assumption”.

Apart from Dravid, no one has looked comfortable and India were once again in troubled waters the the moment he departed. With Sehwag, Laxman and Dravid back in the pavilion, the situation seems bleak once again.I guess it’s now upto Tendulkar to make sure India manages to draw the match otherwise the much hyped 4-0 whitewash seems imminent.