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What's Dhoni planning for Dravid's swansong?

Last updated on: September 14, 2011 23:51 IST

Dhoni is known to accord fitting send-offs to the seniors

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Known to accord fitting send-offs to the seniors, it remains to be seen whether India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has any plans for Rahul Dravid, who will bring down the curtain on his illustrious ODI career after the final one-dayer against England in Cardiff on Friday.

Dhoni's gestures in 2008, when former captains Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble walked away into cricketing twilight, spoke volumes about the man.

- It was a huge risk, bowling with a broken jaw: Kumble

He let the combative Ganguly lead the side briefly against Australia in the final Test in Nagpur, and carried Kumble on his broad shoulders.

He also made sure that India's greatest wicket-taker was there on the podium to receive the trophy after India won the series 2-0.

Photographs: Getty Images


Image: India captain Anil Kumble is chaired round the pitch on a lap of honour by his team-mates after announcing his retirement from Test cricket during day five of the Third Test against Australia at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi, on November 2, 2008.

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Dravid hasn't done badly in one-dayers

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Though Dravid was unable to set the stage ablaze in the final ODI series of his career, aggregating a meagre 55 runs, at 13.75, from four matches, it's his overall tally - 10,820 runs from 343 one-dayers, at 39.06, that commands utmost respect.

Dravid is the second highest scorer ever in Test cricket, but hasn't done badly in one-dayers, in which he is seventh in the all-time list, ahead of players like Brian Lara and Mahela Jayawardene.

- Bowling will determine our Test future, says Dravid

Friday will be the first and last time he will represent India in a match in the Welsh capital.

Dhoni, during his sterling career, has always made at least one gesture to honour a senior cricketer who has announced retirement from international cricket.


Image: Rahul Dravid (left) with Mahendra Singh Dhoni

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Dhoni had a hand in showing Dravid the door from the ODI team

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After the World Cup triumph, arguably the greatest moment of their lives, he and his men chaired Sachin Tendulkar on their shoulders for a victory lap of the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

But, in Dravid's case, India's skipper has not given any indication of whether there is any plan to give the veteran a fitting send-off.

It is ironical, though, that Dhoni had a hand in showing Dravid the door from the ODI team for the first time during a series against Australia in 2007.

Dravid announced his retirement from One-day cricket soon after he learnt of his inclusion in the Indian side for the five-match series against England, which is coming to an end.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar celebrates with team-mates after winning the 2011 World Cup

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Dhoni has three additional reasons to honour Dravid

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Besides showing respect to his senior, Dhoni could have three additional reasons to honour Dravid.

He became India's captain only after Dravid refused to go to South Africa for the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in 2007.

Dravid later also resigned from Test captaincy, which paved the way for Dhoni to lead India in the longer version of the game as well.

The second reason could be the affiliation the two have as wicketkeepers of the side.

Dravid often doubled up as a wicketkeeper in One-dayers -- most notably during the 2003 World Cup in South Africa -- and has 72 catches and 14 stumpings to show for his effort.

The third, of course, is Dravid's magnificent run in the preceding Test series in which he scored 461 runs, including three centuries, at an average of 76.83.

He was the only Indian to salvage some honour in the team's 0-4 whitewash, which was Dhoni's first loss ever as captain.


Image: Rahul Dravid

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