Rahul Dravid probably played the innings of the tour as it were even before the first ball is bowled in the India vs Australia Test series through his speech at the annual Bradman Oration in Canberra on Wednesday. Indeed, he gave eloquence a good name and patriotic individuals will feel proud that an Indian could talk about how the game should be played, run and respected. He has done full justice in being the first non-Australian to deliver a lecture in memory of the greatest batsman that ever lived.
Sure, Dravid needs applause for his free-flowing thoughts with a bit of subtle humour thrown in for effect. But what was also pleasant to note is that he mentioned a particular contribution from Bradman 12 years after bidding the sport goodbye. It was about selector Bradman talking to then Australian captain Richie Benaud on the importance of playing positive cricket during the 1960-61 season.
A few years prior to that season, his country's cricket was in the throes of a chucking controversy amidst a lot of drawn games. The encouragement to play positive cricket gave rise to, what historians believe, the most entertaining of all Test series -- the Australia vs West Indies one in 1960-61 which witnessed the first tied Test.
Dravid also put Indian cricket in perspective. At a time when slamming the BCCI is the easiest thing to do, Dravid stressed on how India continues to produce quality cricketers. His views on the future of Test cricket were encouraging. Hopefully, the rulers of the game are listening.
While Dravid proved on Wednesday that he is an influential voice in the game, it is hoped that other Indian players should no longer be coy to speak out on what is right and wrong in the game. Their experience is too vast and valuable not to be used for cricket's benefit. 'I let my bat do the talking' is too clich �d an excuse. And a lame one at that.