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Friday Fights | The Big ODI Fight - Rahul Dravid vs Mahela Jayawardene

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Friday Fights - August 28 edition

SportsCafe

Friday Fights | The Big ODI Fight - Rahul Dravid vs Mahela Jayawardene

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Bastab K Parida

08/28/2020

In the Friday Fights column, we look for contrast in similarities. We don’t look for sheer numbers but also try to decode sustainability. We don’t look for glamour but the substance underneath. And now who better than Rahul Dravid and Mahela Jayawardene to put everything into perspective.

Two fierce competitors of the game, two cricketers who were always there, peppered beneath their surface artistry, mesmerizing the audience with some terrific bounces. They were always the sideshow but when it came to seizing the moments, they did it in their own stubborn style. We, at SportsCafe, have brought them into the boxing ring to make them do one bout in our own inimitable style. So who are we waiting for then? LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE. 

ROUND 1 -> CAREER AVERAGE: DRAVID TAKES THE FIRST 

Two stalwarts of Asia have just played out a close round, but the Indian triumphs the Lankan with a point difference, thanks to his almost six-run career average difference. In his 344-match career, Dravid has scored runs at 39.16 as compared to Jayawardene’s 33.37. This is a close round to kick start proceedings, isn’t it?

Dravid - 10  Jayawardene - 9

ROUND 2 -> AVERAGE IN FOREIGN CONDITIONS: WHAT A PUNCH!

After a close first-round finish, Dravid swings his hand really hard at the Sri Lankan and that puts his opponent in a difficult position. C’mon Mahela. You are one greats of the game and an absolute giant in limited-overs cricket during your time. You can’t be averaging 29.73 when someone like Dravid takes his away average over the 40-run mark. 

Dravid - 10  Jayawardene - 8

ROUND 3 -> AVERAGE IN HOME CONDITIONS: DRAVID, DRAVID ALL THE WAY!

Can the real Mahela please stand up? Well, he might not again because why will he? Averaging 34.58 at home, when his former Indian counterpart does that with over nine runs per dismissal, you ought to stay silent. This is not done, Mahela! Dravid is hitting your chin right and right through. Give us a good fight, please!

Dravid - 10  Jayawardene - 8

ROUND 4 -> AVERAGE IN NEUTRAL VENUES: MJ PUNCHES BACK IN SOME FASHION!

And just like that, just like that, Mahela Jayawardene’s constant pursuit of growth helps him pocket his first 10-pointer, with Dravid failing to judge the punch by a whisker. It hits Dravid right under the nose and the Indian drops the profile for the first time in this bout!

Dravid - 9  Jayawardene - 10

ROUND 5 -> STRIKE RATE: Peek-a-boo!

The Sri Lankan is making a strong comeback to the game and only a fool will write him off. And does that mean Dravid is getting complacent after the first three rounds? MJ has a career strike rate of 78.96, fairly higher than the Karnataka man’s 71.23, and defensive hands position means Dravid would have to contain with a nine-pointer. This is getting really closer than I imagined.

Dravid - 9  Jayawardene - 10

ROUND 6 ->  50 to 100 CONVERSIONS (in %) - MJ WITH THREE TIRELESS PUNCHES

After RD took the Sri Lankan down to his haunches, the latter has made some fighting comeback, taking the honours of three straight rounds and levelling things up. While Dravid’s conversion rate lies at a mediocre 12.63%, Mahela does that 19.79% of the time, ensuring a level playing field at the moment. What a game in the ring! Ali-Frazier would surely be proud of their legacy.

Dravid - 8  Jayawardene - 10

ROUND 7 -> NUMBER OF 50+ SCORES IN SUCCESSFUL CHASES: THE WALL PUNCHES BACK!

You trust Rahul to stand up for his team all the time but in the ring, he is doing all by himself and playing a game for his own sake. The legacy that he started alongside Greg Chappell is clearly showing in his display here as Dravid has scored 50+ scores 22 times as compared to Jayawardene’s 20. That settles a bit, doesn’t it

Dravid - 10  Jayawardene - 9

ROUND 8 -> AVERAGE IN MAJOR TOURNAMENTS - NO WAY!!!

Holy Cow!! You can’t do this Jammy. MJ is bleeding, the Indian knocks him down after hitting on the break and we might have an issue here. Can MJ get up and continue the fight? The Good Man Jammy wants to help him out recover but then again, he knows nothing is fair in love and war. Remember, Rahul Dravid’s average of 50.58 across World Cups, Champions Trophies and Asia Cups are wayyyyyy higher than Jayawardene’s 34.94.

But wait wait, MJ has pushed himself to the brink and is getting up now! Oh, this is what you call a sportsman’s undying spirit. Let’s see if he has it in him to win the round again.

Dravid - 10  Jayawardene - 6

ROUND 9 -> AVERAGE IN H2H MATCHES - DONE DEAL!

AND THERE YOU GO! Rahul Dravid knocks Mahela Jayawardene out of the ring and that has brought an end to our game. Dravid averages a colossal 48.88 against Sri Lanka but MJ could only manage 35.07. This is a punch of the highest order and that means the Sri Lankan could hardly get up. Dravid has knocked him out and the referee declares him as the champion.

Dravid - 10  Jayawardene - 6

WINNER - RAHUL DRAVID ON TECHNICAL KNOCK-OUT

What a contest we had! It was going in all directions before Dravid brought his teething power to the fore and knocked his opponent down twice in two consecutive punches and took the game by the scuff of the neck. Even by a point to point comparison for the entire bout, Dravid would have taken the lead but that’s not for now. In our boxing world, we have a winner through knock-out. It was a pleasure bringing this to you and we shall connect again with another fight next time we lock horns two absolute champions of the sports. Till then, take care!

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