Rahul Dravid – The Man Who Put The Textbook To Shame!




“Rahul Dravid could play like me, but I could never play like him” – Chris Gayle

Rahul Dravid - The man who put the textbook to shame!

Rahul Dravid – The man who put the textbook to shame!

If you had to pay to watch someone bat and wanted to get your money’s worth, you would have opted for Sachin Tendulkar. If you just wanted pure entertainment, you would have gone with Sehwag. But if you had someone playing for your life, you would not have dared to look beyond a certain man named Rahul Dravid. That was the kind of security and stability that Rahul Dravid brought in the middle order during the late 90s and the entire last decade.

You would have a ShoaibAkhtar or a Brett Lee steam in like an express train from the boundary and hurl the ball at you at over 90 miles an hour but Dravid was someone who would just put a foot forward and let the ball thud into the keeper’s gloves. The bowler would come steaming in again wishing that the batsmen would attempt something fancy but Dravid would just dead bat it back to the bowler. And this process would continue for overs, sessions and over the length of an entire day.

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Slowly he would unravel his flurry of strokes. The crisp and neat cover drive, the straight drive bisecting the bowler and mid-off, the backfoot punch of an off-spinner stood out amongst others. The runs accumulated and he wouldn’t stop at 50 or even a 100. No wonder he has five double hundreds to his credit along with a top score of 270 against Pakistan.

With over 13,000 runs and 36 centuries, Dravid could easily be compared to the greats of his time. Dravid was someone who built his innings the hard way. There was a sense of calmness he brought and no game was over as long as he was there battling it out. Known for playing marathon knocks, Dravid also holds the record for playing the most number of balls in Test Cricket, something that would not have been possible without his grit, determination, inch perfect technique and enviable fitness levels.

By now you would have formed an idea in your head about Dravid was cut out for Test cricket and someone who would grind his runs by wearing the bowlers out. If that is the case, then you would be surprised to know that he holds the Indian record for the second fastest fifty in ODIs and has hit three consecutive sixes in his only T20i. Initially considered a misfit for the shorter version of the game, Dravid remodeled his game as he became only the sixth player to amass 10,000 runs in both versions of the game.

Opening the innings, coming in at one down or being a floater depending on the situation, Dravid fulfilled every role with ease – even as going as far as donning the keeper’s gloves during the 2003 World Cup so that the team could afford an extra batsman.

A team player that he was, Dravid has been involved in the most number of century partnerships – some historic, some epic and some just plain magic. Until earlier last year in England, none of his centuries had come in a losing cause, a remarkable effort considering India were not a force to be reckoned with until a few years ago.

After remaining deputy to Ganguly for most part of the decade, Dravid also had a brief stint as the skipper of the Indian Cricket team under the Chappell era. Although not a very impressive record, he led India to overseas victories in England and the West Indies.

After being dropped from the ODI squad after a disappointing World Cup and a few more failures in 2007, Dravid found himself recalled after a glorious run in the Tests in England. He admitted being surprised on being included in the ODI Squad and he ended the series with a magnificent 69, after which he announced his retirement from the shorter version of the game.

His last series in Australia would be remembered more for his oration at the Bradman ceremony than for the runs he scored, but that can be excused as a minor blip in a long innings, just like he would have on getting beaten by a good delivery!

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Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

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