Rahul Sharad Dravid, popularly known as Rahul Dravid, is unarguably one of the best cricketers to have ever represented the gentleman’s game in its true spirit. He is a man who donned many hats from being a fantastic batsman to a flawless slip fielder and a useful wicket keeper as well whenever team needed.
Dravid was born on January 11, 1973 in Indore (Madhya Pradesh) in a Marathi family but shifted to Bengaluru (Karnataka) later. He represented his state teams at the under-15, the under-17 and the under-19 levels. It was only the beginning of a glorious cricket journey that continued for the next 16 summers with Team India.
The very first test that this classy batsman played left an indelible mark in the world of cricket. He fought tooth and nail for 6-long-hour before nicking a swinging delivery off Chris Lewis to the keeper, when he was on 95. Interestingly, Dravid walked back to the pavilion even before the umpire raised his finger. Since he was sure that there was an inside edge he straight away went to dressing room presenting one of those rare occasions when a batsman selflessly put above the spirit of cricket ignoring one’s self achievement – he was just 5-run short of his debut test century.
A successful maiden test series with an average of 62 in 2 tests in England didn’t help Dravid make his mark in ODIs. Rather, the crafty batsman toiled really hard to become an ODI legend and simultaneously playing well at test matches for team India. Within the next couple of years Rahul Dravid completely transformed Indian cricket emerging out as the most dependable middle order batsman in both ODIs and test cricket. He was never in a hurry to score fast for which the likes of Ganguly, Sehwag, Tendulkar and later Yuvraj Singh were famous for. Instead he kept playing his natural game towards consolidate the innings and rotating the strike.
During the early 90’s era every cricket fan knew that after dismissal of Sachin Tendulkar India would lose the match but Rahul Dravid had certainly changed that perception because even after Sachin’s dismissal fans had hope from Rahul Dravid and remained one of the nation’s prolific match-winners until his retirement in 2012. It was Rahul Dravid’s relentless fight on the ground that earned him the nickname of ‘The Wall‘ and Mr. Dependable.
Mr. Wall of Indian cricket
- Rahul Dravid is the only batsman to have successfully involved in 300-plus-run partnership twice in his ODI career.
- He was the first ever one-down (number 3) batsman to complete 10,000 runs in test.
- Dravid is involved in 88 century partnerships in tests – A world record.
- Rahul Dravid was the first batsman to hit 100s in all test playing nations.
- Rahul Dravid got the rare feat of delivering Bradman oration as a non-Aussie cricketer.
- During 2003 Cricket World Cup, Dravid agreed to wicket-keeping in order to accommodate 1 more specialist batsman in the team.
- Rahul Dravid is currently the 2nd highest run scorer from India in tests and third highest run scorer in ODI.
- Rahul Dravid has more than 200 (including Catches + Stumpings) dismissals to his credit in both ODIs and tests.
Rahul Dravid: The Unforgettable Legacy
The former Indian captain might have been little unlucky to be world champion in 2007 Cricket World Cup under his own captaincy but he played brilliantly in the World Cups of 1999 and 2003. Dravid scored more than 461 runs in 1999 cricket world cup that India lost and he produced his sublime form once again in 2003 cricket world cup scoring 318 runs at an average of around 63.
The Karnataka batsman was far more patient, defensive and vintage in test matches. Rahul Dravid’s 619-run riot in 4-test-match-series against Kangaroo in 2004 was absolutely breathtaking owing to which he received man-of-the-series award as well. In a nutshell, the gutsy batsman’s career is inspirational and gives glimpses of India’s success stories created at away series.
Rahul Dravid has scored 13288 runs in 164 tests at an average of around 52 with 36 tons and 63 fifties in test matches. Interestingly, out of Rahul Dravid’s 36 test hundreds India lost just 4 of them which indicates his superiority as a batsman. He was superb in ODIs too scoring 10889 runs in 344 outings with 12 tons and 83 half-centuries.