Whenever you hear someone say Cricket is a gentleman’s game, Rahul Dravid will be the best example of it. If one ever needed someone to personify elegance, Rahul Dravid would be the perfect fit. He has been one of the giants of Indian cricket or world cricket for that matter but has somehow never got the adulation he so richly deserves. He is the protector of the realm and has performed over and over again when India needed him to do well. He is someone who is not only technically profound in his game but is equally graceful and dignified as a person.
He is perhaps one of the best overseas batsmen that the Indian cricket has seen. It was a probably unfortunate perhaps that Dravid had to play alongside the likes of Sachin, Laxman and Ganguly. Had he played for any other team he could have received much more credit than what he did. He has done almost everything that the team has asked him to do. He was a wicket keeper for the team during the 2003 World Cup, opened batting whenever asked to do so, he batted at number 3 in tests and faced the new ball, he got the bowlers tired and softened the new ball helping the likes of Sachin, Ganguly and Laxman to score big and put a good score on the board.
When he played for India, we never won a world cup, his team never won IPL, he lost the CLT20 final to Mumbai as well. He did not swagger with cockiness or bristle with macho competitiveness, treating both juniors and the seniors as equal.
Rahul Dravid made his Test debut against England at Lords and scored 95 on debut and a 100 in the second test, made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka. Dravid played 164 Tests at an average of 52.31 and 344 ODI’s at an average of 39.17. He was one of the finest slip fielders in the world. Dravid has scored 48 centuries in all, including 5 double hundreds. He remained not out for 72 times in total and has scored just 21 ducks in his entire career.
Here are a few Statistics re-emphasizing the great man’s career:
– When Dravid was at the crease, the team scored 32,039 runs: which amounted to 35.65 of total runs that India made when he batted.
– Only batsman in history to be involved in more than 700 partnerships.
– Has played most number of deliveries – 31258 – in test cricket
– Highest run getter at No 3 in tests with 10,524 runs at an average of 53
– In ODI’s which wasn;t his forte, he holds record of having the second best average in World cups (61.50)
– Dravid has never been dismissed for a first ball duck in Tests,was run out for 0 once without facing a ball
Some famous comments:
“If you can’t get along with Dravid, you’re struggling in life” –Brett Lee
“The wolf who lived for the pack” – Harsha Bhogle
“If I have to put anyone to bat for my life, it’ll be Kallis or Dravid”- Brian Lara
“All this going around is not aggression. If you want to see aggression on cricket field, look into Rahul Dravid’s eyes”- Matthew Hayden
“Rahul Dravid is a player who would walk on broken glass if his team asks him to” – Navjot Singh Sidhu
“Dravid could play attacking cricket like me but I could never play like him” – Chris Gayle
“Try to take his wicket in the first 15 minutes, if you can’t then only try to take the remaining wickets.” – Steve Waugh
“I cannot recall beating him more than one ball in a row” – Jason Gillespie
“He’s probably the nicest guy. No, he is the nicest guy that I have met in cricket. He’s a phenomenal man” – Shane Watson
“Ask him to walk on water today and he will say, Okay! How many kilometres? Ask him to jump from a cliff in the form he’s in and he’ll say, here’s your parachute I don’t need it.”– Harsha Bhogle when Rahul Dravid hit 3 sixes in a row in his only T20 International against England
He is an epitome of selflessness, humility, empathy, grit and perseverance. His old-school “guts-before-glory” approach in an age increasingly defined by flashy Stroke play and low attention spans is the reason behind his immense success.
And when a personality like Harsha Bhogle says this “When I am done with my profession, I wish I could go with the reputation that Rahul Dravid earned”, it pretty much sums up what a class act this man is.
Make a note of this –
“Sachin is God; Sourav is next to God on the off side
Laxman is the God of fourth innings.
But when the doors of a temple are closed,
Even the God is behind the “THE WALL”.