Rahul Dravid – The player would have been the hotshot if he played for any other cricketing nation. There are players who are born once and Rahul Dravid comes under that frame of a rare breed of the batsman.
“Even if my grandchildren don’t remember the fact that I scored 10,000 runs in Test and ODI cricket, I am confident that they will remember that Sachin Tendulkar used to be my team-mate.” ~ Rahul Dravid
The words are very clear from the most respected cricketers of all time. It was the late 90s team India was struggling to keep their existence alive in the test cricket. Then walked in the young Rahul Dravid and awe-inspired the audience with his selfless grit and determination right through its first test series. Rahul Dravid didn’t get the credit he deserved for his many heroics played in the era of Sachin Tendulkar. Rahul Dravid made his test debut in the same year of his ODI debut – 20th June 1996.
With more 13,000 runs at a mind-boggling average of 52.31 in a long career defines the calibre of special genius on the cricketing field. The greatest ever No.3 batsman in the history of test cricket – the player who had justified the No.3 position in a team very perfectly in his career.
Rahul Dravid was involved in most number century plus partnerships, most number of hours spent on the crease by any player in the history along with most number of catches at the slip position. It is the disrespect to this genius batsman to think any current crop of batsman will come near his records in the future.
“Yes, Sachin made me a star. So I’m thankful to him. He’s a great batsman, without a doubt. He can play better than anyone else. When he got going, he was a nightmare. But the biggest nightmare I ever faced was Rahul Dravid. He used to bore me. He was the first batsman who could intimidate me, in terms of when he walked in, I knew I would have to field for at least two more sessions.” – Shoaib Akhtar
This quote perfectly fits on Rahul Dravid personality.
Take a look back at Top 4 Innings of Rahul Dravid –
148 Vs England, Leeds,
If I have to put anyone to bat for my life, it’ll be Kallis or Dravid ~ Brian Lara
Team India was already trailing at 1-0 in series and one more loss it was all over for them. Coming into the third test after winning the toss Indian Captain, decided to bat first. It was surprising for the audience – after this decision from Indian Captain to face England Seamers in the most hostile conditions especially the first hour of session when the ball could do talk and walk more badly.
With Sehwag departs early – things looks very scary but once again the Dark Knight of team India – Rahul Dravid defines why he was the greatest test batsman in terms of overseas success in Indian Cricket history.
Rahul Dravid not only set the platform for other batsman like Sachin Tendulkar and Ganguly but also set the winning tone for team Indian without have to bat in the second innings. Dravid first partnership with Sanjay Bangar with 170 run to avoid any more dents in the innings.
When Sachin Tendulkar and Ganguly came in to bat and Smashed hundreds helped team posted the score of 628/8 in the first innings with the absolute carnage from Rahul Dravid (148), Sachin Tendulkar (193) and Sourav Ganguly (128).
After posted the mammoth score on the board, team India never came to bat in the second innings and team, India won the match by 46 runs and innings. While Rahul Dravid was adjudged with Man of Match of his valuable 148 run knock.
270 Vs Pakistan, Rawalpindi
3rd test and once again Rahul Dravid rescued team India. Definitely, there was an alignment between Rahul Dravid and any of his 3rd test against most of the good test playing nations. Many of his heroics came in the 3rd test of his career. After winning the toss Indian Captain forced Pakistan to bat first, and Indian bowling unit dismantles Pakistan team at 224 in the first innings.
Pakistan team came with the same plan to stop India. With Swashbuckling opener, Sehwag back to the hut very early – looked like the hosts were successful. But Rahul Dravid walks in and stunned the hosts with the awe-inspiring front foot defense and masterclass Clinical Cover Drives during the 6 long hours in magnificent 270 run feat – which was his career highest score.
While team India post 600 in the first innings and won the match by an innings and Rahul Dravid was awarded Man of Match of his Unreal Knock against Arch Rivals.
233 Vs Australia, Adelaide
“You don’t play for revenge, you play for respect & pride” ~ Rahul Dravid
This quote defines this inning played against Australia.
This time it was in Australia in their own backyard. Coming into the second test, after drawn the first test – team India was looking Confident. After winning the toss, Australian Captain Ricky Ponting decided to bat with no surprise.
Aussies went on to post the mammoth score of 556 in their first innings on the shoulders of Ricky Ponting gargantuan 242 – it was clear Australia will not lose the match from here. Team India come into bat in the first innings with the flying start from Virender Sehwag but they were reduced to 85/4.
With Laxman and Dravid the scenes of Kolkata test 2001 were coming into the minds of fans. Without wasting any more time, these two have put on 303 for the 5th wicket while smashed the frontline Australian bowlers all around the park.
Dravid was the last man to get out in the first innings while helped India to posted 523/10 on the board. At this point, there were chances of the draw also with the star-studded batting line up of Australia but Ajit Agarkar had the plan to breach the defense of Australian lineup in the second innings while picking up 6 Australian wickets – it was 2003 and Ajit Agarkar stunned the world Cricket and predator Australian in their own territory – with the taste of their own medicine in their own style – We are here to show World Cricket how to play cricket against you in their own backyard.
With the target of 230 in the second innings, it was dicey for Australian fans on the final day of a test match. Once again Rahul Dravid proved why he was the top most contender in an overseas success in Indian history. While Dravid remained unbeaten on 72 and helped team India to clinch victory with 4 wickets in hand.
190,103* Vs New Zealand, Hamilton
Rahul is always been in the shadow of Sachin. If you take his record it’s as good as Sachin’s, but you cannot compare both as they are different kind of players. Rahul is a complete cricketer ~ Muttiah Muralitharan
In the late 90s, with rumours of fixing team, India was going through a transition phase. The 3rd and final test of a series and once again Dravid comes in to rescue the team in a 3rd test – definitely, there was the magic behind number 3 in Dravid career?
The series was 1-1 and with the final test at Hamilton, under the hostile conditions, it will be going to difficult for the team India to score runs here. While batting first the hosts put on 366 in their first innings. Coming into bat team India went on to put 416/10 in the first innings on the shoulders of Rahul Dravid (190) and Javagal Srinath (76).
Team India pacers looking to repeat the same performance in the second innings but they have drifted the flow towards the hosts while they went onto post 464/8 in the second innings and declared the innings.
With clouds of defeat on a team India – Rahul Dravid Smashed the century the second innings too while remained unbeaten not only ended the match in a draw but also helped team India from the verge of losing a match.
“My approach to cricket has been reasonably simple: it was about giving everything to the team, it was about playing with dignity and it was about upholding the spirit of the game. I hope I have done some of that. I have failed at times, but I have never stopped trying. It is why I leave with sadness but also with pride.” ~ Rahul Dravid