Rahul Dravid: Indian Cricket’s Timeless Gentleman

Rahul Dravid on his Indian test debut at Lords in 1996

It’s time we talk about this beautiful game of Cricket and the ones making it even more beautiful to watch. The game is an enormous package of beauty, dedication, and class, and so was this player from India named Rahul Dravid.

Throughout the years, the game has evolved in many different forms. With each and every era of the game, the world witnessed different legends. These players not only played the game but also made the spectators fall in love with it.

Speaking about Rahul Dravid, a man who was incredibly talented and redefined the term Defence. A young boy from India who wanted to play cricket for his country and wanted to score runs in each and every match he played in. His tactics, mindset, and patience were undoubtedly undisturbed, and this ultimately became his main weapon throughout the years.

Rahul Dravid’s Start of the Journey  :

Rahul Dravid was born on 11th January 1973 in Indore. Growing up in Karnataka, Rahul was good at studies as well as academics. His father, being a huge cricket fan, used to take him to watch cricket matches, and this is where his love for the game began. He started playing professional cricket from the age of 12. He played U-15, U-17 and, U-19 for Karnataka in his early days.

The Initial Days :

Rahul made his Ranji Trophy debut in the year 1991 while he was still in college. It was the pre-quarterfinal match against Maharashtra in Pune. Rahul scored whopping 82 runs with the bat on his debut.

1 May 1996: Portrait of Rahul Dravid of India on tour in England at Lords in London. Mandatory Credit: Graham Chadwick /Allsport

He carried on the good work in the next matches, scoring 3 centuries in the coming matches. Moreover, his performance in the Duleep Trophy was amazing and he batted exceptionally well. Everyone by that time had heard about Rahul Dravid and his ability to bat.

Rahul’s ODI Debut :

Rahul Dravid was initially the part of the team in October 1994, for the last two matches in the Wills World Series. However, he could not make it to the playing 11 and had to wait for his chance to play for the country. He then returned back and played domestic cricket until 1996, when his name was once again included in the squad for the singer cup held in Singapore.

Rahul made his ODI debut on 3rd April 1996 against Sri Lanka. However, the young boy couldn’t make a lot from the innings as he was dismissed on just 3 runs by Muttiah Muralitharan. The bad days continued to stay as a string of low scores continued. Even though his career during the initial stage had a few ups and downs, he certainly made a lot out of it by the end of his ODI career.

Also read- Indias top 5 most successful batting pairs in ODI cricket by average

The Test Debut :

As compared to his ODI debut, the Test Debut was something worth remembering for Rahul Dravid. After years of countless hard work in domestic cricket, Rahul finally got a place in the team. He made his Test debut on 20th June 1996 against England at Lords, ‘The Mecca of Cricket’.

Rahul Dravid of India is applauded by MCC members after scoring 95 during the 2nd Test match between England and India on 20th June 1996. The match ended in a draw. (Photo by David Munden/Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Rahul played the match in place of Sanjay Manjrekar, who was injured and couldn’t pass the fitness test. He came out to bat at no. 7 and made a solid partnership with another debutant, Sourav Ganguly. Dravid scored 95 runs with the bat and just fell short of his 100 on debut as he was caught behind. Despite the fact that he couldn’t reach the milestone of getting a 100 on debut, he gave a fair start to his Test career.

An Absolute Genius with the bat :

When the talk is about Rahul Dravid, we just cannot forget to mention his ability with the bat. Rahul as a player undoubtedly was amazing. But Rahul Dravid, as a batsman was mesmerizing. He has played some exceptional innings with the bat, which was a proper showcase of class and talent. Over the years, Rahul Dravid has played some excellent match-winning innings and has scored an ample amount of runs with the bat.

The following table shows the total number of International runs Rahul has scored over the years :

Format Matches Innings Runs Highest Score Balls Faced Average Strike Rate
TEST 164 286 13288 270 31258 52.31 42.51
ODI 344 318 10889 153 15284 39.17 71.24
T20I 1 1 31 31 21 31.0 147.62

Rahul Dravid’s international runs in different formats. 

With Rahul Dravid scoring more than 10,000 runs not only in ODIs but also in Test format, he is certainly regarded as one of the best batsmen team India has ever produced.

Rahul Dravid- The Defence Master :

Gifted with elegance, Rahul Dravid was a player who completely redefined the art of Defence. In addition to this, his ability to wait for the right ball was something that made him quite special. Besides, his backlift, stance, and position were so intact that it was almost impossible to break his patience and get him out. Additionally, if we look at the above table, we realize that Rahul Dravid has faced 31,258 balls in Test cricket.

Watch – Rahul Dravid goes 40 balls without scoring

Rahul Dravid facing England at Lords in 20111
LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 23: India batsman Rahul Dravid picks up some runs during day three of the 1st npower test match between England and India at Lords on July 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

This is a huge, very huge figure. For this reason, fans from all around the world gave Rahul a nickname that certainly suites his batting style, ‘THE WALL’. Some of his opponents who witnessed his gameplay were in complete awe of his game and quoted the following statements :

Also, Read – Picking An All-Time Indian Test Match XI

Shane Warne :

” Rahul Dravid being known as ‘The Wall’ is pretty much spot on. ‘The fortress’ could also describe Rahul. Because once, Dravid was set, you needed the bowling equivalent of a dozen cannon firing all at once to blast him down.”

Shane Warne said Rahul Dravid was one of the best batsmen that he ever bowled to
11-15 Mar 2001: Shane Warne of Australia is frustrated by the record partnership between VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid of India during the Second Test match played at the Eden Gardens in Calcutta, India. India won the game by 171 runs to level the threetest series at 1-1. Mandatory Credit: Shaun Botterill /Allsport

The following quote by Steve Waugh advising his bowlers to tackle Rahul Dravid gives a clear idea of his class and ability to defend the ball.

Steve Waugh :

” Try to take his wicket in the first 15 minutes. If you can’t, then only try to take the remaining wickets.”

A Complete Team Man :

Rahul Dravid has had a habit of always staying in the good books, no matter what. A unique personality, who is always ready to do anything and everything that benefits the team and its players.

Rahul Dravid as a player was very calm and composed. He used to address the situations coming in front of him, and always came up with valuable solutions. In fact, his good nature is something that everyone admires about him.

Rahul Dravid captaining the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League
Rajasthan Royals captain Rahul Dravid (R) celebrates with teammates Shaun Tait (L) and Ajinkya Rahane after taking the wicket of Pune Warriors India batsman Robin Uthappa during the IPL Twenty20 cricket match between Pune Warriors India and Rajasthan Royals at The Sahara Stadium in Pune on May 8, 2012. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. MOBILE USE WITHIN NEWS PACKAGE. AFP PHOTO/Punit PARANJPE (Photo credit should read PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP/GettyImages)

Even his teammates, that played with him for over a decade have the same views. Here is what some of his fellow teammates and the ones who have played against him have to say about the man :

Sourav Ganguly :

“YOU’LL NEVER BE TOO WORRIED AS A CAPTIAN, IF YOU KNOW RAHUL DRAVID IS STILL THERE.”

Steve Waugh :

“rahul dravid’s remarkable career is proof that nice guys don’t finish last.”

Ian Chappell :

“Team in trouble? whom do you turn to?
rahul dravid!”

Brett Lee :

“if you can’t get along with dravid,you’re struggling in life.”

Navjot Singh Siddhu :

“rahul dravid is a player who would walk on broken glass if his team asks him to.”

Harsha Bhogle :

“the wolf who lived for the pack.”

The Conclusion :

To summarize, Rahul Dravid was not only a gem of a cricketer but also a strong pillar for the side. Above all, the Indian team was lucky enough to have him on-board. A player who redefined class and was an absolute gentleman of the game. That’s Rahul Dravid, ‘the Timeless Gentleman’.

 

 

 

 

 

Main Image Credit:
Embed from Getty Images


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