Rahul Dravid - 15 unforgettable moments in 15 glorious years at the helm...

Tuesday, June 28, 20111comments



Indians by nature are worshippers and followers. Another trait of we Indians is that we generally go by hype and stardom and miss out on actual substance and class. How many FB posts/tweets/articles did we see when Rahul Dravid reached 12k Test runs(only 3rd person in history), how much hyped it was when he took a record 200 catches? How well was it visible when he played his 150th test? Now how much credit are we giving him on his completing 15 glorious years serving the country? Think the same things being achieved by a bigger star and we would have been celebrating on the roads and showing off our happiness. Lucky or Unlucky but thats the way it is….

It is already 15 years since a simple, elegant, studious and very likeable young man walked out to bat for India at Lord's. That was an appropriate setting. Rahul Dravid is neatly turned out, plays the game correctly, likes the traditions associated with the game and is respectful of them. It is not difficult to see why the English would like him. In 1996, though, he was significantly more humble and courteous than those I seemed to run into at the ground.

Not much has changed since then. He is still as intense as ever, still unlikely to sport the ponytail he rejected in one of his earliest commercials, still deeply enamoured by the idea of playing for India, still very out of place in the Kingfisher jingle. That intensity is worth studying, though, for Dravid knows no other way of playing the game. Like a good student would, he assimilates data, works out what he is going to do, and focuses as intently as anyone who has played the game. Patience has been a childhood friend, and it has allowed him to retain the intensity. Impatience is the hallmark of youth, and while Dravid has been young in years, he has always sported a maturity that belies them.

Being a true fan of cricket(not materialistic events like IPL and all), I thought its a sort of my duty to do my bit on this occasion. Here I have compiled the 15 unforgettable highlights in the glorious career of the most underrated and over performing cricketer of India.

  1. Rahul Dravid, a classical test batsman, made his Test debut on Jun 20-24, 1996 at Lords against England, scoring 95 runs from 267 deliveries, spending 363 minutes, finding boundary only 6 times. His introduction to the playing 11 is as much interesting as his long career.Actually Dravid like Sourav Ganguly was taken on that tour of England in 1996 as an extra batsman purely on his impressive domestic record. At the start of the tour it seemed unlikely that both would even make the playing eleven. The Indian batting had a settled look and the first six in the batting order were Navjot Sidhu, Vikram Rathore, Sanjay Manjrekar, Sachin Tendulkar, Md Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja. The withdrawal of Sidhu who left the team midway through the one day series just before the Tests started, following a misunderstanding with skipper Azharuddin changed the equations somewhat and then an injury to Manjrekar before the second Test meant that there were two places vacant. Wicket keeper Nayan Mongia was pushed up the order to open with Rathore and both Ganguly and Dravid made their way to the squad. And the rest as the cliche goes is history. Interestingly enough Dravid came in at No 7 at Lord’s and not surprisingly in a mini crisis. India were 202 for five in reply to England’s 344 and after him there were just the four bowlers. Dravid saw Ganguly reach his hundred, figured in a 94-run sixth wicket stand that steered India to safety and then batted with the tail in such exemplary fashion that India were able to total 429. He was not destined to emulate Ganguly for he was out for 95. Two weeks later at Trent Bridge again batting at No 7 Dravid got 84 and it was by now obvious that a long term solution to India’s batting problems had been uncovered.
  2. He scored his maiden century with 148 in first and 81 in the second innings of the testmatch, against South Africa at Johennasburg. It earned him his first man of the match award. He has played 151 test matches till now. He has 31 centuries and 59 half centuries. He holds the record of scoring centuries against all test playing nations, become the first player to achieve this.
  3. At Rawalpindi, Dravid stroked a masterly 270, his highest test score, to take India to a historic test series win over Pakistan. He scored four consecutive centuries (115, 148, 217 & 100* ) against England and West Indies during 2002, becoming one among three to do this. Uniquely, each of his five double centuries in Tests was a higher score than his previous double century (200*, 217, 222, 233, 270).
  4. Dravid has faced highest number of deliveries in test cricket, more than Allan Border’s previous record of 27002 deliveries. He is nicknamed “THE WALL”.
  5. Following on at Kolkata against Australia in 2001, Dravid and Laxman put on 376 runs for the fifth wicket in the second innings of the match. Dravid scored 180 while Laxman made 281 in Indias remarkable test victory. It remains one of his greatest performances till date. Again at Adelaide against Australia this pair put 303 runs, when in the first innings, India were looking down the barrel at 4 wickets down for 85 runs in reply to Australia’s massive 556. Laxman was dismissed for 148 while Dravid went on make 233. Also his 87 runs against South Africa at Port Elizebath 87(241), 312 minutes.
  6. Rahul Dravid is the third batsman in the world after compatriot Sachin Tendulkar and Australia’s Ricky Ponting to reach the 12000-run milestone in test cricket.
  7. At Rawalpindi, Dravid stroked a masterly 270, his highest test score, to take India to a historic test series win over Pakistan.
  8. Later that year in Port Elizabeth against South Africa, he made a crucial match-saving 87 runs in the second innings to deny South Africa the win.
  9. His ODI career began on Apr 3rd, 1996, against Sri Lanka at Singapore, where he scored only 3 runs. But till now, he has played 339 ODIs, scored 12 centuries and 82 half centuries, with a highest score of 153 against NZ. His first ODI century came 107(116) against Pakistan at Chennai on May 21st. 1997.
  10. Though he is a known as a reputed Test batsman, he scored more than 10,000 runs in ODI cricket, with a decent strike rate of 71.17. (6th player and 3rd Indian to score more than 10,000 runs in ODIs)
  11. Dravid has scored 50 not out in 22 balls(Strike Rate-227.27)vs NewZealand in Hyderabad on 15 Nov,2003,second fastest 50 among Indians.
  12. Another interesting fact is that he is the only player to be involved in 2 partnerships of 300+ in ODIs. During the 1999 World Cup Sourav Ganguly (183) and Rahul Dravid (145) put 318 run stand for India v Sri Lanka in Taunton. The other higher stand in ODIs – 331 – involved Dravid andSachin Tendulkar in Hyderabad later in 1999 against New Zealand.
  13. He is one of the few Indians who average more at away Test matches than athome, averaging about 5 more runs a match abroad than on Indian pitches. Dravid’s average in overseas Tests stood at 55.53 as against his home Test average of 50.76. In matches that India has won, Dravid averages 66.34 in Test and 50.69 in ODI. He has taken 200 catches in tests and 196 catches in ODIs
  14. He was named one of the Wisden cricketers of the year 2000. In 2004, Dravid was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India. During the same year, he was awarded the inaugural Player of the year award and the Test player of the year by the ICC .
  15. Unfortunately, this Gentleman Cricketer in January 2004 was found guilty of ball tampering during an ODI with Zimbabwe. Match referee Clive Lloyd adjudged the application of an energy sweet to the ball as a deliberate offence although Dravid himself denied this was his intent. Indian coach John Wright came out in defence of Dravid, stating that “It was an innocent mistake”. Wright argued that Dravid had been trying to apply saliva to the ball when parts of a losenge he had been chewing stuck to the ball; Dravid then tried to wipe it off. ICC regulations prevented Dravid from commenting about the issue, but former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly also stated that Dravid’s act was “just anaccident”.

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Anonymous
August 31, 2011 at 1:24 PM

first of all it is the people and next media which is 100% biased no doubt Rahul Dravid is the gentleman of cricket world, Kar,s are selfish people playing for personal gains not for Nation which is above one self.Because of media some players are given more importance and ignore others achievements Rahul is one player who played for country and game, our selection committee is to be blamed which is 100% biased they must be removed first through out the politicians for are only interested in only making money

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