Rahul Dravid


Personal Information
Jan 11, 1973 (50 years)
Birth Place
Indore, Madhya Pradesh
Batting Style
Right Handed Bat
Bowling Style
Right-arm offbreak
ICC Rankings
Career Information
India, Scotland, Asia XI, ICC World XI, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rajasthan Royals, Marylebone Cricket Club
Who’s the greatest batsman in the world?

Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara are the names that come to mind immediately. Ponting perhaps. Maybe Kallis. Run machines, we call...
Full profile
Batting Career Summary
M Inn NO Runs HS Avg BF SR 100 200 50 4s 6s
Test 164 286 32 13288 270 52.31 31258 42.51 36 5 63 1655 21
ODI 344 318 40 10889 153 39.17 15284 71.24 12 0 83 950 42
T20I 1 1 0 31 31 31.0 21 147.62 0 0 0 0 3
IPL 89 82 5 2174 75 28.23 1882 115.52 0 0 11 268 28
Bowling Career Summary
M Inn B Runs Wkts BBI BBM Econ Avg SR 5W 10W
Test 164 5 120 39 1 1/18 1/18 1.95 39.0 120.0 0 0
ODI 344 8 186 170 4 2/43 2/43 5.48 42.5 46.5 0 0
T20I 1 - - - - - - - - - - -
IPL 89 - - - - - - - - - - -
Career Information
Who’s the greatest batsman in the world?

Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara are the names that come to mind immediately. Ponting perhaps. Maybe Kallis. Run machines, we call them. And if you’ve watched them bat, you’re likely to agree. They were so good at their craft that they had basically invented their own technique...

However, there exists another breed of cricketers in the same league who have had to rely more on hard work rather than cricketing aptitude. They tend to develop a standard technique like a computer-based batting simulator would. Through hard work and perseverance, they have crafted an airtight technique through conventional means and made it work in international cricket; a technique so perfect and versatile that it suits all conditions, and works equally well in attack and defense.

Rahul Dravid, also known as, the Wall – a rather clever term coined by a journalist, according to Dravid himself, that could later be modified, depending on his batting form. Prospective modifications include “crack in the wall” or “hole in the wall”. Nevertheless, if there was ever a batting technique that could be used as a blueprint to create a computer simulation for cricket shots, it has to be Rahul Dravid’s.

A blistering 95 on debut at Lord’s, perhaps overshadowed by Sourav Ganguly’s 131. A gritty 217 at the Oval in 2002, a chanceless, flawless 148 on a green Leeds surface, shielding the middle-order from the live-grass and paving the way for Ganguly’s fluent 128 and Tendulkar’s flamboyant 193. It’s not often that a Sachin knock gets overshadowed, but Dravid’s 148 was probably the best knock he’s ever played; even better than each of his 5 double-hundreds. I say this because most gritty knocks on green surfaces are accompanied by a bit of luck. This required nothing. It is chance-less. No plays and misses, a couple of close leaves, but Dravid had the edge throughout. And he won the battle, having played out the new ball and scored a century.

In 2007, India won the series under his leadership (although in terms of batting this tour wasn’t up to his standards: 1 fifty in 6 innings). However, he still looked comfortable while batting, especially with the first part of his job: shielding the middle-order from the new ball in case the openers fail.

And 2011 was just a one-man show. Sachin showed up and made 3 fifties, including a 90 at the Oval, but it was Dravid, with 3 hundreds, including one at Lord’s that he missed out on on his debut, who ran a one-man show in England as the other aging stalwarts of the Indian team had fitness issues and failed miserably. In Nottingham, he carried the bat throughout the innings for a hundred, opened the batting again when the follow-on was enforced.

So clearly, a man with a high-back lift has managed to do quite well in England. Specifically against the new-ball on fresh grassy surfaces. It doesn’t get more challenging than that for a subcontinent batsman who has grown up using his feet to get to the pitch of the ball on rank turners.

Rahul Dravid was perhaps the best in the world at handling the first part of the number 3 batsman’s job: shielding the stroke-makers and the stars from the new ball. Several celebrated batsmen owe him their hundreds and double-hundreds to Rahul Dravid, who has pulled off countless blockathons and leaveathons to see off vicious spells on treacherous seaming wickets.

For a major part of the 2000s decade, he did the first part of his task and then proceeded to make big runs for the team too. He did go through a dry spell individually when he started getting out to the left-arm quick; not because he had a technical chink, but because he was getting beaten by unplayable deliveries and was going through an inevitable dip in form. The heavy run-scoring wasn’t really happening, owing to which he adjusted his technique, started playing late with his fore-arms.

He realized his wrists weren’t as strong as before and started focusing on 'economy of movement' and check-drives rather than running his hands through the ball. By the time India toured New Zealand and England in 2009 and 2011 respectively, he was back at his best at the ripe age of 38, protecting the middle-order stroke-players from the new ball, as well as scoring hundreds in England like he spent his childhood batting on a wet, skiddy Nottingham strip.

I think its quite clear how important Rahul Dravid was to the Indian team. He did every thankless job for the team, such as protecting the middle-order from the new ball, in addition to scoring runs. Of course, people only look at the runs. Sachin’s 193 features above Dravid’s 148 in that Leed’s Test scorecard. It was Sachin’s innings that stole the limelight because he went past the Don’s century tally. But the team knew what Dravid’s innings was worth.

This is a taboo topic in India, but Sachin would have found it much more difficult to make that 30th hundred, if Rahul Dravid had been dismissed sooner. I’m not saying that he wouldn’t have made a hundred. Sachin’s skill against the new ball and the old ball are unquestionable (his countless one-man-shows in the 90s). Lone performances by Sachin became the trend of Indian scorecards in the 90s. In the 2000s, however, Sachin suddenly had a support structure. He could play freely, and he could become one of many forces to reckon with in the Indian middle order. The aforementioned support structure happened to be Rahul Sharad Dravid – the new symbol of solidity and grit in the Indian batting line-up of the 21st century.

Dravid’s whole career reflected that of an unsung hero: do the hard work for the team, get overshadowed by a (metaphorically) colossal figure, and just walk away with a modest smile on your face.

Rahul Dravid was basically Sachin from the ’90s: A middle-order batsman facing the new ball and grinding it out to protect the middle-order so that the giants can come in and play their shots. He, however, had more capable and stable batsmen to support him, and a captain that understood him and stood by him.

He has done so much for Indian cricket. Not just as a batsman, but as a captain as well. His versatility is unquestionable, with his numbers, his countless innings of glory – 93 in the Perth victory of 2008, 233 and 72* at Adelaide, 270 at Rawalpindi (out reverse-sweeping to a part-timer just to up the scoring rate, with no regard to a potential 300) and the list goes on.

It’s all about getting the timing right. When do you show your technical prowess? When do you start playing your shots? Is this the right time to bat aggressively? Are you sure you have enough knowledge of the conditions to take risks now? That’s the kind of question an egocentric man can never answer truthfully. “Mujhe pataa hai.” will be the first words out of his mouth. “India Under-19 ke liye khela hoon mai.”

But Rahul Dravid is anything but delusional.

In a team with a genius like Sachin, a sorcerer like Laxman, swashbucklers like Sehwag and Dhoni, and the ever-so-volatile Sourav Ganguly, India needed a stabilizer. And they found one in Rahul Dravid.

He is still remembered for some of the slowest innings he has played: 21 off 140 at Nagpur, waving his bat after scoring his first run in 40 balls, to name a few. He was even hated for declaring with the nation’s beloved Sachin Tendulkar on 194*.

Rahul Dravid, deserves to be remembered, for always, come what may, putting the team ahead of himself. For genuinely not caring what people thought about him as long as India won. The stable, humble man full of resolve and aggression, known even in Indian Pop Culture as Mr. Dependable, was one of the best things that happened to Indian cricket.

By Rishi Roy
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