Rahul Dravid the Wall: Ask any 90s kid, who is his favourite cricketer of the Indian team and I am sure their list will have the name of Rahul Dravid. And, when they mention his name, the reason also follows. They would say, imagine a nerve-wracking match between India and Pakistan and the team is in trouble, who do you count on??
It is “The Wall” who always stands tall for his team. Fans have recollected that if nobody in the team plays, Dravid will. This immense confidence reposed in Dravid’s cricket has made him grab a special place in every fan’s heart.
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About the Wall-Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid’s career graph has been reminiscent of class, confidence, and consistency.
With nicknames like the Wall, Jammy, and Mr Dependent, Dravid has been looked up to as a role model for wearing his success humbly and for having a never-ending appetite to improve one’s game.
Dravid was born on 11, January 1973 in Indore and has grown up to be one of the greatest batsmen in cricket. His father was employed in Kissan and his mother Pushpa was a professor of architecture at Bangalore University.
He has a younger brother named Vijay Dravid. Rahul Dravid went to St. Joseph’s Boys’ High School in Bangalore and completed his graduation in Commerce from St. Joseph’s College of Commerce, Bangalore.
It was in the year 1996, that Dravid made his international debut against Sri Lanka in a one-day series in Singapore. He played his first test together with Sourav Ganguly against England and after that, there was no looking back.
His prolific stance and calm but confident batting showed that he has got a fire in the belly. He made his first test century against South Africa in the 1996-1997 tour.
He made his first half-century in ODIs against Pakistan while playing for Sahara Cup. Rahul is the third Indian batsman to make hundreds in both innings of a test match, beaten by Sunil Gavaskar and Vijay Hazare.
He has scored a whopping 10,889 ODI runs and 13,288 runs in the Tests. In a career spanning 16 years, he has won many accolades including the ICC(International Cricket Council) player of the year and ICC test player of the year in 2004.
He was also inducted in the ICC Hall of Fame in November 2018. He is second Indian cricketer to score 10,000 runs in both ODIs and Tests, first being Sachin Tendulkar.
In 2012, he achieved the feat of being the fourth-highest run-scorer in Test cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, and Jaques Kallis.
Specialties of the Wall
The Indian cricket team also had the luck to play under the captaincy of Dravid. Rahul Dravid rolled his sleeves as a skipper for 25 Tests during which the Indian team registered an 8-6 win-loss record and also defeated West Indies and England in the series.
Dravid is only aced by Saurav Ganguly and MS Dhoni who have better records as captains who led in 20 more tests.
Long and Cogent Cricket at the Crease
Dravid will always be remembered for his long spells which allowed the team to breathe and bring out the performance that each player of the team is capable of showing.
His ability to spend a long stretch of innings was other-worldly as others would crumble in heat of a tiresome play, Dravid played stubborn as a mule, without a drop in his concentration.
These long periods on the crease meant that he knew his contribution was much needed for the team than for himself; an amazing quality of a great leader.
He solidified great support for the other players so that they could express themselves freely; knowing Dravid is standing on the other end to cushion the blow.
Steve Waugh has aptly described the determined Dravid in these words. “Try to take his wicket in the first 15 minutes, if you can’t then only try to get remaining wickets”
Dravid is as much known for his consistency as he is known for his remarkable cricket. He displayed this aspect of his cricket when he played the first ten series and clocked at an average of 40 in seven of them.
His memorable phase was the period of four years, 2002-2006 when his bat smashed a downpour at every place he went. In the 16 series that he played during this period, he registered more than 49, almost 13 times, and at 75, nine times.
The speciality that lies behind these scores is that they were made in tough batting conditions.
Rahul Dravid also has the achievement of having a maximum number of catches in his name, in Test matches as a non-wicket keeper.
On the field, he has riveted the ball into his hands to snaffle a record-breaking 210 catches, most of them in the slip. This was another arena of cricket where his concentration won him praises from the people.
Simplicity and Humility
Every person who has seen Dravid play would stand testimony to his simple demeanour. His bat expressed his aggression more than his face.
Rahul Dravid’s wife Vijeeta Dravid describes his down-to-earth husband in the following words. “If I packed only two sets of informal clothes, he would rotate them through an entire tour if he had to and not think about it.
He doesn’t care for gadgets, and barely registers brands – of watches, cologne or cars. But if the weight of his bat as off by a gram, he would notice it in an instant and get the problem fixed” This man has earned respect which is much deserved.
The Hunger for Improvement
The most striking facet of Dravid’s cricket was the way in which he kept evolving his cricket when he was posed with questions, returning with surprising knocks and changes.
He was often thought to be a misfit for limited over cricket and was felt suitable for longer formats. But given that he is Dravid, he improved his game and surprised his critique in the 1999 World Cup, when he made 463 runs to end the tournament.