Rahul Dravid: the Great Wall of India


Rahul Dravid: the Great Wall of India

He was ageing, alright; he had a forgettable tour in Australia; true but the player of his caliber would have played a match or two thus leaving the stage in the presence of his home crowd, accepting those standing ovations and huge round of applause but he only decided to draw the curtains when there was no crowd, thereby bidding adieu to his scintillating caree;, that’s Rahul Dravid for you.

 
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Rahul Dravid: the Great Wall of India

Indian crickets batting stalwart Rahul Dravid defied all the retirement policies when he decided to hang up his boots on Friday 9th March.

He was ageing, alright; he had a forgettable tour in Australia; true but the player of his caliber would have played a match or two thus leaving the stage in the presence of his home crowd, accepting those standing ovations and huge round of applause but he only decided to draw the curtains when there was no crowd, thereby bidding adieu to his scintillating caree;, that’s Rahul Dravid for you.

Whether asked to open the innings when needed or keep the wickets in a tournament like the World Cup, he gobbled every opportunity and did what was right for his team.

Amidst the Tendulkars, Gangulies and Laxmans, Dravid held his feet firmly and carved his own niche. His was a priced wicket that every bowler wanted to earn and it always took a toll on them to do so.

Whenever the opposition looked brutal, he took the venom out of the attack; when they seemed appalling, he stood in front like a wall and when other batsmen seem to have betrayed the team, he became Mr. Dependable. It is these three-in-one qualities that separate the men out of the boys.

For lovers of facts and figures, he won’t disappoint you as well. The Karnataka boy, who debuted against England at Lord’s in 1996, stands second only to Sachin Tendulkar when it comes to scoring runs in the Test matches; he has scored 13,288 runs in 164 matches with a remarkable average of 52.31, scoring 36 centuries and 63 half centuries.

Even in ODIs, he proved his mettle with a decent average of 39.16, scored 10,889 runs and to add to it all, he also holds the world record of most number of catches.

Rahul Dravid: the Great Wall of India

He won’t hit you over the roofs like a Dhoni does or upper cut an awry bouncer, as does Tendulkar but would provide you the solidity, the purity and more importantly, the depth in the batting.

He is not one of those who will be nightmare for the bowlers, but a killjoy who won’t let them sleep the whole night. Without a care in the world, he stepped down from captaincy after a successful tour of England in 2007 and also opted out of the T-20 world cup to promote young talents. That only shows the character of the great man.

Be it the match winning innings of 233 runs at the Adelaide Oval or the partnership with Laxman at the Eden Gardens that gave India the last laugh against the Aussies, he has played the role of a sheet anchor and has been the backbone of Team India for 16 long years. He’s given us joyous moments for umpteen number of times and we can never have enough of him but don’t they say when it’s right, it’s right.

Rahul, we all adore you for your magnanimous contribution to Indian cricket and efforts to take it to greater heights. Beyond a shadow of doubt, you have been ‘Sindbad the Sailor’ of Team India, a kingpin and above all a true gentleman.

Here’s UT wishing you all the success for the second innings of your life. Thanks Rahul for such wonderful memories, you’ve been a treat to watch!

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