India’s list of famous International cricketers runs as long as the Ganga, and yet there are a few names no Indian will ever forget. Like Rahul Dravid for instance. Whether you’ve been following cricket for the past 30 years or just getting into the thick of things, you have to know Rahul Dravid. And here’s why:
7. Timeless Patience
Dravid is best known for his incredible patience, especially when batting on the pitch. If there was ever a batsman who could bat out all the 5 days of a test match and go for five more, it would be Dravid. For him, it’s more about the situation rather than the speed at which to score.
We’ve seen him adjust to T20 cricket as well, and he may not be a Chris Gayle or David Miller but he’s shown that he can keep up with the best. Can any of them keep up with him in the other formats?
6. An Immovable Object
In the saying “An Unstoppable Force Meets an Immovable Object”, Rahul Dravid IS the immovable object. Countless teams have spent over 300 deliveries just trying to exploit his weaknesses but rarely do they ever succeed. His defense is rock solid, to say the least. As Steve Waugh quoted to his bowlers:
“Try to get Rahul Dravid out in the first 15 overs. If not, try to get the remaining Batsmen out.”
Such is his mastery over the game that it compelled him to become one of the greatest batsmen you’ll ever see. His technique is sublime yet flawless and his determination legendary.
5. When It Matters
You may be a Tendulkar or Ganguly fan, or more recently a Dhoni or Kohli, but you have to admit that when it came to steering the car back onto the track, no one’s done it more times than Rahul Dravid. It had reached such a state that he’d be seen walking out at No. 3 and still batting with 9 wickets down. It’s like God crafted him to play cricket.
His epic knock alongside VVS Laxman’s 281, which pulled India back from the gates of defeat, will go down as one of the greatest innings in Indian Test cricket history, yet he will be the last man to admit he’s done something worthy. It’s like Brian Lara said:
“If I had to put anyone to bat for my life, it would be Kallis or Dravid.”
4. Rising to the Occasion
It’s not every day that a pure batsman takes on the role of being the captain of his team, but with Dravid’s credentials, it was hard for both him to refuse and us to overlook. While he may not have been the best captain in Indian history, he stepped up to the plate when we needed him the most.
And he didn’t do too shabby a job either, generating an above average 50% win ratio. However, the effects of captaincy were taking their toll on him, so he decided to give it up later on. And mind you, being a captain in any sport far inferior to that of a captain in Cricket. It is still regarded as one of the most challenging positions in sporting history.
3. A True Role Model
Rahul Dravid is a name that’ll ring in any aspiring batsman’s ear. He was true gentleman of the game. He never lost his cool, always looked like he was in control, rock solid, ‘Wall’- like, calm and composed yet aggressive and you just felt that there was something different about him from the get go. But Dravid went beyond the limitations of his physique and the sport alike. He proved to be a true gentleman on and off the pitch. In fact, it was Brett Lee who put it the best when he said:
“If you can’t get along with Dravid, you’re struggling in life.”
Such was his character. He was a warm, friendly and remarkable character who loved the game more than he could ever love just winning it. He has the thickest of friends from around the world who sings praises of him at any given chance. I guess he could even be the mascot of “The Gentlemen’s Game.”
2. A Family Man
The one thing we don’t get to see often today is a celebrity staying on course and keeping out of the spotlight when it’s not needed. Dravid was always committed to his family, and he was a very caring husband and father.
He took every opportunity he got to spend time with his family and be there for his kids. When I mentioned being a role model, it didn’t strictly adhere to him being on the pitch. He’s the perfect role model for life in general. He lives with a grace unmatched, which leads me to the most important point of them all.
1. A Truly Passionate Player
You’ll almost never find a player more passionate than Rahul Dravid. Whether you like the way he plays or not, you have to give it to him for being an amazing sportsman and a passionate one at that. His love for the game went so deep that it forced him to burst out for the first time when his team (Rajasthan Royals) was allegedly held for match fixing a game, of which he had no knowledge.
The story of his retirement might come as a rude shock to some of you, but he’d written in his autobiography that the BCCI forced him to retire, even though he felt he had a few good innings left in him. Now, he’s taken up coaching and even helps kids improve their batting technique when he can. He has all the makings of a cricketing God and for that, Rahul Dravid is so loved by one and all.