|Debut at Lord's|
Rahul Dravid was one of the mainstays of the Indian top-order for the better part of the previous decade and made the one-drop position his own. (Un)surprisingly, however, some of his best innings came when he was not batting at his most preferred position.
The Joy of Eden--After a string of failures early in the series, Dravid's place in the XI was seriously threatened. The match seemed to be all but over for India when he came out on the third day at No. 6 and joined Laxman in the second innings. With a stand that lasted for more than a 100 overs, the Southern gentlemen had turned the tables on the visitors.
The Wall v Windies--Having lost two wickets early, India were reeling at 99-3, still facing a 402-run deficit. That was when The Wall of All Times walked out to the pitch at No. 5. Although struck by a Mervyn Dillon bouncer, he refused to bow down and swallowed a few painkillers. He laboured for more than seven-long hours for his 144* which eventually saved the match.
A Dravidesque Effort--Having scored a ton in the first, Dravid was asked to open in the second Test. He responded with a stoic 117 of 235 balls. The lower order, however, could not capitalize and capitulated to 288 all out. This set the tone for a forgettable series for India, being whitewashed 4-0. Dravid however had a good run, scoring three centuries and topping the Indian batting charts with 461 runs @ avg. 76.83. In the fourth Test at the Oval, he became only the seventh batsman to carry his bat through a completed innings and straight into the follow-on.
More than the runs, his leadership qualities and team-spirit are what make him my favourite cricketer. Rahul Dravid led India to a historic Test series win, against the West Indies in their home soil in 2006. Since 1971, India had never won a Test series in the West Indies. Rahul Dravid was also the first captain to lead India to a Test match victory against South Africa on South African soil (2006/07). Opener injured? Need a wicketkeeper-batsman? Captaincy problems? No worries dear, Mr Dependable is here! His Lord's century came, not on his debut, when he would have wanted it the most; but, in the 2011 series, when the team needed it the most.
|The Lord's Century, Finally!|
|Don't ANGRY me!|
|Ever the sportsman, Dravid|
congratulates Ian Bell for his 150
|Rahul Dravid, forever|
the Humble Gentleman
Today, as Jammy turns 42, I hope that he finds out the answers to life. Just joking!
I hope that he finally wins a trophy. The match-fixing scandal in 2013 must have left him shocked and, in his own words, 'bereaved'. That too, having come at such an important juncture in the tournament. The heart-wrenching loss against Mumbai Indians last year, showed how near yet so far the team was. But Dravid is not the one to get bowed down. He will surely rise up and inspire the Royals to greater successes.
I hope that I get to talk with him. Okay, at least a selfie? If even that's not possible, an autographed autobiography? Talking of which, I seriously need to buy 'Timeless Steel'. I can get that autographed, pleeease? Well, I wish...
Thanks Sharad and Pushpa Dravid for bringing your son up so wonderfully.
Thanks Samit and Anvay for sharing your father's love with millions of fans like me.
Thanks ESPNCricinfo, Quora and Wikipedia for teaching me more about him.
Thanks Rahul Dravid for the innumerable moments of joy and reasons to smile that you have given me.