Rahul Dravid - India's biggest impact player in Tests?
“Would I be right in saying that Rahul Dravid has been a bigger impact player in Test cricket for India over Sachin and Gavaskar?”
As expected the statement was met with mixed response and I write this article to further explain my above statement. However before I go further into my article, I must warn that this is my opinion alone and no gospel truth. The only facts presented are the stats and numbers which you are more than welcome to cross check and refer. Also I must say that I mean no disrespect to Sachin Tendulkar or Sunil Gavaskar and in no way am I stating that anyone of them is greater than the other. I am a Sachin Tendulkar fan and that would be the farthest intention in my mind. With Wisden Cricketer having already named Sachin Tendulkar as the second greatest test cricketer ever in 2002, why should I go against them? All this article is that it tells of my point of view on the positive impact Rahul Dravid has had playing test for India over the other players. I am not measuring their greatness, so please don’t be mistaken. So having said all this let me proceed to answer my question, ‘has Rahul Dravid been a bigger impact player for India in test cricket over Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar?’
I answer that question as yes. But before I explain I feel I must define what I mean when I say the word ‘impact’. According to me, Impact is a positive impact which is playing well and scoring in a match where the team has achieved a positive result (Wins and draws). So I’m taking into account of the valuable contributions in all the wins and draws that the player has been part of. Also I tend to neglect minnows such as Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Bangladesh as they aren’t really competitive sides as compared to the other test playing countries.
|I’ve included all matches before 2000 against Zimbabwe|
|The tied test is also added here in Gavaskar’s stats|
So when comparing the lost matches, Dravid has just one century there so the percentage is a small 3%, while Tendulkar’s is 21.5%. So here is the negative impact that we should be avoiding. So the positive impact would be 97% for Dravid and 78.5% for Tendulkar. However since we’re neglecting the scores against the minnows Dravid’s percentage comes down to 86% while Tendulkar’s comes down to 66.8%. The difference among them being a big 19.2%.
Also interesting is to see where Sachin was after 154 innings where Rahul Dravid is now at. And surprise, surprise! Dravid is ahead of Sachin. Here are the 4 batsmen who have played 154 tests or more at the point of their 154th test match.
So what does all this prove? Well very little. All it proves is that 86% of the time when Dravid performs, India end up with a win or a draw while for Sachin that number is lower at 66.8%. Does that make Sachin a lesser player? Not by any stretch of imagination. All it shows that Dravid has been a bigger impact player than Sachin.
Also I ran the same numbers on the explosive Indian opener, Virender Sehwag and he came right between with Tendulkar and Dravid with a percentage of 77%. So even Sehwag falls short of Rahul Dravid. So without a doubt, in my opinion at least, Rahul Dravid has been India’s biggest impact player in test cricket.