Former Australian skipper Steve Waugh has showered praise on Rahul Dravid, placing him on the same level as Sachin Tendulkar. Waugh pointed out how Tendulkar and Dravid formed the heart of India’s batting, revealing how difficult it was to dismiss Rahul Dravid.
Steve Waugh is regarded as one of the best Test captains in history, with a win ratio of 72%. The Australian came up against Rahul Dravid several times during his illustrious career.
Speaking to Cricket Australia, Steve Waugh paid a tribute to Rahul Dravid’s legacy, while also talking about what made him special.
“He was as important to the Indian side as Sachin Tendulkar. Those guys formed the heart of what was probably India’s best batting lineup. So, he was a world-class player, and equally hard to overcome as Tendulkar was,” said Waugh.
Rahul Dravid is widely regarded as one of India’s overseas heroes. The batsman’s patient batting style proved to be a great success in Australia, with Rahul Dravid averaging 41.64 Down Under. The batsman played 16 Tests in Australia, scoring one century and 6 fifties as he amassed 1,166 runs.
Steve Waugh reminisces Rahul Dravid’s fierce concentration
Rahul Dravid was known for spending a long time at the crease. While some have criticised him for being too slow while batting, there have been times when he has held his own in the testing Australian conditions.
Referring to Rahul Dravid’s time against Australia, Steve Waugh admitted that the cricketer’s approach used to frustrate the Aussies. Waugh also pointed out that the infamous Aussie sledging did not have any effect on Rahul Dravid.
“He had a fierce concentration. There was no point ruffling his feathers because you couldn’t do it. He was the glue who held them all together and the one banker they had in the side. They knew he was going to score runs and occupy the crease. Rahul Dravid can repel quality bowling, which is not something many players can do,” said the former Aussie skipper.
Steve Waugh also applauded Rahul Dravid’s concentration, as he praised the cricketer’s ability to adapt to the situation with ease.
“If he stepped up the gears, he could play shots as good as anyone. His concentration and defence were almost impregnable when he wanted it to be. He had that fierce competitive spirit so the big games really excited him. That’s when he used to play his best,” he said.
Rahul Dravid had several memorable performances against Australia. The batsman’s greatest moment arguably came at the Adelaide Oval in 2003, where he scored 305 runs to guide India to a famous victory.
However, Steve Waugh believes that Rahul Dravid’s Kolkata heroics was his best innings against the Aussies:
“Once he got in he was so hard to get out. Obviously, the most famous is Kolkata where he and Laxman batted all day and turned the Test around. They won the unwinnable Test match so that was a great innings”