Rahul Dravid- A Statisticle
Rahul Dravid. These 2 words can make me happy when I am sad, encourage when i need, patient when i am angry and much more not explainable by words.
As a Batsman: Classy technique, enormous temperament, timing at its best, stylish and attractive to the eye. He was not blessed with natural talent or raw power but he built his own game. Worked hard to be what he is(was) now. Rahul,when he was a child was asked to draw a circle around his batting area by his then coach. He was asked to bat all the balls bowled at him in such a way that the ball doesn’t cross that circle. No wonder how such a defense came from. The seed was laid years back.
Attributed primarily to his test skills, his ODI skills are not far from great. Stats to prove his ODIworth: Over ten thousand runs, with 83 fifties and 12 hundreds. Top scorer of World Cup 1999 despite India crashing out in Super six stage. He has much lesser tons than his potential because, he played till position number 7. Din’t bat at a regular position throughout his career. He shares two triple ton stands,one with the master(331) and other with dada(319). No other cricketer acheived this. Holds second highest avg(61) in World Cup matches overall, after Sir Vivian Richards’ 63.
For those who care too much for his strike rate:On an average, Dravid scored 39 runs from 54 balls every match. Between 1996 and 2007, the average score made batting first was around 250. And those batting second, much lower. In this period, any nation would take a player with such an avg,who is flexible anywhere in the batting order.
In Tests, he was an architect. Mainstay of the batting order. First batsman to score 10,000 runs at number 3 postion. People may have wanted someone to get out when he walks in, as the next man to come in to bat was more beloved and attractive to the crowd. A cricket lover would define Tests as getting 20 wickets, which i dont exactly disagree. But to me,its Partnerships which are the main reasons for teams’ wins in test matches. Dravid in that aspect has 88 hundred plus partnerships and several 50 plus stands with his team mates. He holds the record for batting most minutes in a test innnings,when he made his 270 against Pakistan in Rawalpindi. He also has an average of facing 122 balls per wicket. Second most after Kallis. One of the very few people who hold 2 twin tons in Test matches. One against NewZealand,1999 and another against Pakistan,2005.
As an Impact Player : When Dravid performed India won better. His stats just prove why he is such an impact player to the team. He averages 62 runs whenever India won(barring Bangladesh). In One Days, he averaged 50 plus at SR of 76. Just shows, when he raised his game to a different level, then the opponents are bound to lose.
As a Fielder: Over 400 catches in Internationals, self explanatory. One of the game’s safest slip fielders.
As a Captain: One of India’s under rated captains would be Rahul Dravid. He captained in 25 Test matches. Lost just 6. Drew 11. and Won 8. Least percentage of defeat by an Indian captain. He captained in 79 ODI matches. Won 42. Lost 33. Tied 4. Second highest winning percent by an Indian captain after MS Dhoni.Probably people will question his captaincy in 2007 World Cup. India played in just 3 matches then. and Dravid averaged 41 in those. waged a lone battle in the Lanka match. In two of those matches, India got just 185 runs,when the batting order looked strongest on paper. It was a dismal performance by India,and Dravid cannot be blamed entirely.
Qualities beyond cricket:
Gentleness- In Cricket’s dictionary, Gentleness would be defined as Gundappa Vishwanath,Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid. Humble- Down to Earth attitude, praising others far ahead of himself. An Inspiration- A role model to many. A bad name can be earned in a matter of seconds, but to hold such respect from ppl following cricket all over the world, throughout a career and even after that is what legends’ define. I guess no one disagrees to it.
Batting, Keeping, Fielding, Captaincy, Facing the new ball in Tests, Depromote/Promote order in ODIs, Bowling, Saving the Test match; In short : Versatality. He did them all when the Team asked him to do. One word, every other team fan replies when asked who Dravid is(was) : #respect. Am a proud Dravidian :) Missing him:(