From a dream test debut at the Mecca of Cricket,to a premature retirement, he has seen it all. It was way back in 1996 at Lords where two youngsters had made their international debut together. One went on to make a century on debut, while the other was not so fortunate to score a ton.
HE GOT out at 95. Yes, we are talking about none other than Rahul Sharad Dravid. A veteran of 16 years, 164 test matches, The Wall, Mr.Perfect, Mr.Dependable, adjectives you name it, are all short of words for this Indian Stalwart, called it a day on Friday 9th March 2012 at a press conference held in his home ground Chinnaswamy stadium Bangalore.
Dravid’s retirement has been an institutional loss. He was the perfect role model for the youngsters. Patience, grit determination was well imbibed with in him. Spare a thought for the Indian camp when they will just see photo frames in the dressing room, but will not find The Wall. From opening the innings,to coming one down(many times in the first over itself), playing a sheet anchor role in the middle order, to taking great catches in the slips, rolling arms to break a partnership, to wicket keeping, Rahul Dravid has done it all for whatever is required on a cricket field.
A perfect ambassador for cricket, he has never been part of controversy except for one. In January 2004 Dravid was found guilty of ball tampering during an ODI with Zimbabwe. Actually, it was just an innocent mistake that he had been trying to apply saliva to the ball when parts of a lozenge he had been chewing stuck to the ball; Dravid then tried to wipe it off. According to the ICC’s Code of Conduct, players are not allowed to apply substances to the ball other than sweat and saliva. Dravid was fined half of his earnings from the match. Former captain Sourav Ganguly also stated that it was just an accident.
Unbeatable technique, batting through sessions and dropping the anchor for hours together, he has always loved the game and had a great focus on the game. Nothing annoys him more than dropping a catch. His favorite fielding position was Slips where he has shared the slip cordon with Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman. The winning stroke at Adelaide oval in 2003 Vs Australia will always be a part of our memory where Dravid, batting alongside VVS Laxman, batted through the skins of Australia and snatched victory out of the Aussie.
He is the only overseas player to have given speech during Sir Don Bradman’s Oration.
Let’s have a look at the stats of his illustrious career:
164 Test Matches,13288 Runs, 36 Centuries, 63 50s
344 ODIs, 10889 Runs, 83 half centuries, 12 tons.
In one of the off field instance, a prank was played on Rahul Dravid on the show MTV Bakra, wherein a girl proposed him. He became angry and he replied that at this age, she should concentrate on studies.
Although he might feel that he has retired at right time, Shams N Wags still feel that he could have called it quits on a higher note after playing a few m ore test matches. But as the famous statement of Sunil Gavaskar goes, better retire when people ask you why, rather than why not? He will always be remembered as thinking and a selfless cricketer. While announcing retirement, Dravid said he would enjoy buying grocery and picking up kids from school, the responsibilities he had to ignore earlier because of the busy schedule and overseas tour.
Dravid’s exit has created a big void in the Indian Camp and as rightly said by Sachin Tendulkar “there can be no other Dravid”
Shams N Wags on Rahul Dravid’s Final Lines:
You have failed at times, but you have always tried. You have left with sadness, but you are India’s Pride!
In the end we would like to share a very interesting Quote by one of the FB Fan
1st Person: Sachin is god!
2nd Person: If Sachin is god, then Saurav is god on the off side.
3rd Person: Laxman is the god of 4th Innings.
Then who is Dravid?
4th Person: When the doors of temple are closed, even the gods are behind the Wall!