Rahul Dravid (born 11 January 1973) is a former Indian cricketer and a former captain, widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket. He is the current Overseas Batting Consultant for the Indian team, and also the head coach for the Under-19 and ‘A’ teams.
Born in a Marathi family and brought up in Bangalore, he started playing cricket at the age of 12 and later represented Karnataka at the under-15, under-17 and under-19 levels. Hailed as The Wall, Dravid was named one of the best five cricketers of the year by Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack in 2000 and received the Player of the Year and the Test Player of the Year awards at the inaugural ICC awards ceremony in 2004. In December 2011, he became the first non-Australian cricketer to deliver the Bradman Oration in Canberra.
As of December 2016, Dravid is the fourth-highest run scorer in Test cricket, after Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Jacques Kallis. In 2004, after completing his century against Bangladesh in Chittagong, he became the first and the only player till date to score a century in all the ten Test-playing countries. As of October 2012, he holds the record for the most number of catches taken by a player (non-wicket-keeper) in Test cricket, with 210. Dravid holds a unique record of never getting out for a Golden duck in the 286 Test innings which he has played.He faced 31258 balls, which is highest number of balls face by any player in test cricket.He also spent 44152 minutes at the crease, which is highest time spent on crease by any player in test cricket.
In August 2011, after receiving a surprise recall in the ODI series against England, Dravid declared his retirement from ODIs as well as Twenty20 International (T20I), and in March 2012, he announced his retirement from international and first-class cricket. He appeared in the 2012 Indian Premier League as captain of the Rajasthan Royals.
Rahul Dravid, along with Glenn McGrath were honoured during the seventh annual Bradman Awards function in Sydney on 1 November 2012. Dravid has also been honoured with the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan award, India’s fourth and third highest civilian awards respectively.
In 2014, Rahul Dravid joined the GoSports Foundation, Bangalore as a member of their board of advisors. In collaboration with GoSports Foundation he is mentoring India’s future Olympians and Paralympians as part of the Rahul Dravid Athlete Mentorship Programme.Indian badminton player Prannoy Kumar, Para-swimmer Sharath Gayakwad and young Golfer Chikkarangappa S. was part of the initial group of athletes to be mentored by Rahul Dravid.
Dravid was born in a Marathi family in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. His family later moved to Bangalore, Karnataka, where he was raised. His mother tongue is Marathi. Dravid’s father worked for a company that makes jams and preserves, giving rise to the later nickname Jammy. His mother, Pushpa, was a professor of Architecture at the University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering (UVCE), Bangalore. Dravid has a younger brother named Vijay. He did his schooling at St. Joseph’s Boys High School, Bangalore and earned a degree in commerce from St. Joseph’s College of Commerce, Bangalore. He was selected to India national cricket team while studying MBA in St Josephs College of Business Administration
Formative years and domestic career
Dravid started playing cricket at the age of 12, and represented Karnataka at the under-15, the under-17 and the under-19 levels. Former cricketer Keki Tarapore first noticed Dravid’s talent while coaching at a summer camp in the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Dravid scored a century for his school team. He also played as wicket-keeper.
Dravid made his Ranji Trophy debut in February 1991, while he was still attending college. Playing alongside future Indian teammates Anil Kumble and Javagal Srinath against Maharashtra in Pune, he scored 82 runs in the match, which ended in a draw. His first full season was in 1991-92, when he scored two centuries and finished up with 380 runs at an average of 63.3, getting selected for the South Zone cricket team in the Duleep Trophy.
Dravid had been knocking at the doors of Indian national cricket team for quite a while with his consistent performance in domestic cricket. So much so, that when the selectors announced the Indian team for the 1996 World Cup sans Dravid, an Indian daily newspaper carried a headline – “Rahul Dravid gets a raw deal”. However, they could not ignore him any longer after the World Cup. Dravid made his international debut on 3 April 1996 in an ODI against Sri Lanka in the Singer Cup held in Singapore immediately after the 1996 World Cup replacing Vinod Kambli. He wasn’t particularly impressive with the bat scoring just three runs before being dismissed by Muttiah Muralitharan but took two catches in the match. He followed it up with another failure in the next game scoring just four runs before getting run out against Pakistan.
In contrast to his ODI debut, his Test debut was rather successful one. Dravid was selected for the Indian squad touring England on the backdrop of a consistent performance in domestic cricket for five years. Fine performances in the tour games including fifties against Gloucestershire and Leicestershire failed to earn him a place in the team for the First Test. He finally made his Test debut at Lord’s on 20 June 1996 against England in the Second Test of the series at the expense of injured senior batsman Sanjay Manjrekar. Manjrekar, who was suffering from an ankle injury, was to undergo a fitness test on the morning of the Second Test. Dravid had already been informed that he would play if Manjrekar fails the test. As fate would have it, Manjrekar failed the fitness test. Ten minutes before the toss, Sandeep Patil, the then Indian coach, went up to Dravid to inform him that he was indeed going to make his debut that day. Patil recalled years later:
I told him he will be playing. His face lit up. I cannot forget that moment.
Coming in to bat at no. 7, he forged important partnerships with another debutante Sourav Ganguly and his Karnataka teammates Kumble and Srinath securing a vital first innings lead for his team. Batting for more than six hours, he scored 95 runs before getting out to the bowling of Chris Lewis. Dravid was just five runs away from a landmark debut hundred when he nicked a Lewis delivery to the keeper and walked even before umpire’s decision. When asked about the walk, he quipped, “Everybody at the ground had heard the nick”. He also took his first catch in Test cricket in this match to dismiss Nasser Hussain off the bowling of Srinath. In the next tour game against British Universities, Dravid scored a hundred. He held his position in the playing XI in the Third Test at Nottingham despite Manjrekar’s return and went on to score 84 runs in the first innings of the Test. Dravid concluded a successful debut series with an impressive average of 62.33 from two Test matches.
Early years (1996-98) a tale of two formats”]
Dravid’s early years in international cricket mirrored his international debut. While he straightaway made a name for himself in Test cricket, he had to struggle quite a bit to make a mark in ODIs.
Success in Test cricket
After a successful Test debut in England, Dravid played in the one-off Test against Australia in Delhi – his first Test in India. Batting at no. 6, he scored 40 runs in the first innings. Dravid batted at no. 3 position for the first time in the First Test of the three-match home series against South Africa in Ahmedabad in November 1996. However, he was made to shuffle through the batting order for the rest of the series. He didn’t do too well in the series scoring just 175 runs at an average of 29.16 and was the third best Indian batsman in the series that India won 2-1.
Two weeks later, India toured South Africa for a three-match Test series. Chasing a target of 395 runs in the First Test, Indian team bundled out meekly for 66 runs on the Durban pitch that provided excessive bounce and seam movement. Dravid was the only Indian batsman who reached double figures in the innings scoring 27 not out. Dravid was promoted to the no. 3 slot again in the second innings of the Second Test however, his breakthrough performance came in the Third Test when Dravid almost won the match for India with his maiden test hundred in the first innings scoring 148 runs and another 81 runs in the second innings at Wanderers before the thunderstorms, dim light and Cullinan‘s hundred saved the day for South Africa enabling them to draw the match. Dravid’s performance in this Test earned him his first Man of the Match award in Test cricket. Dravid top scored for India in the series with 277 runs at an average of 55.40.
Dravid carried his good form from South Africa to the West Indies where he once again top scored for India in the five-match Test series that India lost 0-1. He scored 360 runs at an average of 72.00 including four fifties. 92 runs scored in the first innings of the fifth match in Georgetown earned him a joint Man of the Match award along with Shivnarine Chanderpaul. With this series, Dravid concluded a successful first full Test season. He topped the international runs chart for the 1996/97 season with 852 runs from 12 matches at an average of 50.11 with six fifties and one hundred.
Dravid continued his good run in the following season scoring seven fifties in eight Tests that included fifties in six consecutive innings (three each against Sri Lanka and Australia), becoming only the second Indian to do so after Gundappa Vishwanath. By the end of 1997/98 Test season, he had scored 15 fifties in 22 Tests which included four scores of nineties but just a solitary hundred.
The century drought came to an end in the ensuing season when he further raised the bar of his performance scoring 752 runs in seven Tests at an average of 62.66 that included four hundreds and one fifty and in the process topping the runs chart for India for the 1998/99 Test season. The first of those four hundreds came on the Zimbabwe tour. Dravid top scored in both the innings against Zimbabwe scoring 118 and 44 runs respectively however, India lost the one-off Test.
The Zimbabwe tour was followed by a tour to New Zealand. First Test having been abandoned without a ball being bowled, the series started for Dravid with the first duck of his Test career in the first innings of the Second Test and ended with hundreds in both the innings of the Third Test in Hamilton. He scored 190 and 103 not out in the first and the second innings respectively, becoming only the third Indian batsman, after Vijay Hazare and Sunil Gavaskar, to score a century in both innings of a Test match. Dravid topped the runs table for the series with 321 runs from two matches at an average of 107.00 however, India lost the series 0-1.
Later that month, India played a two Test home series against Pakistan. Dravid didn’t contribute much with the bat. India lost the First Test but won the Second Test in Delhi riding on Kumble’s historic 10-wicket haul. Dravid played his part in the 10-wicket haul by taking a catch to dismiss Mushtaq Ahmed who was Kumble’s eighth victim of the innings. The Indo-Pak Test series was followed by the 1998-99 Asian Test Championship. Dravid couldn’t do much with the bat as India went on to lose the riot-affected First Test of the championship against Pakistan at the Eden Gardens. India went to Sri Lanka to play the Second Test of the championship. Dravid scored his fourth hundred of the season at Colombo in the first innings of the match. He also effected a brilliant run out of Russel Arnold during Sri Lankan innings fielding at short leg. On the fourth morning, Dravid got injured while fielding at the same position when the ball from Jayawardene‘s pull shot hit him below his left eye through the helmet grill. He didn’t come out to bat in the second innings due to the injury. The match ended in a draw as India failed to qualify for the Finals of the championship.
Struggle in ODIs
In a stark contrast to his Test career, Dravid had to struggle a lot to make a mark in the ODIs. Between his ODI debut in April 1996 and the end of 1998 calendar year, Dravid regularly found himself in and out of the ODI team.
Despite his initial struggle in ODIs, there were quite a few highlights as well. Dravid tasted first success of his ODI career in the 1996 ‘Friendship’ Cup against Pakistan in the tough conditions of Toronto. He emerged as the highest scorer of the series with 220 runs in five matches at an average of 44.00 and a strike rate of 68.53. He won his first ODI Man of the Match award for the 46 runs scored in the low scoring third game of the series. He top scored for India in the Standard Bank International One-Day Series 1996/97 in South Africa with 280 runs from eight games at an average of 35.00 and a strike rate of 60.73, the highlight being a Man of the Match award winning performance (84 runs, one catch) in the Final of the series that came in a losing cause. He was the second highest run scorer for India in the four-match bilateral ODI series in the West Indies in 1996/97 with 121 runs at an average of 40.33 and a strike rate of 57.61.
Dravid’s maiden ODI hundred came in a losing cause in the 1997 Pepsi Independence Cup against Pakistan in Chennai. Dravid top scored for India in the quadrangular event with 189 runs from three games at an average of 94.50 and a strike rate of 75.60 however, India failed to qualify for the Final of the series.
However, Dravid’s achievements in the ODIs were dwarfed by his failures in the shorter format of the game. 14 runs from two games in the 1996 Pepsi Sharjah Cup; 20 runs from two innings in the Singer World Series; 65 runs from four innings in the 1997 ‘Friendship’ Cup; 88 runs from four games in the 1998 Coca-Cola Triangular Series including a 22-ball five runs and a 21-ball one run innings, both coming against Bangladesh; 32 runs from four games in the 1998 ‘Friendship’ Cup; a slew of such poor performances often forced him to the sidelines of the India ODI squad. By the end of 1998, Dravid had scored 1709 runs in 65 ODIs at a humble average of 31.64 with a poor strike rate of 63.48.
By now, Dravid had been branded as a Test specialist. While he continued to score heavily in Test cricket, his poor strike rate in ODIs came under scanner. He drew criticism for not being able to adjust his style of play to the needs of ODI cricket, his lack of attacking capability and play big strokes. However, 1999 proved to be the year of renaissance for Dravid’s ODI career. Dravid worked hard and re-tooled his game by increasing his range of strokes and adapting his batting style to suit the requirements of ODI cricket. He learned to pace his innings cleverly without going for the slogs.
Dravid’s ODI renaissance began on the 1998/99 New Zealand tour. He carried his form from the Hamilton Test, where he had scored twin centuries, into the bilateral ODI series and scored a run-a-ball hundred in the First ODI that earned him his third Man of the Match award. The hundred came in a losing cause. However, his effort of 51 runs from 71 balls in the Fourth ODI came in India’s victory and earned him his second Man of the Match award of the series. He ended as the top scorer of the series with 309 runs from five games at an average of 77.25 and a strike rate of 84.65. Dravid scored a hundred against Sri Lanka in 1998/99 Pepsi Cup at Nagpur adding a record 236 runs for the 2nd wicket with Ganguly, who also scored a hundred in the match. Uncharacteristically, Dravid was the faster of the two scoring 116 of 118 deliveries. In the next match against Pakistan, he bowled four overs and took the wicket of Saeed Anwar, out caught behind by wicket-keeper Nayan Mongia. This was his first wicket in international cricket.
Dravid warmed up for his debut World Cup with two fifties in the 1998-99 Coca-Cola Cup in Sharjah, one each against England and Pakistan. Standing-in as the substitute wicket-keeper in the third match of the series for Nayan Mongia, who got injured during keeping, Dravid effected two dismissals. He first stumped Graeme Hick off Sunil Joshi’s bowling, who became Dravid’s first victim as a wicket-keeper, and then caught Neil Fairbrother off Ajay Jadeja’s bowling. He top scored for India in the tournament, though his last ODI innings before the World Cup was a golden duck against Pakistan, in the Final of the series.
Before Indian team departed for England to participate in the 1999 World Cup, they played a friendly game with 1983 World Cup winning team. Although Dravid scored just 20 runs, he took two wickets dismissing Dilip Vengsarkar and Roger Binny.
Debut World Cup success
Dravid announced his form in England hitting consecutive fifties against Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire in the warm-up games.
He made his World Cup debut against South Africa at Hove striking a half century, but scored just 13 in the next game against Zimbabwe. India lost both the games. Having lost the first two games, India needed to win the remaining three games of the first round to have any chance of advancing into the Super Six stage. Dravid put up a partnership of 237 runs with Sachin Tendulkar against Kenya at Bristol – a World Cup record – and in the process hit his maiden World Cup hundred, helping India to a 94-run victory. Mongia had left the field at the end of 9th over forcing Dravid to keep the wickets for the rest of the Kenyan innings. In the absence of injured Nayan Mongia, Dravid played his first ODI as a designated keeper against Sri Lanka at Taunton. Dravid once again staged a record breaking partnership worth 318 runs – the first ever three hundred run partnership in ODI history – but this time with Sourav Ganguly, guiding India to a 157-run win. Dravid scored 145 runs from 129 balls with 17 fours and a six, becoming the second batsman in World Cup history to hit back-to-back hundreds. Dravid struck a fine fifty in the last group match as India defeated England to advance into the Super Six stage. Dravid scored 2, 61 & 29 in the three Super Six matches against Australia, Pakistan & New Zealand respectively. India failed to qualify for the semi-finals having lost to Australia and New Zealand but achieved a consolation victory against Pakistan in a tense game, what with the military conflict going on between the two countries in Kashmir at the same time. Dravid emerged as the top scorer of the tournament with 461 runs from 8 games at an average of 65.85 and a strike rate of 85.52. He capped a successful World Cup outing on personal front with a commentary stint during the World Cup Final which resulted in him getting reprimanded by the BCCI for appearing on television without board’s permission. He received CEAT Cricketer of the World Cup award, later that year.
Dravid’s post-World Cup campaign started on a poor note with just 40 runs coming in 4 games of Aiwa Cup in August 1999. He soon came into his own, top-scoring for India in two consecutive limited-overs series – the Singapore Challenge, the highlight being a hundred in the Final coming in a lost cause, and the DMC Cup, the highlight being a match winning effort (77 runs, 4 catches) in the series decider for which he received man-of-the-match award. By now, Dravid had started to keep wickets on an infrequent basis with India fielding him as designated wicket-keeper in five out of 10 ODIs played in the three events. Dravid had a quiet time in the LG Cup where he scored 81 runs in 4 games.
Dravid kick-started his post World Cup Test season with a decent outing against New Zealand in the 3-match home series. His best effort of the series came in the second innings of the First test at Mohali scoring 144 and helping India salvage a draw after being bowled out for 83 runs in the First innings. Before this innings, Dravid had five test hundreds to his name from 29 tests, all of which came in away tests, this being his first test hundred on Indian soil. Except for this inning, he had a quiet time throughout the series.
Dravid did well in the 3-2 series win against New Zealand in the bilateral ODI series, scoring 240 runs in 5 games at an average of 60 and a strike rate of 83.62, ending as the second highest scorer in the series. The highlight of the series was his inning in the second game at Hyderabad. He scored run-a-ball 153 runs – his career best effort – which included 15 fours and two sixes. He featured in a 331-run partnership with Tendulkar, which was the highest partnership in ODI cricket history, a record that stood for 15 years until it was broken in 2015. With this series, Dravid ended an eventful year, as far as his ODI career was concerned, on a high note. In 1999, Dravid scored 1761 runs in 43 ODIs at an average of 46.34 and a strike rate of 75.16 including 6 hundreds and 8 fifties and featured in two 300+ partnerships.
India toured Australia in December 1999 for a 3-match test series and a triangular ODI tournament. Although Dravid scored a hundred against Tasmania in the practice match, he failed miserably with the bat in the Test series as India slumped to a 0-3 whitewash. He did reasonably well in the 1999-2000 Carlton & United Series scoring 3 fifties in the triangular event however, India failed to qualify for the Final of the tournament.
Rise through the ranks
Dravid’s poor form in Tests continued as India suffered a 0-2 whitewash against South Africa in a home series. Tendulkar resigned from captaincy in March 2000 after the humiliating loss to South Africa amidst much speculations. Sourav Ganguly, the team’s vice-captain then, was promoted as the new Indian team captain and Dravid was appointed as his deputy.
The newly appointed vice-captain had moderate success in the bilateral ODI series against South Africa. Dravid scored 208 runs in 5 matches at an average of 41.60 including 2 fifties. He also took 3 wickets in the series including two wickets in a single over in the First ODI at Kochi. His bowling figures of 2/43 in 9 overs remained his career best ODI bowling figures. It was also the best bowling figure by any bowler for that particular match. His series bowling average of 22.66 was the best amongst all the bowlers in the series. India won the series 3-2.
India played a tri-nation series in Sharjah immediately after the bilateral ODI series against South Africa. Indian team performed poorly and failed to qualify for the Finals. Collective failure of Indian batting in the series can be judged from the fact that Dravid, with a poor show of 89 runs from 4 matches at an average of 22.25, was still the 2nd best Indian batsman in the series. A week later, a match fixing scandal rocked the international cricket scene opening a Pandora’s box that eventually engulfed top Indian and South African cricketers including Azharuddin and Cronje.
Dravid had always been keen on further honing his batting skills in testing English conditions by playing in county cricket. He had discussed regarding the same with John Wright, former New Zealand cricketer and Kent coach, during India’s 1998-99 tour of New Zealand. Wright was particularly impressed with Dravid’s performance on that tour, especially his twin hundreds at Hamilton. The talks finally materialised when Dravid made his county debut for Kent in April 2000. Ganguly also debuted in the same match, albeit for the opposite team.
Kent offer had come as a welcome change for Dravid. There was too much negativity surrounding Indian cricket marred by match fixing controversy. Dravid himself was struggling to score runs. Barring the one hundred against New Zealand at Mohali, Dravid had not played a significant inning throughout the 1999-00 season. The county stint gave him a chance to “get away to a new environment” and “relax”. The wide variety of pitches and weather conditions in England and a full season of intense county cricket against professional cricketers gave him a chance to further his cricketing education and learn things about his game.
Dravid made the most of this opportunity. In his 2nd game for Kent, Dravid scored a fluid 182 propelling them to an innings and 163 runs victory over the touring Zimbabwe side. Out of 7 first class tour games that Zimbabwe played on that tour, Kent was the only team that managed to beat them. Dravid hit another fifty in a draw against Surrey. In June 2000, Dravid had to miss a county match for Kent in order to perform his national duties.
Indian team, not in right frame of mind, expectedly performed poorly in the Asia cup 2000. Dravid’s poor form, much like throughout the 1999-00 season, continued in Asia cup however, he showed no signs of it when he returned to England to resume his Kent duties. He continued his sublime form in county cricket.
In July 2000, Kent’s away match against Hampshire at Portsmouth was billed as a showdown between two great cricketers- Warne and Dravid. Dravid came out on top. On a dustbowl, tailor made to suit home team spinners, Warne took 4 wickets but could not take the all important wicket of Dravid. Coming in to bat at 15/2, Dravid faced 295 balls scoring 137 runs – his maiden hundred in county championships. Dravid scored 73 not out in the 2nd innings guiding Kent to a six wicket victory as Warne went wicketless.
In their last county game of the season, Kent needed one bonus point to prevent themselves from being relegated to the Second Division. Dravid made sure they stay put in the First Division by fetching that one bonus point with an inning of 77 runs.
Dravid concluded a successful stint with Kent aggregating 1221 runs from 16 first class matches(15 county games and 1 tour game against Zimbabwe) at an average of 55.50 including 2 hundreds and 8 fifties. He shouldered Kent’s batting single-handedly as the second best Kent batsman during the same period, Paul Nixon, scored just 567 runs at an average of 33.35 in 17 matches. Dravid contributed to Kent’s county campaign not just with the bat but also with his fielding and bowling taking 14 catches and 4 wickets at an average of 32.00.
As the new international season commenced, the first and foremost challenge for the newly appointed captain and vice-captain, Ganguly and Dravid, was to pull the team out of the shadows of the match fixing scandal. Indian team played 2000 ICC Knockout Trophy with vigour and showed a lot of character beating Kenya, Australia and South Africa in consecutive matches to reach the Finals. Although India lost to New Zealand in the Finals, their spirited performance in the tournament helped restoring public faith back in Indian cricket. Dravid played his part scoring 157 runs in 4 matches at an average of 52.33, including 2 fifties. Dravid played the first two matches of 2000-01 Coca-Cola Champions Trophy and scored 85 runs in the 2nd match against Zimbabwe opening the innings before getting injured while fielding at slips forcing him to miss the rest of the tournament.
India started off the new Test season with a 9-wicket win against Bangladesh. Dravid played a brisk inning of 49 ball 41 runs, including 5 fours and a six, chasing a target of 63 runs. However, Dravid’s poor patch truly ended in the next Test series against Zimbabwe, which was also the first series for John Wright as the new Indian coach. Wright was instrumental in Dravid’s association with Kent earlier this year. Dravid returned the favour by recommending his name to the BCCI for the post of national team coach. By now, Dravid had played 8 Tests since his last hundred against New Zealand at Mohali scoring just 350 runs at a paltry average of 23.33 without a single fifty plus inning. The Indian vice-captain ended the run drought and welcomed the new Indian coach with a double hundred – Dravid’s first. He scored 200 not out in the first inning and 70 not out in the second inning guiding India to a comfortable 9-wicket victory against Zimbabwe. He scored 162 in the drawn Second test to end the series with an average of 432.00 – highest batting average by an Indian in a Test series.
Dravid scored just a solitary fifty in the second of the five match bilateral ODI series between India and Zimbabwe. However, the series proved to be a milestone in Dravid’s career. Dravid captained the Indian team for the first time in the 5th match of the series as the regular captain Ganguly had to sit out due to one match suspension. Riding on Agarkar’s all-round performance, Dravid led India to a 39 run victory in his maiden ODI as Indian captain.
Australia tour of India 2000/01
The Australian team toured India in February 2001 for 3 tests and 5 ODIs. The tour was billed as the “Final Frontier” for Steve Waugh’s all conquering men who came to India on the back of 15 consecutive Test wins. The Australian team extended their run to 16 consecutive wins as they beat India convincingly in the first test by 10 wickets. Dravid scored 9 in the first innings as India folded for 176 runs. In the second innings Dravid, along with Tendulkar, tried to show some resistance. At one point Dravid mistimed a pull that Slater claimed to have caught cleanly. However, the third umpire thought otherwise. Dravid stood ground. Slater, in a “moment of madness” as described by Peter Roebuck, had an altercation with Dravid and on-field umpires. Dravid’s 196 ball long resistance finally ended when he got out bowled to Warne for 39 runs.
History at Eden
The Australian juggernaut seemed unstoppable as they looked on course for their 17th consecutive victory in the second test at the Eden Gardens. Australia amassed 445 runs in the first innings after winning the toss and electing to bat first. In reply, Indian team was bowled out for meagre 171 conceding a lead of 274 runs. Dravid scored 25 runs from 82 balls and eventually got out bowled to Warne for the 2nd time in a row. Only Laxman scored more than Dravid in the innings. India was expectedly asked to follow-on by Steve Waugh. Laxman, who had scored a fine fifty in the first innings was promoted to no. 3 position which had been Dravid’s usual spot for quite sometime now, while Dravid, who was not looking in best of form in the series, was relegated to no. 6 position. Although Indian batting displayed better show in the second innings, they were still looking towards a certain defeat. Dravid came out to bat at no. 6 with scoreboard reading 232/4 with India still needing 42 runs to avoid an innings defeat. Dravid joined forces with the man who had replaced him at no. 3 position as they played out the remaining time avoiding any further jolts. India ended the day’s play at 254/4 with Laxman unbeaten at 109 and Dravid at 7.
As the fourth day’s play started with India still 20 runs behind with just 6 wickets in hand and two full days of play left, another convincing win for Australia looked inevitable. However, what transpired on Day 4 etched the names of Laxman and Dravid in history forever. Laxman and Dravid batted out the entire day without getting dismissed. Steve Waugh used 9 bowlers, but Laxman and Dravid kept McGrath-Warne and company at bay and scored at will, completely dominating the bowling. India’s score which was 254/4 at the start of the day’s play read 589/4 at the end of the day’s play. The duo added 335 runs on day 4 tumbling many records on the way. Dravid, having been under severe criticism for his previous failures in the series, celebrated his hundred in an uncharacteristic fashion gesturing at the press box. He remained unbeaten at 155 and Laxman at 276 at the end of the day’s play.
Laxman could add only 5 runs to his tally on Day 5 missing on a landmark triple hundred, thus bringing an end to a historic 375-run partnership. However, Dravid continued in the same vein before getting run out for 180 while trying to force the pace. Captain Ganguly allowed the tail to score some quick runs before declaring at 657/7 setting Australia a target of 384 with 75 overs left in the match. The partnership between Dravid and Laxman had not pulled India back in the match but also instilled a sense of self-belief in the team. An inspired team India bowled superbly to dismiss Australia for 212 in 68.3 overs. India won the match by 171 runs becoming only the 2nd team to do so after following on.
Dravid scored 81 runs in the first innings of the third test and took 4 catches in the match as India defeated Australia at Chennai in a nail biting finish to clinch the series 2-1. Although Dravid did exceptionally well in the series scoring 338 runs at an average of 56.33, the series cost him the coveted no. 3 position in the Indian batting line-up. Dravid scored 80 in the first of the 5 match ODI series at his home ground as India won the match by 60 runs. He didn’t do too well in the remaining 4 ODIs as Australia won the series 3-2.
Between April 2001 and March 2002, India played 12 official tests including 2 each in Zimbabwe and South Africa(3rd test being declared unofficial), 3 in Sri Lanka and a 3-match and 2-match home series against England and Zimbabwe respectively. Dravid performed below par scoring 669 runs from 12 tests at an average of 39.35 including 6 fifties. He looked in good touch in Zimbabwe as he scored 137 runs from 134 balls in the first tour game. However, he could score just a solitary fifty in the test series as the series ended in a 1-1 draw. He aggregated 138 runs at an average of 69.00 from the series. During Sri Lanka tour, Dravid moved up the order in the absence of injured Tendulkar and Laxman. He batted at no. 4 in the first test and at his favourite no. 3 position in the remaining two tests. Batting at no. 3, Dravid scored crucial 75 runs in the 4th innings of the 2nd test as India defeated Sri Lanka by 7 wickets chasing a target of 264 runs. He ended up as the highest scorer for India in the series with 235 runs at an average of 47.00 including 2 fifties. India lost the series 1-2. On the South African tour, Dravid opened the innings in the first test but failed to make a mark as India lost the match. In the 2nd test, India was set a target of 395 runs with a full day plus 41 overs of play left in the match. India, having failed to survive for 100 overs in any of the previous 3 innings in the series, started on a poor note losing their first wicket in the first over with zero runs on the scoreboard. However, Dravid forged an important partnership of 171 runs with Dasgupta. More importantly, the partnership lasted for 83.2 overs taking India to the brink of safety. Poor weather too helped India salvage a draw as only 96.2 overs could be bowled in the innings. However, the match is best known for the Mike Denness incident. The match referee handed a one match ban to Sehwag and suspended ban to five other Indian players including Tendulkar and Ganguly for various offences including excessive appealing and ball tampering. The BCCI threatened to call off the tour if Mike Denness continued as the referee. While ICC sided with Denness, South African board sided with BCCI replacing Denness and forcing ICC to declare the 3rd test unofficial. Dravid captained the team in the unofficial test in the absence of injured Ganguly. India lost the match by an innings margin. Except for the match saving innings of 87 runs at Port Elizabeth, Dravid failed miserably in the series bringing his series aggregate to 130 runs from 3 tests(2 official and one unofficial) at an average of 21.66. Dravid performed poorly in the subsequent home series against England and Zimbabwe, scoring just two fifties in 5 tests.
Dravid compensated for the below par performance in tests in 2001-02 season with a good show in the ODIs. On the tour to Zimbabwe, he scored an unbeaten 72 of 64 balls while chasing a target of 235 against Zimbabwe in the 3rd match of the tri-series guiding India to a 4-wicket win with 4 balls to spare. He was adjudged man of the match for his match winning knock. He ended up with a series aggregate of 121 runs from 5 matches at a decent average of 40.33 and a strike rate of 101.68. He was the only batsman with a strike rate of more than 100 among those who managed to aggregate more than 100 runs in the series. In the triangular series in Sri Lanka, India lost 3 consecutive matches and was on the brink elimination from the series. In the absence of injured Tendulkar and Zaheer and suspended Ganguly, Dravid captained the side in the 4th match and led them to their first win in the series. He played crucial innings in the last three league matches contributing to three consecutive victories, thus helping India qualify for the Finals which they eventually lost to Sri Lanka. Dravid topped India’s run chart for the series scoring 259 runs at an average of 51.80 and a strike rate of 59.81. Dravid followed it up with another decent show in Standard Bank tri-series in South Africa, scoring 214 runs at an average of 53.50 and a strike rate of 71.81 including 3 fifties. He also kept wickets in the final two ODIs including the Final of the series effecting 3 stumpings. By the end of the South African tour, Dravid had started experiencing problem in his right shoulder. Although he played the ensuing home test series against England, he pulled out of the 5-match ODI series against England to undergo shoulder rehabilitation programme in South Africa. He returned for the home series against Zimbabwe and had a forgettable outing in the ODI series barring the one inning of 66 not out from 59 balls in the 2nd match.
India toured West Indies in April 2002. Dravid scored an unbeaten hundred, his tenth overall and 6th outside India, against West Indies at Georgetown in the first test match. Batting with a swollen jaw after being hit by a Mervyn Dillon bouncer, Dravid scored 144 not out saving the day for India as they avoided a follow-on. The match ended in a draw. India beat West Indies by 37 runs in the second test at Port of Spain. Dravid contributed to the win with a fifty and 4 catches. He scored 91 runs in the 4th drawn test at St. John’s. He also took the wicket of Ridley Jacobs who was batting on 118 – Dravid’s only wicket in Test cricket. India lost the 5-match test series 1-2. Dravid was the 2nd highest scorer for India aggregating 404 runs at an average of 57.71. He fared poorly with the bat in the bilateral ODI series. He also doubled up as the wicket-keeper in the series effecting 2 dismissals (1 catch and 1 stumping).
India tour of England, 2002
India’s next international assignment was the England tour in June 2002, 6 years after the previous tour when Dravid had made his Test debut. It was this tour where Dravid hit the peak form of his career. The tour started with a triangular ODI series involving India, England and Sri Lanka. Dravid continued his keeping job in the series. In the first ODI at Lord’s, Dravid effected 3 dismissals (2 catches and 1 stumping) and then scored an unbeaten 73 runs guiding India to a 6-wicket victory against England in the company of Yuvraj Singh. In the 4th ODI against Sri Lanka, Dravid effected 1 dismissal (1 catch) and scored a fifty that won him a man of the match award as India won the match by 4 wickets. India eventually pulled off a remarkable chase to win the tournament beating England in the Finals by 2 wickets. Dravid scored 245 runs including 3 fifties at an average of 49.00 (third highest for India in the series). He also effected 9 dismissals including 6 catches an 3 stumpings (most by a keeper in the series).
Dravid warmed up for the 4-match Test series with a fifty against Hampshire in the tour game. He scored 46 and 63 in the First Test at Lord’s as India lost the match by 170 runs. He failed in the first innings of the Second Test at Nottingham as India scored 357 runs. England, riding on Vaughn’s hundred, piled up a mammoth 617 runs, taking a first innings lead of 260 runs. Indian team was in a state of bother as they were reduced to 11/2 in the second innings, still trailing by 249 runs however, a match saving hundred by Dravid along with fifties from Tendulkar and Ganguly enabled India to draw the match.
The third test of the series was played at Headingley, traditionally known to be conducive for seam bowling. Ganguly won the toss and took a bold decision to bat first on a gloomy overcast morning. Naseer Hussain had studded his bowling line-up with four seamers including Hoggard, Flintoff, Tudor and Caddick. To make the matters worse, India lost Sehwag in the seventh over of the match. However, Dravid came in and joined forces with Bangar. Together the two batsmen weathered the storm. They applied themselves, took body blows but never gave the English bowlers any chance. Dravid and Bangar starred in a match defining partnership of 170 runs. By the time Bangar got out after a commendable fifty, the sun was out and batting had become easier. Tendulkar joined Dravid as Dravid went on to complete his 12th Test hundred. Dravid and Tendulkar put on 150 runs together before a battered and bruised Dravid finally got out stumped to Giles for 148 runs, but not before playing out the difficult morning session of the second day. As the conditions got easier to bat, Ganguly and Tendulkar piled on England’s misery bringing up their individual hundreds in the process. India declared the innings on 628/8 and then bowled England out twice to win the match by an innings and 46 runs – India’s first overseas victory by an innings margin since 1977/78. Such was the impact of Dravid’s seven-hour-long fighting knock that, despite Sachin outscoring him by 45 runs (he scored 193 runs), Dravid was adjudged the man of the match for his 148 runs. Dravid backed up his two consecutive hundreds in the series with another one at The Oval, this time scoring a double hundred. After England scored 515 runs in the first innings of the fourth Test, Dravid scored 217 runs to take India to 505. The test and the series ended in a draw. Dravid was adjudged man of the match for second consecutive match. Dravid amassed 602 runs in the series at an average of 100.33, including three hundreds and a fifty and was adjudged joint man of the series along with Vaughan.
Dravid became the first Indian batsman to score hundreds in four consecutive Test innings when he scored 100 not out against West Indies in the first of the three match home series at Wankhede. Severe cramps and dehydration forced Dravid to leave his inning midway soon after he completed his hundred as he retired hurt on 100 to get drips administered to himself. India won the test by innings and 112 runs. Dravid didn’t do too well in the remaining two tests ending with a modest series aggregate of 148 runs at an average of 49.33. Dravid did well in the subsequent bilateral 7-match ODI series. He topped Indian averages for the series scoring 300 runs at an average of 75 and a strike rate of 89.82 including one hundred and two fifties. He also effected 7 dismissals (6 catches, 1 stumping) – most by a wicketkeeper in the series. In the 4th ODI, West Indies set India an improbable target of 325 runs to win the match. Dravid scored a solid hundred and forged an unbeaten partnership with Bangar as India won the match by 5 wickets levelling the series 2-2. He once again scored an important fifty in the 6th match when India were down in the series 2-3, helping India win the match and level the series 3-3. India, however, lost the last match to lose the series 3-4.
India’s preparation for 2003 World Cup didn’t go as well as they’d have hoped for. Their last overseas tour before the World Cup turned out to be a disaster. Indians suffered a whitewash in the 2 match Test series in New Zealand and lost the ODI series 2-5. Although Dravid top scored for India in the Test series and was the 3rd best batsman for India in the ODIs, his performances were far from satisfactory.
2003 Cricket World Cup
He was appointed the vice-captain during 2003 World Cup, in which India reached the finals, playing as a wicket-keeper batsman to accommodate an additional batsman, a strategy that worked out well. Dravid was appointed the captain for the Indian team for 2007 World Cup, where India had an unsuccessful campaign.
In 2003-2004 season, Dravid scored three double centuries: one each against New Zealand, Australia and Pakistan. In the first innings of the second Test against Australia at Adelaide, India reached 85-4 in reply to Australia’s 556, when Dravid and Laxman made 303 for the fifth wicket. Laxman was dismissed for 148 and Dravid went on make 233, at that time the highest score by an Indian batsman outside India. He made 72 not out in the second innings, and India won. Dravid scored 619 runs in the four-match series against Australia with an average of 103.16, winning the man of the series award. During the later part of the season, in Ganguly’s absence, Dravid led India to its first test victory over Pakistan at their home in the first test match at Multan Cricket Stadium. At Rawalpindi, in the third and final match of the series, Dravid made 270 runs, helping India to win the series. During India’s unsuccessful tour of England in 2011, in which their 4-0 loss cost them the top rank in Test cricket, Dravid made three centuries.
2011 Tour of England
Having regained his form on the tour to West Indies, where he scored a match-winning hundred in Sabina park, Jamaica, Dravid then toured England in what was billed as the series which would decide the World No. 1 ranking in tests. It would later be hailed as one of his greatest series performances by experts. In the first test at Lord’s, in reply to England’s 474, Dravid scored an unbeaten 103, his first hundred at the ground where he debuted in 1996. He received scant support from his teammates as India were bowled out for 286 and lost the test. The 2nd test at Trentbridge, Nottingham again saw Dravid in brilliant form. Sent out to open the batting in place of an injured Gautam Gambhir, he scored his second successive hundred. His 117 though, again came in a losing cause, as a collapse of 6 wickets for 21 runs in the first innings led to a massive defeat by 319 runs. Dravid failed in both innings in the third test at Birmingham, as India lost by an innings and 242 runs, one of the heaviest defeats in their history. However, he came back brilliantly in the fourth and final match at The Oval. Again opening the batting in place of Gambhir, he scored an unbeaten 146 out of India’s total of 300, carrying his bat through the innings. Once again, though, his efforts were in vain as India lost the match, completing a 0-4 whitewash. In all, he scored 461 runs in the four matches at an average of 76.83 with three hundreds. He accounted for over 26% of India’s runs in the series and was named India’s man of the series by England coach Andy Flower. His performance in the series was met with widespread admiration and was hailed by some as one of his finest ever series
Rahul Dravid was dropped from the ODI team in 2009, but was selected again for an ODI series in England in 2011, surprising even Dravid himself since, although he had not officially retired from ODI cricket, he had not expected to be recalled. After being selected, he announced that he would retire from ODI cricket after the series. He played his last ODI innings against England at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, on 16 September 2011, scoring 69 runs from 79 balls before being bowled by Graeme Swann. His last limited-overs international match was his debut T20I match; he announced his retirement before playing his first T20I match.
Dravid announced his retirement from Test and domestic cricket on 9 March 2012, after the 2011-12 tour of Australia, but he said that he would captain the Rajasthan Royals in the 2012 Indian Premier League. He was the second-highest run scorer and had taken the highest number of catches in Test cricket at the time of his retirement.
|RS Dravid’s record in Twenty20 matches|
Rahul Dravid played for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2008, 2009 and 2010. Later he played for Rajasthan Royals and led it to finals of Champions League T20 in 2013, and play-offs of Indian Premier League in 2013. Dravid announced retirement from Twenty20 after playing the 2013 Champions League Twenty20 in Sept.-Oct 2013.
Dravid is known for his technique, and had been one of the best batsmen for the Indian cricket team. In the beginning, he was known as a defensive batsman who should be confined to Test cricket, and was dropped from the ODI squad due to a low strike rate. However, in a period of his career, he began consistently scoring runs in ODIs as well, earning him the ICC Player of the year award. His nickname of ‘The Wall’ in Reebok advertisements is now used as his nickname. Dravid has scored 36 centuries in Test cricket at an average of 53.19; this included five double centuries. In one-dayers, he has an average of 39.49, and a strike rate of 71.22. He is one of the few Indians whose Test average is better at away than at home, averaging almost five runs more in foreign pitches. As of 23 September 2010, Dravid’s Test average in abroad is 55.53, and his Test average at home is 50.76; his ODI average abroad is 37.93 and his ODI average at home is 43.11. Taking those matches in consideration that were won by India, Dravid averages 66.34 runs in Tests and 50.69 runs in ODIs.
Dravid’s sole Test wicket was of Ridley Jacobs in the fourth Test match against the West Indies during the 2001-2002 series. While he has no pretensions to being a bowler, Dravid often kept wicket for India in ODIs. Dravid is now a specialist batsman, averaging 63.51 in matches played since 1 January 2000.
Dravid was involved in two of the largest partnerships in ODIs: a 318-run partnership with Sourav Ganguly, the first pair to combine for a 300-run partnership, and then a 331-run partnership with Sachin Tendulkar, which is a world record. He also holds the record for the greatest number of innings played since debut before being dismissed for a duck. His highest scores in ODIs and Tests are 153 and 270 respectively. Each of his five double centuries in Tests was a higher score than his previous double century (200*, 217, 222, 233, 270).
Also, Dravid is the current world record holder for the highest percentage of runs scored in matches won under a single captain, where the captain has won more than 20 Tests. In the 21 Test matches India won under Ganguly’s captaincy, Dravid scored at a record average of 102.84 runs; scoring 2571 runs, with nine hundreds, three of them being double-centuries, and ten fifties in 32 innings. He contributed nearly 23% of the total runs scored by India in those 21 matches, which is almost one run out of every four runs the team scored.
He was named one of the Wisden cricketers of the year in 2000. Though primarily a defensive batsman, Dravid scored 50 runs not out in 22 balls (a strike rate of 227.27) against New Zealand in Hyderabad on 15 November 2003, the second fastest 50 among Indian batsmen. Only Ajit Agarkar‘s 67 runs of 21 balls is faster than that of Dravid.
In 2004, Dravid was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India. On 7 September 2004, he was awarded the inaugural Player of the year award and the Test player of the year award by the International Cricket Council (ICC). On 18 March 2006, Dravid played his 100th Test against England in Mumbai.
In 2008, he made 93 runs in the first innings of the Perth test, the highest score of the match, to help India win and make the series 1-2. However, he was ignored by selectors for the subsequent one-day tri-series.
After a barren run in Test matches in 2008, Dravid came under increasing media pressure to retire or be dropped. In the Second Test against England in Mohali, he scored 136 runs, putting on a triple-century stand with Gautam Gambhir.
After reaching 10,000 test runs milestone, he said,”It’s a proud moment for sure. For me, growing up, I dreamt of playing for India. When I look back, I probably exceeded my expectations with what I have done over the last 10 to 12 years. I never had an ambition to do it because I never believed – it is just a reflection of my longevity in the game.”
Dravid is also one of the two batsmen to score 10,000 runs at a single batting position and is the fourth highest run scorer in Test Cricket, behind Tendulkar, Ponting and Kallis.
In January 2004, Dravid was found guilty of ball tampering during an ODI with Zimbabwe. Match referee Clive Lloyd adjudged the application of an energy sweet to the ball as a deliberate offence, although Dravid himself denied this was his intent. Lloyd emphasised that television footage caught Dravid putting a lozenge on the ball during the Zimbabwean innings on Tuesday night at the Gabba. 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 match fee.
Indian coach John Wright came out in defence of Dravid, stating that “It was an innocent mistake”. Wright argued that Dravid had been trying to apply saliva to the ball when parts of a losenge he had been chewing stuck to the ball; Dravid then tried to wipe it off. ICC regulations prevented Dravid from commenting about the issue, but former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly also stated that Dravid’s act was “just an accident”.
Rahul Dravid has had a mixed record when leading India in Tests.
One of Dravid’s most debated decisions was taken in March 2004, when he was standing in as the captain for injured Sourav Ganguly. India’s first innings was declared at a point when Sachin Tendulkar was at 194 runs not out with 16 overs remaining on Day 2.In this test match Sehwag scored triple century first time. He became the first Indian to score triple century in test with a score of 309.
In March 2006, India lost the Mumbai Test, giving England its first Test victory in India since 1985, enabling it to draw the series 1-1. The defeat in Mumbai was arguably the result of Dravid’s decision to bowl first on a flat dry pitch, which later deteriorated and ended with an Indian collapse in the run chase. Coincidentally, it was Dravid’s 100th test match in which the Indians were all out for 100 runs in the second innings.
After India failed to qualify for the final of the DLF Cup, Dravid, the skipper, was criticised by former all-rounder Ravi Shastri who said that he was not assertive enough and let Greg Chappell make too many decisions. When asked for a response, Dravid said that Shastri, while a ‘fair critic’, was ‘not privy’ to the internal decision-making process of the team.
He was criticised by Vijay Mallya for not picking the team with right balance after his then IPL team Royal Challengers Bangalore finished seventh out of the eight teams that participated in the 2008 season.
|Table: Results by opposition in Tests|
One Day Internationals
|Table: Results by opposition in ODIs|
Rahul dravid century in result for India:
Two biographies have been written on Rahul Dravid and his career:
- Rahul Dravid – A Biography written by Vedam Jaishankar (ISBN 978-81-7476-481-2). Publisher: UBSPD Publications. Date: January 2004
- The Nice Guy Who Finished First written by Devendra Prabhudesai. Publisher: Rupa Publications. Date: November 2005
A collection of articles, testimonials and interviews related to Dravid was released by ESPNcricinfo following his retirement. The book was titled Rahul Dravid: Timeless Steel.
- Reebok: 1996 – present
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