Long before cricketing discussion often oscillated between the need to revive Test Cricket and the dominant newsmakers regarded as the “Fab Four,” even before T20 cricket became a craze, which today one can’t imagine the sport without and way before Cricket even entertained the idea of a T-10 league, there was Dravid.
Long before sledging became a recurring practice with the mic stump habitually capturing things you would advise your youngsters against, at a time where Cricket needed gentle forces to uphold the dignity of the contest, there was Rahul Dravid.
It almost seemed his arrival silently disciplined others competing with and against him; for such was his respect.
He wasn’t merely a capable batsman or a scorer of several runs across formats. He was the monk and batting his meditative process. He was the quiet samurai who epitomized a practice often under-valued in cricket: that defense is the best form of attack.
Perhaps today when you want to desperately evade fast-bowlers who unfurl nightmares you won’t wish your worst enemies to face, you regard this Dravid philosophy; of batting with commitment, as if your life rested on it.
Few batsmen have made runs in the large numbers that Dravid collected in a 16-year journey at the top annals. But even fewer have collected something more important than records; respect from peers and regard particularly from the opposite camp.
Rahul Dravid was a Spartan force for India that most bowlers dreaded running into for he would often become this Wall- akin to the legendary sobriquet that’s stuck by- fast bowlers would crash into. Ask Donald, Ambrose or Shoaib! and do you know the batsman has a record of facing the highest deliveries?
Classic copybook technique, an elegant batting style, that perfectly-executed forward defense- a standard Dravidian practice that stood out- and great levels of fitness allowed one of India’s favorite sons to bat long in a career from which he’d ultimately collect nearly 25,000 international runs, 48 hundred, including 36 in Cricket’s most obdurate format.
But if you were to think of it and wished to dabble with slight philosophizing, you’d contend that Dravid is more than a batsman or a hero. He’s an emotion. He is intent.
About persisting, about never saying die, about being the hero who doesn’t mind a lack of recognition, but someone whose hallmark quality is saving the day when others have failed around him, about being the rescuer when one is urgently needed. About inspiring hope when it seems all is lost.
As the Wall stands and turns 47, let’s look at 5 Rahul Dravid Records that glorify the often unsung hero of cricket!
Most Runs By A Test Number 3
For a batsman whose dismissal was often awaited and even cheered- believed it or not- at times, for his departure meant the arrival of Sachin Tendulkar onto the crease (Test match cricket), it doesn’t seem bad at all that Dravid produced over 10,000 runs from the key number 3 slot.
Among the 5 Rahul Dravid records that’ll stand the test of time is this phenomenal achievement that both marks his temperament and the ability to score prolifically from a position where it’s often about absorbing pressure and taking the game away from the opposition’s hands.
The First Man To Score Centuries In All Test-Playing Nations
For any batsman, scoring a Test century is special, scoring consecutive hundreds indicate something big, and scoring hundreds against tough teams is something incredible.
But to score a hundred in every Test-playing nation signifies something outstanding; a feat most batsmen would die for.
Just that for Rahul Dravid, it was one of the records in a glittery career where he entertained as much as he inspired.
Among the 5 Rahul Dravid records that will stand the test of time was the right-hander’s stellar feat: that of becoming the first man to score a century in every Test-playing nation.
That other can also equal the feat is unquestionable but that Dravid was the first to scale the peak will inspire generations to come.
Most Deliveries Faced By A Batsman In Test Cricket
Steve Waugh once famously remarked, “Try to get him out in the first fifteen minutes. If you can’t, then focus on getting the rest of the wickets.” Once set, the man regarded as Mr. Dependable by the international cricketing community was hard to dislodge from the crease.
And that seemed the main problem for bowlers. More often than not, Dravid remained firm building precious monuments of concentration at the crease.
Sir Ian Chappell once famously shared, “Team in trouble? Who do you turn to but Dravid!”
That, in essence, captures the aura of a man who played for the team and often batted when the chips were down. By the time he rested his bat, against the ‘wall,’ the “Wall” of Indian Cricket had faced over 31,000 deliveries in Cricket’s most testing format.
That Dravid batted for 31,258 deliveries, the most ever by a batsman in Test, is a testimony to the resolve of a cricketer who placed his team before him always.
Better Average Than Tendulkar In Tests India Won
A discussion in the firmament of international cricket that may perhaps always seem divisive (for fans) and may even remain ‘unresolvable’ would be the one concerning two great sons of Indian Cricket.
Dravid or Sachin: who was the better batsman? Forget runs, who was the bigger hero, the greater among the two legends?
While purists may cite the numbers as will the number-crunchers, the die-hard fan will overlook them in undeniable love for their respective hero.
But facts, at the end of the day, are facts- aren’t they?
And they seem to suggest that, at least, in the games that India won in Tests, Dravid at an average of 65.78 stands ahead of the great Sachin Tendulkar- 61.93
But above anything else, what Dravid must be remembered for is the fact that he’s to this day, among the few batsmen to have averaged over 50 in both India and overseas. i.e., at home and away contests.
Second-Fastest ODI Fifty For India
When he began his career, at a time where there was no Kohli, Williamson, Smith, Root and definitely no T20s either, his limited-overs prowess wasn’t rated that highly.
Many, in fact, suggested Dravid may not even go onto forge a successful limited-overs career. A famous incident suggests one of Dravid’s friends losing the plot when an onlooker suggested faults in Dravid’s batting, stating he could not become a successful ODI player ever, only for the man to calm down his friend, letting the criticism be.
That Dravid didn’t react to scathing comments and went on to score the second-fastest fifty in limited-overs cricket, the first being Ajit Agarkar speaks a word or two about the man’s infinite batting talent.
Dravid scored a magnificent 22-ball-50 during the TVS Cup against New Zealand in Hyderabad, a knock that featured blazing hits over the fence with the ball disappearing into the fence on more occasion than Styris, Cairns and company would ever want.
One of the 5 Rahul Dravid records that will answer his critics about the man they often doubted in the limited-overs game will inspire those who may struggle in the 50-over format despite possessing potential.
It means that through the sheer grind and love for the sport, one can overcome any difficulty as did Dravid, who ended up compiling in excess of 10,800 ODI runs.
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