Some batsmen are known for runs, mighty runs. Others are known for striking big, daddy hundreds.
Some are noted as match-winning captains.
Others are known for staring mightily at the face of overwhelming odds.
Rahul Dravid- 13288 runs, 36 Test hundreds, a batting average in the upper echelons of 50- did all of the above with the keenness of a tireless learner. And he continued to persevere until his final international appearance.
Perhaps in the Dravid ‘book of conduct’ persevering mattered more than anything else.
Not a player who batted for collecting individual heroics, Dravid is credited for establishing the DNA of a true sportsman, one of a model decorum- sincere, committed and, gifted with a ‘never say die’ streak.
But perhaps, continuing to fight it out in the middle echoed Dravid’s true essence as a cricketer more than his magnificent 48000 runs in international cricket, an onerous record he scaled batting for 16 long years and facing 31,258 deliveries in Test cricket.
The Wall enters the ICC Hall of Fame
Therefore, there’s little surprise that Cricket’s Mr Dependable has been inducted into the revered ICC Hall of fame.
It’s an act so wise and just that it seems the ICC have awarded themselves by accepting Dravid in a bracket of what can be called Cricket’s league of extraordinary gentlemen.
Famously known as “The Wall” for his impregnable defence and for wielding monk-like powers of concentration, Rahul Dravid might have retired a few cricketing seasons ago, but his impact continues to be felt on the cricketing turf even today.
Few cricketers have experienced such majestic albeit gentlemanly transformations as Dravid, who went from being retired batting great to being a useful mentor of rising young talents.
Regarded universally by contemporaries and compatriots alike
Perhaps, it may not be a misnomer to suggest that it’s Rahul Dravid who collectively forms the plank of the rising Under-19 stars from India, having guided the likes of Prithvi Shaw, Shubhman Gill, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and others to their maiden triumph in the 2018 World Cup.
Pujara and Rahane, who’ve shared the Test green room with him on a few occasions have been inspired by him. The greats like Lara, Kallis, Hussey and, Tendulkar have hailed Dravid’s contribution to Indian cricket.
The likes of Kevin Pietersen have credited Dravid for improving their craft, especially against spin. Even the Scottish cricket team have thanked Dravid for extending valuable advice to the rising cricketing force.
The Bangalore-batsman enjoyed the rare distinction of being admired by his teammates whilst being lauded by his opponents.
You didn’t sledge Rahul Dravid.
You merely threw verbals at a rock-solid wall unwilling to move from the crease.
Dravid, inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame alongside Claire Taylor and his famous contemporary Ricky Ponting, has become only the fifth Indian to be inducted into its prestigious list.
To many cricketing fans, a peculiar shock is to find Sachin Tendulkar missing out from the coveted establishment that has a legion of modern-day greats including Brian Lara, Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble, Sir Sunny Gavaskar, and now, of course, Dravid.
But it could be said, Dravid’s latest peak would move even timeless greats like Sachin in pure admiration.