Where you do place Rahul Dravid in the pantheon of greats from India?
Surely, there’s a view that pegs him below Tendulkar but ahead of Sehwag, Yuvraj, and maybe, Saurov. Then there’s a view that defines him in terms of all that he brought to the crease, for the man he was. It then, for instance, speaks of exceptionally high standards of slip-fielding, his decent captaincy record, and his ability to steer his team ahead of troubled waters, a quintessential Dravid role.
In that light, Rahul Dravid is hailed as the Wall
Some call him Mr. Dependable, which any day, sounds apter and profoundly indicative of the man he was; someone who put his team before him, someone who hardly ever played for his own records, and someone for whom victory was earned when he’d play his part for the team.
Maybe it’s this aspect of Rahul Dravid that perhaps justifies the case for his inclusion into the ICC Hall of fame, a coveted list to which only a few great men belong.
Tendulkar fans, whether or not, Dravid critics, may find it a bit humbling to realize that even before the Little Master would be inducted into a Cricketing equivalent of a very Hollywood-like league of extraordinary gentlemen, Dravid’s been stationed there, a bit like a Field Marshal revisiting a battleground where he once famously won a do or die encounter.
Say, something like the great Erwin Rommel revisiting contemporary Germany and being a witness to so many who respect him despite being part of an era where Nazi tyranny dictated Europe.
That Rahul Dravid’s feat- 36 Test hundreds, 13228 runs, being the first man to hit a century in all Test-playing nations, over 10,000 ODI runs- aren’t merely a reason for Indian pride for something that world cricket takes pride in is evident with his inclusion into a checkered league.
On top of that, there’s a lesson behind Rahul Dravid’s inclusion into the ICC Hall of Fame.
Here’s why Dravid’s salutation must be celebrated?
If you are a youngster, someone keenly anticipating a breakthrough into the team but failing each time when a call-up is announced, then Dravid’s key teaching- Patient has its reward- will not disappoint you and will motivate you to fight.
But at the same time, Dravid- who was once touted as being too slow for ODIs, never mind then that the fastest fifty in the format came through his blade; 22 balls- will also compel you to work hard and never give up.
There’s a lesson in pretty much everything that Rahul Dravid the batsman, India’s savior, an able Test anchor, a defiant force often immobile against bowlers- brought to the crease.
That Cricket realized its true meaning- a gentleman’s game- given how Dravid conducted himself regardless of his opposition, applied himself to the greater glory of his team and, decided to fight often alone when the chips were down bears testimony to the fact that nice guys don’t actually finish last.
Then when other stalwarts highlight ‘The Wall’s’ impact by suggesting if there was a batsman on whom they’d place a bet to bat for their life, it would be none other than Dravid, only makes his presence stronger among a firmament of greats.
It’s like finding Clint Eastwood as a torchbearer of hope amid ruins in “Where Eagles Dare!”
In becoming the fifth-ever Indian to be inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame, a list that includes greats like Lara, Murali, Warne, Gavaskar, Kapil Dev among others also speaks well of the fact that one needn’t be a theatrical cricketer, a user of verbatim or shenanigans to ultimately stand among the other greats of the sport and that mere humility and simplicity and glorify one’s cricketing output.
For all this and more, we’ve now got among ourselves a new reason to tip our hat to the Great Wall of Indian Cricket. Rahul Dravid, take a bow, sir!