Rahul Sharad Dravid is undoubtedly a gem of Indian cricket. In simple words one of the best to have ever played the game. He is known for his technique, class and obviously his behavior on and off the field. Many greats of the game and even the experts have believed that his quality and class was overshadowed by that of Sachin Tendulkar. Many find him unlucky to have played in Tendulkar’s era due to which much of his contributions perhaps did not get much credit.
Despite everything Rahul Sharad Dravid was amongst the best batsman of all time. Any surface, any team or any situation this man was always equal to the task and he always stood up for his team more often than not.
Let’s have a look at 5 of his many brilliant innings which define the legacy of The Wall:
180 vs Australia in Kolkata (2001)
The innings which is not only one of Dravid’s best but perhaps one of the best Innings in the history of Indian cricket. Many might believe that this innings was overshadowed by the brilliance of VVS Laxman but it deserves all the appreciation make no mistake. More than being the Man of stats, Rahul Dravid has been Man of situations and circumstances. India sat on the verge of losing the home series against the Aussies after having lost the first test. VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid took the attack to the opposition, batted for almost two days and turned the tables in India’s favor. The Indian team not only stopped the winning streak of Australia 16 matches in a row and also became 3rd team to achieve this feat of winning a match after the follow-on was enforced by the most dominating sides of world cricket in those years.
233 vs Australia Adelaide (2003)
Another masterpiece by Mr. Dependable and this time it was in Australia’s own backyard. The scenarios were the same like the Kolkata Test. India team was struggling to avoid follow on at 85/4 in the 1st innings then came Rahul Dravid and put them back into the driver seat with all time best consodalited knock of 233 in the 1st innings against the best pace attack of that time. After posting 556 in the first innings it was a surprise for the Aussies to believe how they lost the match after that huge score. Repeating the heroics of Kolkata Laxman and Dravid set 303 partnership with their clinical cover drives, pull shots and late cuts it was certainly a treat to watch and it was Rahul Dravid who fittingly hit the winning runs.
148 vs South Africa Johannesburg (1997)
Scoring a century in South Africa really takes some doing. In only his career’s second tour Rahul Dravid managed to reach double figures against the proteas in their own territory. After missing out on his first century in Lords against England he looked pretty determined to go one step ahead and score his first test century against south Africa on 3rd test match. Rahul Dravid scored runs against their pacers like Allan Donald and Shaun Pollock at their prime and made them change their line and lengths from the start with his cover drives and classical pull shots. That knock had given a clear indication of what was to come in the following years of his cricket career.
270 vs Pakistan, Rawalpindi (2004)
India’s tour of Pakistan in 2004 is one of India’s most successful tours winning both ODI and test series. This series is popular for Virender Sehwag’s triple ton in Multan. But Rahul Dravid’s inning of 270 deserves its due credit. The Test series was hanging in balance with India and Pakistan winning one test each. Pakistan scored 224 runs in the first innings, India in reply compiled a mountain of runs scoring 600 runs and handling an innings defeat to the neighbours.
81 and 68 vs West Indies, Jamaica (2006)
The final test and the series after which defined why Rahul Dravid is called “The wall” of Indian cricket. It was Rahul Dravid all the way in Jamaica in both the innings when every other batsman were humiliated by West Indies pacers. The wickets were falling like pack of cards at the other hand but it was Dravid who stood tall and determined and stunned the audience with his solid front foot defense and those cover drives, Pull shots and the ball meeting the center of his bat. The Jamaica pitch was a delight for bowlers as India team was bowled out at 200 in the first innings with only high scorer Rahul Dravid 81 but it was the second Innings when he was on the top of his game scoring 68 and set the target of 269 for the hosts. Indian bowlers ensured that Rahul Dravid’s effort didn’t go in vain and India won their first test series in 35 years.