Rahul Dravid: The Great Wall of India

Prthvir SolankiCorrespondent IMarch 18, 2009

Rahul Dravid has experienced all the highs and lows of cricket, just like any other great in the game. The problem is he is facing the lows at the twilight of his glorious career.

His mastery has been overshadowed by that of Sachin Tendulkar throughout his life but his name is still mentioned in the same breath as Lara, Border, and Richards.

When you begin your career with a score in the nineties, you are destined for greatness.

But once again, The Wall, as we call him, was overshadowed thanks to another debutant, who would go on to become on of the best captains ever, Sourav Ganguly.

Dravid has almost gone through his enitre career unnoticed. Imagine if there was no Sachin or Ganguly, Dravid would have been considered THE best in the world. His absolutely correct technique has left the best of bowlers stranded for answers.

He has hit 26 test hundreds. Out of those 26, five are double hundreds, which is the joint highest for an Indian along with Virender Sehwag.

He has an amazing distinction of scoring four centuries in a row. And to top it all, he has more than 10,000 runs in his kitty and is also considered to be the greatest ever number three batsman after Don Bradman.

He is without any doubt one of the greatest Test batsman ever and comparable even to the Don because of his fluent stroke play.

His ODI career has been superb too, for someone type-cast as incapable of playing in this format of the game, and with just 40 sixers in 333 ODI's!

An excellent average of about forty, one of the few players to have scored over ten thousand runs and has the third highest number of fifties (83; and he also has the 4th highest number of 50+ scores which include 100+ socres as well) after Inzamam-Ul-Haq and Sachin Tendulkar.

The reason I write this article is that people are starting to think Dravid is in the team just so that it is possible to field eleven players while playing.

I was talking to my friends about the Indo-NZ test series and said that Dravid will be a very important member for India. They laughed for the next ten minutes and I was looking around for someone who must have done something funny. Then I realised they were laughing at me for even suggesting Dravid could do something to help India win.

I have not seen Dravid smile for the last one year. He has been criticised from all directions for losing form. Losing form!! If you don't lose form, you are not human.

But that is why people started criticising him I guess. He just was not human for the first 8-10 years of his career.