Rahul Sharad Dravid.
The name itself raises heads.
The man, however, raises the spirits.
The journey began in 1996. The debutante fell short of a well-deserved ton. It didn’t matter. Rahul Dravid had arrived.
Cricket is a tough game, but it can't get tougher than it had been for Dravid. For years, India had no consistent openers, and it would never be long before Dravid went in to steady the batting.
It was always tough, but Dravid was tougher. Challenges only made him stronger.
Year after year, Rahul Dravid scored runs when it mattered. And when does it not matter? He scored runs at every ground and against every bowler for neither the bowler nor the pitch mattered to him.
He was solid. Rock solid. Innings by innings he had built a wall for Indian cricket. If a team wanted to beat India, it had to beat the wall first.
He has been instrumental in helping India win many tests, abroad and at home. He is India’s highest run getter in victorious matches and also averages the highest.
In the ODIs, the story is different. At the beginning, he was considered a liability to the team due to his poor scoring rate. He was criticized and dropped.
He worked harder, changed his way of batting and made his way back to the team and became a key player. He played the anchor if wickets fell early and attacked when the asking rate was high.
No one expected him to reach the 10,000 figure in the ODIs. He proved to the world that a test player can fit into any format of the game.
He had always been a team man. All through his career he had been sacrificing a lot. To keep wickets was a tough ask—but Dravid gave it his all. Dravid’s decision to declare when Sachin was on 194 did not go well with many. But he was only putting the team ahead of individuals.
In the last season, Rahul Dravid was facing a tougher a tougher obstacle—lack of Form. He was struggling all through the year. Everyone was pressing for his removal. It was a tough situation.
Dravid replied with a solid hundred against the English. He didn’t answer all the questions. In fact, he was out for a duck in the very next innings.
But Rahul Dravid is tough.
It's only going to get tougher. And Rahul Dravid , I am sure, will get going.