When Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, stroke player VVS Laxman and aggressive batter Sourav Ganguly failed to stay at the wicket, there was only one man who stood in the crease like a wall and took control of the match for a win. This frequent practice earned him the title - 'Great Wall of India', and his name is Rahul Dravid.
Mr Dependable, as he is famously referred to, had played and aced each and every shot present in the cricket book. Some of his favourite shots are - orthodox pull, hook, wristy flick, classic cover drives, stroke play, etc. It was an absolute delight to watch the former No 3 Test batsman send the ball hurtling towards the boundary rope during his playing days. Rahul Dravid had a fantastic cricketing year in 2004 as he blasted a ton against every Test-playing nation in the year.
The 'Great Wall of India' was born on January 11, 1973. He is celebrating his 44th birthday today and the entire cricket fraternity took to social media to wish this thorough gentleman the game has ever seen. On this occasion, let's memorise some of his great on and off-field achievements.
The Karnataka player made his ODI debut on April 3, 1996, against Sri Lanka at Singapore. He had played 344 limited-overs games and scored 10,889 runs, including 12 centuries and 83 half-centuries. His career's best score of 153 came against New Zealand.
Two months after his ODI entrance, Rahul forayed into the longest format and made his debut on June 20, 1996, against England at Lord's cricket ground. At the age of 22, he started his cricket career and showed a lot of maturity and confidence in his batting. Rahul Dravid scored 95 runs in his debut Test. On the same day, his teammate and the Prince of Kolkata, Sourav Ganguly too made his Test debut.
The former mainstay of Indian cricket played 164 Test matches and scored 13,288 runs, including 36 tons and 63 half-tons. He registered an average of around 50 in Test cricket which shows his stamina and strength as a batsman. Dravid loved to stay in front of the wickets for long durations and has tested the patience of many world class bowlers.
Some of his amazing knocks include - 270 against Pakistan at Rawalpindi in 2004, a superb match-winning knock of 180 and a record 376 partnership with VVS Laxman (281) in 2001 at the Eden Gardens, a classic innings of 217 against the cricket-born country (England) in 2003 at the Oval and an extraordinary innings of 233 against the Aussies in 2003 at the Adelaide.
Rahul Sharad Dravid (24,177) scored 10,000 runs in both Tests and ODIs. Overall, he was placed 6th in the elite list of players to score the most number of runs across all formats (Tests & ODIs only) of the game (combined runs). Only Jacques Kallis (24,868), Mahela Jayawardene (24,464), Kumar Sangakkara (26,634), Ricky Ponting (27,082) and Sachin Tendulkar (34,347) are ahead of Dravid on the list.
Apart from his batting, 'Jammy' is a superb fielder. He took 210 catches (in 164 Tests) in his Test career, the highest ever in the history of Test cricket.
The Indian Government bestowed Rahul Dravid with the 'Arjuna Award' in 1998, 'Padma Shri' in 2004 and 'Padma Bhushan' in 2013. He also achieved 'Wisden Cricketer of the Year' in 2000, 'ICC Cricketer of the Year' (the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy) and 'Test Cricketer of the Year' in 2004.
The 44-year-old hanged his boots on March 9, 2012, and played his last Test match against Australia, at the Adelaide Oval in January 2012.
EeYuva Wishes the current coach of India U-19 team, Rahul Dravid a Very Happy Birthday and Wonderful days ahead.