RAHUL SHARAD DRAVID – THE WALL

 
The timing of his retirement from all forms of the game and what happened thereafter sums up his whole career. There’s just one word for it – OVERSHADOWED.  Right from the time DRAVID made his test debut he’s been overshadowed by his equally illustrious team mates. If SACHIN showed us how to win it was DRAVID who gave us our most famous wins abroad.
There are people who found his batting boring. But his team mates found it reassuring. He’s one of those rare breed of old school cricketers who believed in grinding it out. He never played to the gallery but was always effective. He was the partner in crime in most of India’s famous partnerships in the past decade. He was India’s go to man – the MR DEPENDABLE. But what sets him apart from the rest of the pack. There’s one thing people tend to conveniently forget he was the one who scripted India’s famous test match wins abroad and believe me it’s no mean feat considering the fact we were TIGERS at home. The test win outside the subcontinent remained elusive until DRAVID came into the picture.
I still remember LEEDS 2002. If you look at the scoreboard now it says DRAVID 148, SACHIN 193 and GANGULY 128. But it was Dravid who did the tough part of playing out the first morning along with Sanjay Bangar making it easier for those to follow. That was his role – to bat out the tough periods. It was a role which he relished.
For someone who started out as a test match batsman it was quite admirable that he adapted himself to the limited overs format as well.  There’s one more thing people tend to conveniently overlook. He was an able leader standing by GANGULY when the need arose. To me he will always be the best NO 3 batsman.
People who criticize his style of batting always remember – “Even the GOD OF CRICKET needed the WALL to shield him”.
Two legendary cricketers bit adieu. But as always THE SHOW MUST GO ON without its two famous leads for no individual is bigger than the game. 
MY FAV : Shoaib Akthar steaming in and Dravid answering him with a mere defensive prod. The smile on Akthar’s face said it all.
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