Rahul Dravid announced his retirement today. It was a no-nonsense and simple statement that has ended his fantastic career. Much like the way he batted in the middle.
Rahul Dravid has often been over shadowed by more flamboyant players throughout his career. He scored a technically superb 95 on debut in England, but that innings was overshadowed by Saurav Ganguly’s debut century. The same thing happened almost all through his career. He was over shadowed by the towering records of Sachin Tendulkar or the stylish VVS Laxman.
But the simple truth is Rahul Dravid was not just a very good batsman but the single consistent reason why India started winning test matches outside India.
He played a 164 tests and scored 13,288 runs. That is the second most runs scored by a cricketer in the world. He averaged a fantastic 52.31. But that is a incomplete story of his real impact on India cricket.
A lot of experts say that India’s most glorious run in test cricket was when Ganguly was the captain. When Ganguly was the captain, Dravid scored 4912 runs at an incredible average of 73.31. In the 21 tests which India won under Ganguly, Dravid averaged an even more incredible 102.84.
As a captain not a lot of people gave Dravid much importance. But he did lead as captain to India winning a test series in West Indies and also England and is the only Indian captain to win in both these countries.
The famous venues that India won test matches abroad over the last decade are Leeds, Rawalpindi, Kingston, Adelaide, Perth. All of these matches featured a high scoring innings by Dravid.
If India was touring abroad and winning, it was only because a certain Rahul Dravid had scored runs. He has an average of 69.48 runs in the 24 matches India won aboard.
It is no surprise that the last overseas victory India had in Sabina Park against West Indies, also featured a match winning century by Dravid.
‘The Wall’ might have called it a day and retired but he certainly won’t ever be forgotten.