The Wall Could Never Be Broken
Rahul Dravid may not be the batsman to see whom crowds would flock or not the batsman who hurried the scorers. But he was more like the batsman who you would have if you wanted someone to bat for your life.
With a temperament like a saint who lets go of little worries & joys that are faced by the common man, Rahul Dravid would let go of anything pitched outside off stump. The Life and career of Rahul Dravid has attracted plenty writers & a short article can never do justice to this man.
So rather than covering his entire career let’s just remember the series that very much defined the man. Rahul Dravid had a limited fan-base pre-2011 England tour but it was this series turned out to be the ‘miracle’ that made million Indian fans see him in a different light altogether.
India’s tour to England 2011 was seen as the battle for the Test supremacy. Both teams studded with superstars were expected to have a showdown that captivated Test cricket fans. In reality, it turned out to be more like an amateur boxer facing Mike Tyson.
India got punched and punched hard. There were embarrassing injuries and there were countless failures. Out of four, two losses were inflicted by an innings and more. In the roaster that failed, only one man stood with his head high & that was Rahul Dravid.
Rahul Dravid scored 461 runs in four Tests with three centuries at an average of 76.83. Next best in the list for India was the great Sachin Tendulkar who scored 273 runs at an average of 34.12 with no centuries and two half-centuries.
Dravid’s finest act occurred in the last Test at The Oval. England batted first and scored a mountain of 591 runs. In absence of the regular opener Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid opened the innings for India.
In playing one of the most defiant knocks seen, Dravid stood at one end, watching his teammates fall one by one in front of his eyes. The innings told the story of the series better than any other medium, Rahul Dravid standing not out 146 at one end while Team India hobbled to 300 all out.
There was no respite though as Dravid had to come out straight away and again open the innings for India as England enforced the follow-on. This time he did not wish the same fate and he was the first batsman to get out.
The Man of the series for India was undoubtedly was Rahul Dravid. The series was aptly defined as “England versus Dravid”. For India, he was ‘The Wall’ who faced the fury of relentless foreign attack and stood tall defending the nation’s pride.