Born Jan 11, 1973 (45 years)
Birth Place Indore, Madhya Pradesh
Batting Style Right Handed
Bat Bowling Style Right-arm off break
Teams Royal Challengers Bangalore, ICC World XI, Asia XI, Scotland, India, Rajasthan Royals, Marylebone Cricket Club
Who’s the greatest batsman in the world?
Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara are the names that come to mind immediately. Ponting perhaps.
Dravid was born in a Marathi Deshastha Brahmin family. In Indore, Madhya Pradesh. His family later moved to Bangalore, Karnataka, where he was raised. His mother tongue is Marathi. Dravid’s father Sharad Dravid worked for a company that makes jams and preserves, giving rise to the later nickname Jammy. His mother, Pushpa, was a professor of Architecture at the University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering (UVCE), Bangalore. Dravid has a younger brother named Vijay. He did his schooling at St. Joseph’s Boys High School, Bangalore and earned a degree in commerce from St. Joseph’s College of Commerce, Bangalore. He was selected to India national cricket team while studying MBA in St Joseph’s College of Business Administration. He is fluent in several languages, Marathi, Kannada, English and Hindi.
Formative years and domestic career
Dravid started playing cricket at the age of 12, and represented Karnataka at the under-15, the under-17 and the under-19 levels. Former cricketer Keki Tarapore first noticed Dravid’s talent while coaching at a summer camp in the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Dravid scored a century for his school team. He also played as wicket-keeper.
Dravid made his Ranji Trophy debut in February 1991, while still attending college. Playing alongside future India teammates Anil Kumble and Java gal Srinath against Maharashtra in Pune, he scored 82 runs in the match, which ended in a draw. He followed it up with a century against Bengal and three successive centuries after. However, Dravid’s first full season was in 1991–92, when he scored two centuries and finished up with 380 runs at an average of 63.30, getting selected for the South Zone cricket team in the Duleep Trophy. Dravid’s caught the national team selectors’ eye with his good performances for India A in the home series against England an in 1994–95.
Dravid, who had been knocking at the doors of Indian national cricket team for quite a while with his consistent performance in domestic cricket, received his first national call in October 1994, for the last two matches of the Wills World Series. However, he could not break into the playing eleven. He went back to the domestic circuit and kept knocking harder. So much so, that when the selectors announced the Indian team for the 1996 World Cup sans Dravid, an Indian daily newspaper carried a headline – “Rahul Dravid gets a raw deal”. However, they could not ignore him any longer after the World Cup. Dravid made his international debut on 3 April 1996 in an ODI against Sri Lanka in the Singer Cup held in Singapore immediately after the 1996 World Cup, replacing Vinod Kambli. He wasn’t particularly impressive with the bat, scoring just three runs before being dismissed by Muttiah Muralitharan, but took two catches in the match. He followed it up with another failure in the next game scoring just four runs before getting run out against Pakistan.
In contrast to his ODI debut, his Test debut was rather successful one. Dravid was selected for the Indian squad touring England on the backdrop of a consistent performance in domestic cricket for five years. Fine performances in the tour games including fifties against Gloucestershire and Leicestershire failed to earn him a place in the team for the First Test. He finally made his Test debut at Lord’s on 20 June 1996 against England in the Second Test of the series at the expense of injured senior batsman Sanjay Manjrekar. Manjrekar, who was suffering from an ankle injury, was to undergo a fitness test on the morning of the Second Test. Dravid had already been informed that he would play if Manjrekar fails the test. As fate would have it, Manjrekar failed the fitness test. Ten minutes before the toss, Sandeep Patil, the then Indian coach, went up to Dravid to inform him that he was indeed going to make his debut that day. Patil recalled years later.
I told him he will be playing. His face lit up. I cannot forget that moment.
Coming in to bat at no. 7, he forged important partnerships, first with another debutante Sourav Ganguly and then with Indian lower order, securing a vital first innings lead for his team. Batting for more than six hours, he scored 95 runs before getting out to the bowling of Chris Lewis. Dravid was just five runs short of a landmark debut hundred when he nicked a Lewis delivery to the keeper and walked even before umpire’s decision. When asked about the walk, he quipped, “Everybody at the ground had heard the nick”. He also took his first catch in Test cricket in this match to dismiss Nasser Hussain off the bowling of Srinath. In the next tour game against British Universities, Dravid scored a hundred. He scored another fifty in the first innings of the Third Test. Dravid concluded a successful debut series with an impressive average of 62.33 from two Test matches.
I had played five years of first-class cricket to break into the Indian team … scored a lot of runs in domestic cricket … was lucky to get the opportunity … knew that probably it would be the only one. Otherwise I would have to go back to domestic cricket and start the cycle all over again … I remember when I was 50 not out at the end of the day … walking back to the hotel with Srinath and I knew somehow that this was probably a very significant innings. I knew I had some more breathing space … a few more Test matches at least … gave me a lot of confidence scoring 95 here and 80 at Trent Bridge … as a player and as a person.
Rahul Dravid, reflecting back on his Test debut 15 years later, during India tour of England, 2011.
(1996–98) — A tale of two formats
Dravid’s early years in international cricket mirrored his international debut. While he straightaway made a name for himself in Test cricket. He had to struggle quite a bit to make a mark in ODIs.
Success in Test cricket
After a successful Test debut in England, Dravid played in the one-off Test against Australia in Delhi – his first Test in India. Batting at no. 6, he scored 40 runs in the first innings. Dravid batted at no. 3 position for the first time in the First Test of the three-match home series against South Africa in Ahmedabad in November 1996. He didn’t do too well in the series scoring just 175 runs at an average of 29.16.
Two weeks later, India toured South Africa for a three–match Test series. Chasing a target of 395 runs in the First Test, Indian team bundled out meekly for 66 runs on the Durban pitch that provided excessive bounce and seam movement. Dravid, batting at no. 6, was the only Indian batsman who reached double figures in the innings scoring 27 not out. He was promoted to the no. 3 slot again in the second innings of the Second Test however, it was his breakthrough performance in the Third Test that secured his position as India’s quintessential no. 3 batsman. He almost won the match for India with his maiden test hundred in the first innings scoring 148 runs and another 81 runs in the second innings at Wanderers before the thunderstorms, dim light and Cullinan’s hundred saved the day for South Africa enabling them to draw the match. Dravid’s performance in this Test earned him his first Man of the Match award in Test cricket. He top scored for India in the series with 277 runs at an average of 55.40.
Dravid carried his good form from South Africa to the West Indies where he once again top scored for India in the five–match Test series that India lost 0–1. He scored 360 runs at an average of 72.00 including four fifties. 92 runs scored in the first innings of the fifth match in Georgetown earned him a joint Man of the Match award along with Shivnarine Chanderpaul. With this series, Dravid concluded a successful 1996/97 Test season, topping the international runs chart with 852 runs from 12 matches at an average of 50.11 with six fifties and one hundred.
Dravid continued his good run in the following season scoring seven fifties in eight Tests that included fifties in six consecutive innings (three each against Sri Lanka and Australia), becoming only the second Indian to do so after Gundappa Vishwanath. By the end of 1997/98 Test season, he had scored 15 fifties in 22 Tests which included four scores of nineties but just a solitary hundred.
The century drought came to an end in the ensuing season when he further raised the bar of his performance scoring 752 runs in seven Tests at an average of 62.66 that included four hundreds and one fifty and in the process topping the runs chart for India for the 1998/99 Test season. The first of those four hundreds came on the Zimbabwe tour. Dravid top scored in both the innings against Zimbabwe scoring 118 and 44 runs respectively however, India lost the one-off Test.
The Zimbabwe tour was followed by a tour to New Zealand. First Test having been abandoned without a ball being bowled, the series started for Dravid with the first duck of his Test career in the first innings of the Second Test and ended with hundreds in both the innings of the Third Test in Hamilton. He scored 190 and 103 not out in the first and the second innings respectively, becoming only the third Indian batsman, after Vijay Hazare and Sunil Gavaskar, to score a century in both innings of a Test match. Dravid topped the runs table for the series with 321 runs from two matches at an average of 107.00 but could not prevent India from losing the series 0–1.
Later that month, India played a two Test home series against Pakistan. Dravid didn’t contribute much with the bat. India lost the First Test but won the Second Test in Delhi riding on Kumble’s historic 10-wicket haul. Dravid played his part in the 10-wicket haul by taking a catch to dismiss Mushtaq Ahmed who was Kumble’s eighth victim of the innings. The Indo-Pak Test series was followed by the 1998–99 Asian Test Championship. Dravid couldn’t do much with the bat as India went on to lose the riot-affected First Test of the championship against Pakistan at the Eden Gardens. India went to Sri Lanka to play the Second Test of the championship. Dravid scored his fourth hundreds of the season at Colombo in the first innings of the match. He also effected a brilliant run out of Russel Arnold during Sri Lankan innings fielding at short leg. On the fourth morning, Dravid got injured while fielding at the same position when the ball from Jayewardene’s pull shot hit him below his left eye through the helmet grill. He didn’t come out to bat in the second innings due to the injury. The match ended in a draw as India failed to qualify for the Finals of the championship.
Struggle in ODIs
In a stark contrast to his Test career, Dravid had to struggle a lot to make a mark in the ODIs. Between his ODI debut in April 1996 and the end of 1998 calendar year, Dravid regularly found himself in and out of the ODI team .Despite his initial struggle in ODIs, there were quite a few highlights as well. Dravid tasted first success of his ODI career in the 1996 ‘Friendship’ Cup against Pakistan in the tough conditions of Toronto. He emerged as the highest scorer of the series with 220 runs in five matches at an average of 44.00 and a strike rate of 68.53. He won his first ODI Man of the Match award for the 46 runs scored in the low scoring third game of the series. He top scored for India in the Standard Bank International One-Day Series 1996/97 in South Africa with 280 runs from eight games at an average of 35.00 and a strike rate of 60.73, the highlight being a Man of the Match award-winning performance (84 runs, one catch) in the Final of the series that came in a losing cause. He was the second highest run scorer for India in the four-match bilateral ODI series in the West Indies in 1996/97 with 121 runs at an average of 40.33 and a strike rate of 57.61.
Dravid’s maiden ODI hundred came in a losing cause in the 1997 Pepsi Independence Cup against Pakistan in Chena. Dravid top scored for India in the quadrangular event with 189 runs from three games at an average of 94.50 and a strike rate of 75.60 however, India failed to qualify for the Final of the series.
However, Dravid’s achievements in the ODIs were dwarfed by his failures in the shorter format of the game. 14 runs from two games in the 1996 Pepsi Sharjah Cup; 20 runs from two innings in the Singer World Series; 65 runs from four innings in the 1997 ‘Friendship’ Cup; 88 runs from four games in the 1998 Coca-Cola Triangular Series including a 22-ball five runs and a 21-ball on run innings, both coming against Bangladesh; 32 runs from four games in the 1998 ‘Friendship’ Cup; a slew of such poor performances often forced him to the sidelines of the India ODI squad. By the end of 1998, Dravid had scored 1709 runs in 65 ODIs at a humble average of 31.64 with a poor strike rate of 63.48.
By now, Dravid had been branded as a Test specialist. While he continued to score heavily in Test cricket, his poor strike rate in ODIs came under scanner. He drew criticism for not being able to adjust his style of play to the needs of ODI cricket, his lack of attacking capability and play big strokes. However, Dravid worked hard and re-tooled his game by increasing his range of strokes and adapting his batting style to suit the requirements of ODI cricket. He learned to pace his innings cleverly without going for the slogs.
Dravid’s ODI renaissance began on the 1998/99 New Zealand tour. He carried his form from the Hamilton Test, where he had scored twin centuries, into the bilateral ODI series and scored a run-a-ball hundred in the First ODI that earned him his third Man of the Match award. The hundred came in a losing cause. However, his effort of 51 runs from 71 balls in the Fourth ODI came in India’s victory and earned him his second Man of the Match award of the series. He ended as the top scorer of the series with 309 runs from five games at an average of 77.25 and a strike rate of Dravid scored a hundred against Sri Lanka in 1998/99 Pepsi Cup at Nagpur adding a record 236 runs for the 2nd wicket with Ganguly, who also scored a hundred in the match. Uncharacteristically, Dravid was the fast of the two scoring 116 of 118 deliveries. In the next match against Pakistan, he bowled four overs and took the wicket of Saeed Anwar, out caught behind by wicket-keeper Nayan Mongia. This was his first wicket in international cricket.
Dravid warmed up for his debut World Cup with two fifties in the 1998–99 Coca-Cola Cup in Sharjah, one each against England and Pakistan. Standing-in as the substitute wicket-keeper in the third match of the series for Nayan Mongia, who got injured during keeping, Dravid effected two dismissals. He first stumped Graeme Hick off Sunil Joshi’s bowling, who became Dravid’s first victim as a wicket-keeper, and then caught Neil Fair brother off Ajay Jadeja’s bowling. He top scored for India in the tournament, though his last ODI innings before the World Cup was a golden duck against Pakistan, in the Final of the series.
Before Indian team departed for England to participate in the 1999 World Cup, they played a friendly game with 1983 World Cup winning team. Although Dravid scored just 20 runs, he took two wickets dismissing Dilip Vengsarkar and Roger Binny.
Debut World Cup success
Dravid announced his form in England hitting consecutive fifties against Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire in the warm-up games.
He made his World Cup debut against South Africa at Hove striking a half century, but scored just 13 in the next game against Zimbabwe. India lost both the games. Having lost the first two games, India needed to win the remaining three games of the first round to have any chance of advancing into the Super Six stage. Dravid put up a partnership of 237 runs with Sachin Tendulkar against Kenya at Bristol – a World Cup record – and in the process hit his maiden World Cup hundred, helping India to a 94-run victory. India’s designated keeper Mongia left the field at the end of 9th over during Kenyan innings, forcing Dravid to keep the wickets for the rest of the innings. In the absence of injured Nayan Mongia, Dravid played his first ODI as a designated keeper against Sri Lanka at Taunton. Dravid once again staged a record breaking partnership worth 318 runs – the first ever three hundred run partnership in ODI history – but this time with Sourav Ganguly, guiding India to a 157-run win. Dravid scored 145 runs from 129 balls with 17 fours and a six, becoming the second batsman in World Cup history to hit back-to-back hundreds. Dravid struck a fine fifty in the last group match as India defeated England to advance into the Super Six stage. Dravid scored 2, 61 & 29 in the three Super Six matches against Australia, Pakistan & New Zealand respectively. India failed to qualify for the semi-finals having lost to Australia and New Zealand but achieved a consolation victory against Pakistan in a tense game, what with the military conflict going on between the two countries in Kashmir at the same time. Dravid emerged as the top scorer of the tournament with 461 runs from 8 games at an average of 65.85 and a strike rate of 85.5. He capped a successful World Cup outing on personal front with a commentary stint during the World Cup Final which resulted in him getting reprimanded by the BCCI for appearing on television without board’s permission. He received CEAT Cricketer of the World Cup award, later that year.
Dravid’s post-World Cup campaign started on a poor note with just 40 runs coming in 4 games of Aiwa Cup in August 1999. He soon came into his own, top-scoring for India in two consecutive limited-overs series – the Singapore Challenge, the highlight being a hundred in the Final coming in a lost cause, and the DMC Cup, the highlight being a match winning effort (77 runs, 4 catches) in the series decider for which he received man-of-the-match award. By now, Dravid had started to keep wickets on an infrequent basis with India fielding him as designated wicket-keeper in five out of 10 ODIs played in the three events. Dravid had a quiet time in the LG Cup where he scored 81 runs in 4 games.
Dravid kick-started his post World Cup Test season with a decent outing against New Zealand in the 3-match home series. His best effort of the series came in the second innings of the First test at Mohali scoring 144, helping India salvage a draw after being bowled out for 83 runs in the First innings. Before this innings, Dravid had five test hundreds to his name from 29 tests, all of which came in away tests, this being his first test hundred on Indian soil. Dravid did well in the 3–2 series win against New Zealand in the bilateral ODI series, scoring 240 runs in 5 games at an average of 60 and a strike rate of 83.62, ending as the second highest scorer in the series. His career best effort in ODIs came in this series in the second game at Hyderabad where he scored run-a-ball 153 runs which included 15 fours and two sixes. He featured in a 331-run partnership with Tendulkar, which was the highest partnership in ODI cricket history, a record that stood for 15 years until it was broken in 2015. With this series, Dravid ended an eventful year, as far as his ODI career was concerned, on a high note. In 1999, Dravid scored 1761 runs in 43 ODIs at an average of 46.34 and a strike rate of 75.16 including 6 hundreds and 8 fifties and featured in two 300+ partnerships.
India toured Australia in December 1999 for a 3-match test series and a triangular ODI tournament. Although Dravid scored a hundred against Tasmania in the practice match, he failed miserably with the bat in the Test series as India slumped to a 0–3 whitewash. He did reasonably well in the 1999–2000 Carlton & United Series scoring 3 fifties in the triangular event however, India failed to qualify for the Final of the tournament.
Dravid’s poor form in Tests continued as India suffered a 0–2 whitewash against South Africa in a home series. He had moderate success in the bilateral ODI series against South Africa. He contributed to India’s 3–2 series win with 208 runs at an average of 41.60 which included 2 fifties and three wickets at an average of 22.66 topping the bowling average chart for the series. His career best bowling figure of 2/43 from nine overs in the First ODI at Kochi, was also the best bowling figure by any bowler in that particular match. India next played a tri-nation series in Sharjah but failed to qualify for the Finals. Such was the collective failure of Indian batting, that Dravid, with a mediocre returns of 89 runs from 4 matches at an average of 22.25, was still the 2nd best Indian batsman in the series.
Rise through the ranks
In February 2000, Tendulkar tendered his resignation from captaincy amidst much speculations resulting in the promotion of Ganguly, the vice-captain then, as the new captain of the Indian team.bIn May 2000, while Dravid was busy playing county cricket in England, Indian team was announced for the Asia cup and he was handed the vice-captaincy of the team. The newly appointed vice-captain had to leave the county championship temporarily, missing two championship games and two one day games, to fulfill his national commitment. Indian team, Dravid included, fared poorly in the Asia cup and failed to qualify for the Final. Subsequently, Dravid returned to England to resume his county sojourn with Kent.
As the new international season commenced, the first and foremost challenge for the newly appointed captain and vice-captain, Ganguly and Dravid respectively, was to pull the team out of the shadows of the match fixing scandal. Indian team played 2000 ICC Knockout Trophy with vigor and showed a lot of character beating Kenya, Australia and South Africa in consecutive matches to reach the Finals. Although India lost to New Zealand in the Finals, their spirited performance in the tournament helped restoring public faith back in Indian cricket. Dravid played his part scoring 157 runs in 4 matches at an average of 52.33, including 2 fifties. Dravid scored 85 runs in the second match of 2000–01 Coca-Cola Champions Trophy against Zimbabwe while opening the innings but was forced to miss the rest of the tournament because of an injury. India went on to reach the Final where they got bowled out for a paltry score of 54 losing to Sri Lanka by 245 runs.
India kick started the new Test season with a 9-wicket win against Bangladesh. Dravid played a brisk knock of 41 runs from 49 balls, including 5 fours and a six, while chasing a target of 63 runs. Dravid’s next assignment was a test series against Zimbabwe which was John Wright’s first series as Indian coach. Dravid had recommended Wright’s name as the new national team coach having had the first hand. Experience of Wright’s coaching skills during his county. The Indian vice-captain welcomed the new coach with his maiden double hundred. He scored 200 not out in the first inning and 70 not out in the second, guiding India to a comfortable 9-wicket victory against Zimbabwe. He scored 162 in the drawn Second test to end the series with an average of 432.00 – highest batting average by an Indian in a Test series.
Dravid had a modest outing with the bat against Zimbabwe in the bilateral ODI series. He captained the Indian team for the first time in the fifth match of the series in the absence of the regular captain Ganguly who was serving one match suspension. Riding on Agarwal’s all-round performance, Dravid led India to a 39-run victory in his maiden ODI as Indian captain.
History at Eden
The Australian team toured India in February 2001 for what was being billed as the “Final Frontier” for Steve Waugh’s all conquering men, who were coming on the back of 15 consecutive Test wins. Dravid failed in the first innings of the First Test but displayed strong resilience in Tendulkar’s company in the second innings. Dravid’s 196 ball long resistance finally ended when he got out bowled to Warne for 39 runs. Despite their efforts, they could not stop the Australians from extending their winning streak to 16 consecutive Test wins as they beat India convincingly by 10 wickets inside three days.
Dravid scored 81 runs in the first innings of the Third Test and took 4 catches in the match as India defeated Australia at Chennai in a nail biting finish to clinch the series 2–1. Dravid scored 80 in the first of the 5-match ODI series at his home ground as India won the match by 60 runs. He didn’t do too well in the remaining 4 ODIs as Australia won the series 3–2. Dravid topped the averages for the 2000/01 Test season with 839 runs from six matches at an average of 104.87.
Peak years (2002–2006)
Overall, Dravid had a disappointing 2001/02 season, scoring 296 runs from seven Tests at an average of 29.60. However, Dravid struck form in the ensuing season. For the next four years, Dravid outclassed every Indian batsman by a mile to establish himself as India’s most prolific run-machine. During this four year period, Dravid was the top scorer for India in both the formats of the game. Between 2002-06, Dravid scored 4,697 runs for India in 48 Tests at an average of 70.10, almost 18 runs more than the next best batsman, Virender Sehwag, who averaged 52.48 in the same period. He scored fourteen hundreds during the period, including four double hundreds.
India toured West Indies in April 2002. Dravid scored an unbeaten hundred, his tenth overall and 6th outside India, against West Indies at Georgetown in the first test match. Batting with a swollen jaw after being hit by a Mervyn Dillon bouncer, Dravid scored 144 not out saving the day for India as they avoided a follow-on. The match ended in a draw. India beat West Indies by 37 runs in the second test at Port of Spain. Dravid contributed to the win with a fifty and 4 catches. He scored 91 runs in the 4th drawn test at St. John’s. He also took the wicket of Ridley Jacobs who was batting on 118 – Dravid’s only wicket in Test cricket. India lost the 5-match test series 1–2. Dravid was the 2nd highest scorer for India aggregating 404 runs at an average of 57.71. He fared poorly with the bat in the bilateral ODI series. He also doubled up as the wicket-keeper in the series effecting 2 dismissals (1 catch and 1 stumping).
India tour of England, 2002
India’s next international assignment was the England tour in June 2002, six years after the previous tour when Dravid had made his Test debut. It was on this tour where Dravid hit the peak form of his career. The tour started with a triangular ODI series involving India, England and Sri Lanka. Dravid continued his keeping job in the series. In the first ODI at Lord’s, he effected three dismissals (two catches and a stumping) and then scored an unbeaten 73 guiding India to a six-wicket victory against England in the company of Yuvraj Singh. In the 4th ODI against Sri Lanka, he scored a fifty that won him a man of the match award as India won the match by 4 wickets. India eventually pulled off a remarkable chase to win the tournament beating England in the final by two wickets. Dravid’s aggregated 245 runs in the tournament at an average of 49.
Dravid warmed up for the four-match Test series with a fifty against Hampshire in the tour game. He scored 46 and 63 in the First Test at Lord’s as India lost the match by 170 runs. He failed in the first innings of the Second Test at Nottingham as India scored 357 runs. England, riding on Vaughn’s hundred, piled up a mammoth 617 runs, taking a first innings lead of 260 runs. Indian team was in a state of bother as they were reduced to 11/2 in the second innings, still trailing by 249 runs however, a match saving hundred by Dravid along with the fifties from Tendulkar and Ganguly enabled India to draw the match.
2003 Cricket World Cup
He was appointed the vice-captain during 2003 World Cup, in which India reached the finals, playing as a wicket-keeper batsman to accommodate an additional batsman, a strategy that worked out well. Dravid was appointed the captain for the Indian team for 2007 World Cup, where India had an unsuccessful campaign.
Dravid fielding during a Test match against Sri Lanka in Galle in 2008.
In 2003–2004 season, Dravid scored three double centuries: one each against New Zealand, Australia and Pakistan. In the first innings of the second Test against Australia at Adelaide, India reached 85–4 in reply to Australia’s 556, when Dravid and Laxman made 303 for the fifth wicket. Laxman was dismissed for 148 and Dravid went on make 233, at that time the highest score by an Indian batsman outside India. He made 72 not out in the second innings, and India won. Dravid scored 619 runs in the four-match series against Australia with an average of 103.16, winning the man of the series award. During the latter part of the season, in Ganguly’s absence, Dravid led India to its first test victory over Pakistan at their home in the first test match at Multan Cricket Stadium. At Rawalpindi, in the third and final match of the series, Dravid made 270 runs, helping India to win the series. During India’s unsuccessful tour of England in 2011, in which their 4–0 loss cost them the top rank in Test cricket, Dravid made three centuries.
Dravid batting against Australia at the MCG
2011 Tour of England
Having regained his form on the tour to West Indies, where he scored a match-winning hundred in Sabina Park, Jamaica, Dravid then toured England in what was billed as the series which would decide the World No. 1 ranking in tests. It would later be hailed as one of his greatest series performances by experts. In the first test at Lord’s, in reply to England’s 474, Dravid scored an unbeaten 103, his first hundred at the ground where he debuted in 1996. He received scant support from his teammates as India were bowled out for 286 and lost the test. The 2nd test at Trent Bridge, Nottingham again saw Dravid in brilliant form. Sent out to open the batting in place of an injured Gautam Gambhir, he scored his second successive hundred. His 117 though, again came in a losing cause, as a collapse of 6 wickets for 21 runs in the first innings led to a massive defeat by 319 runs. Dravid failed in both innings in the third test at Birmingham, as India lost by an innings and 242 runs, one of the heaviest defeats in their history. However, he came back brilliantly in the fourth and final match at The Oval. Again opening the batting in place of Gambhir, he scored an unbeaten 146 out of India’s total of 300, carrying his bat through the innings. Once again, though, his efforts were in vain as India lost the match, completing a 0–4 whitewash. In all, he scored 461 runs in the four matches at an average of 76.83 with three hundreds. He accounted for over 26% of India’s runs in the series and was named India’s man of the series by England coach Andy Flower. His performance in the series was met with widespread admiration and was hailed by some as one of his finest ever series.
Rahul Dravid was dropped from the ODI team in 2009, but was selected again for an ODI series in England in 2011, surprising even Dravid himself since, although he had not officially retired from ODI cricket, he had not expected to be recalled. After being selected, he announced that he would retire from ODI cricket after the series. He played his last ODI innings against England at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, on 16 September 2011, scoring 69 runs from 79 balls before being bowled by Graeme Swann. His last limited-overs international match was his debut T20I match; he announced his retirement before playing his first T20I match.
Dravid announced his retirement from Test and domestic cricket on 9 March 2012, after the 2011–12 tour of Australia, but he said that he would captain the Rajasthan Royals in the 2012 Indian Premier League. He was the second-highest run scorer and had taken the highest number of catches in Test cricket at the time of his retirement.
In July 2014, he played for the MCC side in the Bicentenary Celebration match at Lord’s.
Dravid had always been keen on further honing his batting skills in testing English conditions by playing in county cricket. He had discussed about the prospects regarding the same with John Wright, the former New Zealand cricketer and incumbent Kent coach, during India’s 1998–99 tour of New Zealand. Wright was particularly impressed with Dravid’s performance on that tour, especially his twin hundreds at Hamilton. The talks finally materialized and Dravid made his county debut for Kent in April 2000. His co-debutante Ganguly made his county debuted in the same match, albeit for the opposite.
Kent offer had come as a welcome change for Dravid. There was too much negativity surrounding Indian cricket marred by match fixing controversy. Dravid himself had been struggling to score runs in Tests for quite some time now. The county stint gave him a chance to “get away to a new environment” and “relax”. The wide variety of pitches and weather conditions in England and a full season of intense county cricket against professional cricketers gave him a chance to further his cricketing education and learn things about his game.
Dravid made the most of this opportunity. In his 2nd game for Kent, Dravid scored a fluid 182 propelling them to an innings and 163 runs victory over the touring Zimbabwe side. Out of 7 first class tour games that Zimbabwe played on that tour, Kent was the only team that managed to beat them. Dravid hit another fifty in a draw against Surrey. In June 2000, Dravid had to miss a county match for Kent in order to perform his national duties.
In July 2000, Kent’s away match against Hampshire at Portsmouth was billed as a showdown between two great cricketers- Warne and Dravid. Dravid came out on top. On a dustbowl, tailor made to suit home team spinners, Warne took 4 wickets but could not take the all-important wicket of Dravid. Coming in to bat at 15/2, Dravid faced 295 balls scoring 137 runs – his maiden hundred in county championships. Dravid scored 73 not out in the 2nd innings guiding Kent to a six wicket victory as Warne went wicket less.
In their last county game of the season, Kent needed one bonus point to prevent themselves from being relegated to the Second Division. Dravid made sure they stay put in the First Division by fetching that one bonus point with an inning of 77 runs.
Dravid concluded a successful stint with Kent aggregating 1221 runs from 16 first class matches (15 county games and 1 tour game against Zimbabwe) at an average of 55.50 including 2 hundreds and 8 fifties. He shouldered Kent’s batting single-handedly as the second best Kent batsman during the same period, Paul Nixon, scored just 567 runs at an average of 33.35 in 17 matches. Dravid contributed to Kent’s county campaign not just with the bat but also with his fielding and bowling taking 14 catches and 4 wickets at an average of 32.00.
Indian Premier League and Champions League
RS Dravid’s record in Twenty20 matches
League Matches Runs HS 100s 50s Avg.
T20I 1 31 31 0 0 31.00
IPL 89 2174 75* 0 11 28.23
CLT20 15 282 71 0 1 23.50
Rahul Dravid played for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2008, 2009 and 2010. Later he played for Rajasthan Royals and led it to finals of Champions League T20 in 2013, and play-offs of Indian Premier League in 2013. Dravid announced retirement from Twenty20 after playing the 2013 Champions League Twenty20 in Sept.-Oct 2013.
Dravid is known for his technique, and had been one of the best batsmen for the Indian cricket team. In the beginning, he was known as a defensive batsman who should be confined to Test cricket, and was dropped from the ODI squad due to a low strike rate. However, in a period of his career, he began consistently scoring runs in ODIs as well, earning him the ICC Player of the year award. His nickname of ‘The Wall’ in Reebok advertisements is now used as his nickname. Dravid has scored 36 centuries in Test cricket at an average of 53.19; this included five double centuries. In one-dayers, he has an average of 39.49, and a strike rate of 71.22. He is one of the few Indians whose Test average is better at away than at home, averaging almost five runs more in foreign pitches. As of 23 September 2010, Dravid’s Test average in abroad is 55.53, and his Test average at home is 50.76; his ODI average abroad is 37.93 and his ODI average at home is 43.11. Taking those matches in consideration that were won by India, Dravid averages 66.34 runs in Tests and 50.69 runs in ODIs.
Dravid’s sole Test wicket was of Ridley Jacobs in the fourth Test match against the West Indies during the 2001–2002 series. While he has no pretensions to being a bowler, Dravid often kept wicket for India in ODIs. Dravid is now a specialist batsman, averaging 63.51 in matches played since 1 January 2000.
Dravid was involved in two of the largest partnerships in ODIs: a 318-run partnership with Sourav Ganguly, the first pair to combine for a 300-run partnership, and then a 331-run partnership with Sachin Tendulkar, which is a world record. He also holds the record for the greatest number of innings played since debut before being dismissed for a duck. His highest scores in ODIs and Tests are 153 and 270 respectively. Each of his five double centuries in Tests was a higher score than his previous double century (200*, 217, 222, 233, 270).
Also, Dravid is the current world record holder for the highest percentage of runs scored in matches won under a single captain, where the captain has won more than 20 Tests. In the 21 Test matches India won under Ganguly’s captaincy, Dravid scored at a record average of 102.84 runs; scoring 2571 runs, with nine hundreds, three of them being double-centuries, and ten fifties in 32 innings. He contributed nearly 23% of the total runs scored by India in those 21 matches, which is almost one run out of every four runs the team scored.
An innings-by-innings breakdown of Dravid’s Test match batting career, showing runs scored (red bars with purple bars for not out) and the average of the last ten innings (blue line).
He was named one of the Wisden cricketers of the year in 2000. Though primarily a defensive batsman, Dravid scored 50 runs not out in 22 balls (a strike rate of 227.27) against New Zealand in Hyderabad on 15 November 2003, the second fastest 50 among Indian batsmen. Only Ajit Agarkar’s 67 runs off 21 balls is faster than that of Dravid.
In 2004, Dravid was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India. On 7 September 2004, he was awarded the inaugural Player of the year award and the Test player of the year award by the International Cricket Council (ICC). On 18 March 2006, Dravid played his 100th Test against England in Mumbai.
In 2006, it was announced that he would remain captain of the Indian team up to the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies.
However, after the series against England, he stepped down as the Indian captain due to personal reasons. MS Dhoni took over as ODI captain, whereas Anil Kumble replaced him in test matches.
In 2007, he was dropped from the Indian ODI Squad following poor series against Australia. Dravid went back to play for Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy, scoring 218 runs against Mumbai.
In 2008, he made 93 runs in the first innings of the Perth test, the highest score of the match, to help India win and make the series 1–2. However, he was ignored by selectors for the subsequent one-day tri-series.
After a barren run in Test matches in 2008, Dravid came under increasing media pressure to retire or be dropped. In the Second Test against England in Mohali, he scored 136 runs, putting on a triple-century stand with Gautam Gambhir.
After reaching 10,000 test runs milestone, he said, “It’s a proud moment for sure. For me, growing up, I dreamt of playing for India. When I look back, I probably exceeded my expectations with what I have done over the last 10 to 12 years. I never had an ambition to do it because I never believed – it is just a reflection of my longevity in the game.”
Dravid is also one of the two batsmen to score 10,000 runs at a single batting position and is the fourth highest run scorer in Test Cricket, behind Tendulkar, Ponting and Kallis.
In January 2004, Dravid was found guilty of ball tampering during an ODI with Zimbabwe. Match referee Clive Lloyd adjudged the application of an energy sweet to the ball as a deliberate offence, although Dravid himself denied this was his intent. Lloyd emphasized that television footage caught Dravid putting a lozenge on the ball during the Zimbabwean innings on Tuesday night at the Gabba. According to the ICC’s Code of Conduct, players are not allowed to apply substances to the ball other than sweat and saliva. Dravid was fined half of his match.
Indian coach John Wright came out in defense of Dravid, stating that “It was an innocent mistake”. Wright argued that Dravid had been trying to apply saliva to the ball when parts of a lozenge he had been chewing stuck to the ball; Dravid then tried to wipe it off. ICC regulations prevented Dravid from commenting about the issue, but former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly also stated that Dravid’s act was “just an accident”.
Rahul Dravid has had a mixed record when leading India in Tests.
One of Dravid’s most debated decisions was taken in March 2004, when he was standing in as the captain for injured Sourav Ganguly. India’s first innings was declared at a point when Sachin Tendulkar was at 194 runs not out with 16 overs remaining on Day 2. In this test match Sehwag scored triple century first time. He became the first Indian to score triple century in test with a score of 309.
In March 2006, India lost the Mumbai Test, giving England its first Test victory in India since 1985, enabling it to draw the series 1–1. The defeat in Mumbai was arguably the result of Dravid’s decision to bowl first on a flat dry pitch, which later deteriorated and ended with an Indian collapse in the run chase. Coincidentally, it was Dravid’s 100th test match in which the Indians were all out for 100 runs in the second innings.
After India failed to qualify for the final of the DLF Cup, Dravid, the skipper, was criticised by former all-rounder Ravi Shastri who said that he was not assertive enough and let Greg Chappell make too many decisions. When asked for a response, Dravid said that Shastri, while a ‘fair critic’, was ‘not privy’ to the internal decision-making process of the team.
He was criticised by Vijay Mallya for not picking the team with right balance after his then IPL team Royal Challengers Bangalore finished seventh out of the eight teams that participated in the 2008 season.
Achievements and awards
List of international cricket centuries by Rahul Dravid and List of awards and achievements of Rahul Dravid
See also: Indian national cricket captains
1998 – Arjun Award recipient for achievements in cricket
2004 – IND Padma Shri BAR.png Padma Shri – India’s fourth highest civilian award.
2013 – IND Padma Bhutan BAR.png Padma Bhutan – India’s third highest civilian award
1999 – CEAT International Cricketer of the World Cup.
2000 – Dravid was one of the five cricketers selected as Wisden Cricketer of the Year.
2004 – ICC Cricketer of the year – Highest award in the ICC listings.
2004 – ICC Test Player of the Year, ICC Cricketer of the Year MTV Youth Icon of the Year for 2004
2006 – Captain of the ICC’s Test Team
2011 – NDTV Indian of the Year’s Lifetime Achievement Award with Dev Anand
2012 – Don Bradman Award with Glenn McGrath
2015 – Wisden India’s Highest Impact Test Batsman
2018 – ICC Hall of Fame
Dravid married with Vietnam
On 4 May 2003 he married Vijeta Pendharkar, a surgeon from Nagpur. They have two children: Samit, born in 2005, and Anvay, born in 2009. Dravid is fluent in Marathi, Hindi, Kannada and English.
Rahul Dravid has been sponsored by several brands throughout his career including Reebok (1996 – present), Pepsi (1997 present), Kissan (Unknown), Castrol (2001 – present), Hutch Karnataka Tourism (2004), Max Life (2005 – present), Bank of Baroda (2005 – present), Citizen (2006 – present), Skyline Construction (2006 – present), Sansui (2007), Gillette (2007 – present), Samsung (2002 – 2004)World Trade Center Noida (2013– present).
Batting Career Summary
M Inn NO Runs HS Avg BF SR 100 200 50 4s 6s
Test 164 286 32 13288 270 52.31 31258 42.51 36 5 63 1655 21
ODI 344 318 40 10889 153 39.17 15284 71.24 12 0 83 950 42
T20I 1 1 0 31 31 31.0 21 147.62 0 0 0 0 3
IPL 89 82 5 2174 75 28.23 1882 115.52 0 0 11 268 28
Bowling Career Summary
M Inn B Runs Wkts BBI BBM Econ Avg SR 5W 10W
Test 164 5 120 39 1 1/18 1/18 1.95 39.0 120.0 0 0
ODI 344 8 186 170 4 2/43 2/43 5.48 42.5 46.5 0 0
Test debut vs. England at Lord’s, Jun 20, 1996 Last Test vs. Australia at Adelaide Oval, Jan 24, 2012 ODI debut vs. Sri Lanka at The Padang, Apr 03, 1996 Last ODI England at Sophia Gardens, Sep 16, 2011 T20 debut vs. England at Old Trafford, Aug 31, 2011 Last T20 vs. England at Old Trafford, Aug 31, 2011 IPL debut vs. Kolkata Knight Riders at M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Apr 18, 2008 Last IPL vs. Mumbai Indians at Eden Gardens, May 24, 2013 Profile Who’s the greatest batsman in the world?
Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara are the names that come to mind immediately. Ponting perhaps. Maybe Kallis. Run machines, we call them. And if you’ve watched them bat, you’re likely to agree. They were so good at their craft that they had basically invented their own technique…
However, there exists another breed of cricketers in the same league who have had to rely more on hard work rather than cricketing aptitude. They tend to develop a standard technique like a computer-based batting simulator would. Through hard work and perseverance, they have crafted an airtight technique through conventional means and made it work in international cricket; a technique so perfect and versatile that it suits all conditions, and works equally well in attack and defense.
Rahul Dravid, also known as, the Wall – a rather clever term coined by a journalist, according to Dravid himself that could later be modified, depending on his batting form. Prospective modifications include “crack in the wall” or “hole in the wall”. Nevertheless, if there was ever a batting technique that could be used as a blueprint to create a computer simulation for cricket shots, it has to be Rahul Dravid’s.
A blistering 95 on debut at Lord’s, perhaps overshadowed by Sourav Ganguly’s 131. A gritty 217 at the Oval in 2002, a chanceless, flawless 148 on a green Leeds surface, shielding the middle-order from the live-grass and paving the way for Ganguly’s fluent 128 and Tendulkar’s flamboyant 193. It’s not often that a Sachin knock gets overshadowed, but Dravid’s 148 was probably the best knock he’s ever played; even better than each of his 5 double-hundreds. I say this because most gritty knocks on green surfaces are accompanied by a bit of luck. This required nothing. It is chance-less. No plays and misses, a couple of close leaves, but Dravid had the edge throughout. And he won the battle, having played out the new ball and scored a century.
In 2007, India won the series under his leadership (although in terms of batting this tour wasn’t up to his standards: 1 fifty in 6 innings). However, he still looked comfortable while batting, especially with the first part of his job: shielding the middle-order from the new ball in case the openers fail.
And 2011 was just a one-man show. Sachin showed up and made 3 fifties, including a 90 at the Oval, but it was Dravid, with 3 hundreds, including one at Lord’s that he missed out on his debut, who ran a one-man show in England as the other aging stalwarts of the Indian team had fitness issues and failed miserably. In Nottingham, he carried the bat throughout the innings for a hundred, opened the batting again when the follow-on was enforced.
So clearly, a man with a high-back lift has managed to do quite well in England. Specifically against the new-ball on fresh grassy surfaces. It doesn’t get more challenging than that for a subcontinent batsman who has grown up using his feet to get to the pitch of the ball on rank turners.
Rahul Dravid was perhaps the best in the world at handling the first part of the number 3 batsman’s job: shielding the stroke-makers and the stars from the new ball. Several celebrated batsmen owe him their hundreds and double-hundreds to Rahul Dravid, who has pulled off countless blockathons and leaveathons to see off vicious spells on treacherous seaming wickets.
For a major part of the 2000s decade, he did the first part of his task and then proceeded to make big runs for the team too. He did go through a dry spell individually when he started getting out to the left-arm quick; not because he had a technical chink, but because he was getting beaten by unplayable deliveries and was going through an inevitable dip in form. The heavy run-scoring wasn’t really happening, owing to which he adjusted his technique, started playing late with his fore-arms.
He realized his wrists weren’t as strong as before and started focusing on ‘economy of movement’ and check-drives rather than running his hands through the ball. By the time India toured New Zealand and England in 2009 and 2011 respectively, he was back at his best at the ripe age of 38, protecting the middle-order stroke-players from the new ball, as well as scoring hundreds in England like he spent his childhood batting on a wet, skiddy Nottingham strip.
I think it’s quite clear how important Rahul Dravid was to the Indian team. He did every thankless job for the team, such as protecting the middle-order from the new ball, in addition to scoring runs. Of course, people only look at the runs. Sachin’s 193 features above Dravid’s 148 in that Leed’s Test scorecard. It was Sachin’s innings that stole the limelight because he went past the Don’s century tally. But the team knew what Dravid’s innings was worth.
This is a taboo topic in India, but Sachin would have found it much more difficult to make that 30th hundred, if Rahul Dravid had been dismissed sooner. I’m not saying that he wouldn’t have made a hundred. Sachin’s skill against the new ball and the old ball are unquestionable (his countless one-man-shows in the 90s). Lone performances by Sachin became the trend of Indian scorecards in the 90s. In the 2000s, however, Sachin suddenly had a support structure. He could play freely, and he could become one of many forces to reckon with in the Indian middle order. The aforementioned support structure happened to be Rahul Sharad Dravid – the new symbol of solidity and grit in the Indian batting line-up of the 21st century.