A Tribute To The Wall – Rahul Dravid

Published On: January 11, 2019
Mr. Rahul Dravid

“Finally, I would like to thank the Indian Cricket fan, both here and across the world. The game is lucky to have you, and I have been lucky to play before you. To represent India, and to represent you, has been a privilege and one which I have always taken seriously. My approach to cricket has been resonably simple: it was about giving everything to the team, it was about playing with dignity, and it was about upholding the spirit of the game. I hope I have done some of that. I have failed at times, but I have never stopped trying. It is why I leave with sadness, but also with pride.”

These words have left an indelible imprint on my mind, one that would stay put for years galore. They came from Rahul Dravid on a quiet morning in March 2012, when he decided to hang up his boots after 16 years of service to Indian cricket.

A youth team (U-19) won a World Cup under his tutelage. From then to now, Dravid’s dedication and loyalty to the game has not wavered by an inch. He continues to inscribe success stories for the next generations with his reserves of knowledge and experience.

There are a lot of things Dravid’s name represents in world cricket today: persistence, poise, panache, power, propriety, and pain.

However, the qualities that truly made the former Indian skipper stand out from the rest was his zeal for self-improvement and his will to fight back from the toughest predicaments. He refused to let setbacks push him into a corner and whenever he was backed against the wall, he used it for support to come out swinging.

He walks out to bat when the scoreboard reads one down for no run. He faces the first ball which is an ordinary short delivery, clocking 90 mph. He leans back to avoid the ball from hitting any part of his body. You think that he’s already on the back foot, intimidated by the seaming and bouncing wicket. You know that a confident batsman would have played a hook shot off that delivery to get his first run on the board. And then you spend the rest of the day’s play listening to chants of ‘Dravid! Dravid!’ as he goes on to score an unbeaten century.

As the day’s play concludes, you go up to him not to congratulate, but to tell him that you’ll be back tomorrow with vengeance. He smiles and leaves for the dressing room without uttering a word.

The man went through a gamut of problems in his career, but refused to let them take the driver’s seat. He struggled to find a place for himself in the ODI setup in the initial phase of his international journey. His style of play was not suitable to the format and it looked like he would’ve had to settle for representing India in Test cricket alone. Although, Dravid retired from limited overs cricket with more than 10,000 ODI runs besides his name.

This stat, more than anything else, defines the kind of cricketer he was and the kind of person he is. He could’ve thrown in the towel back then and refused to acknowledge his shortcomings. Instead, he went back to the drawing board and worked incessantly hard to fit into the team. He did not just fit in, but was worthy enough to lead the Indian ODI side one day.

Such has been the humble but omnipresent charisma of The Wall.

Happy birthday, Rahul Dravid!

~ Prajakta Bhawsar

Leave A Comment

Latest Blog

Related Posts