It’s Rahul Dravid Birthday today i.e. on 11th January. First of all, I would like to Wish Happy Birthday Rahul Dravid. On his Birthday, I want to share some top Quotes on Rahul Dravid and top 3 Iconic Innings of the wall against Australia.
To My First Love (Cricket) and My Favorite Role Model – Happy Birthday Rahul Dravid – The Wall
Rahul Dravid Birthday:
I became education-career consultant at the age of 28. I got the position of a Research Scientist at the University of Oxford when I was 23, and getting an opportunity to study in the UK in the previous year. I had my first crush (or may be fell in love when I was 16). But, before all these defining moments of my life, I became a Cricket Lover at the age of 6 – when a 19-year old Sachin Tendulkar bowed that historic final over in the 1992 Hero Cup semi-final at Eden Gardens. Since then I have always been a religious follower of Indian cricket.
Most of my childhood was spent more on praying for Sachin’s century and practicing superstitions for India’s win. Studies always took the back-seat during the 90s. I even skipped studies before my 10+2 Board exams, when all my friends were doing their last-minute revisions – similar to slogging in the 50th over of an ODI. I did that to watch the India-Pakistan Test series (2004). Who can forget the triple century of Sehwag or the 194 from Sachin. In the same series, there was another series-defining knock of 270, made by none other than Rahul Dravid – The Wall. India won a Test series in Pakistan – c’mon that’s something special for every Indian cricket lover; as special as beating Pakistan in six World Cup encounters so far. The cricket craze is still there as I took a half-day at work and shelled out 500 Dollars to watch the India-Australia World Cup semi-final at SCG (Sydney) last year. Watching the World Cup was another reason to join the University of New South Wales. I have even avoided dates to watch India matches; crazy right!
I heard of Rahul Dravid first time when he made his debut against England. I have been a Sachin Tendulkar fan throughout. My madness for Sachin reached the peak when he played his two famous back to back innings against Australia in Sharjah. My parents were more worried about my studies than the opponent bowlers bowling to Sachin. But, Dravid managed to reduce my Sachin-madness – which is great feat that even Dravid himself does not know.
Dravid has never been one of the most attacking batsmen, but he was definitely one of the most aggressive. What made him special to me are his sincerity, determination, team spirit and down-to-earth nature. I do not want to add any more superlatives or quote, because a lot have already been said.
My Top 15 Quotes on Rahul Dravid:
Absolute selfless team-player – Harsha Bhogle.
Brian Lara can bet on him with his life
He never cared about brand clothes, gadgets, colognes, cars or watches; but he cared if the weight of his bat is off by a 1 gram – excerpts from Vijeeta Dravid (Wife)
Perfect role-model for youngsters – Sachin Tendulkar
Dravid can hit slogs like me, but I could never play like him – Chris Gayle
If you really want to see real aggression, look into Dravid’s eyes – Matthew Hayden
If you can’t get him out in the first 15 minutes, then concentrate on getting other 9 wickets – Steve Waugh
A tough competitor – John Wright
Rahul Dravid would walk on broken glass if that is what the team needs – Navjot Singh Siddhu
Rahul Dravid didn’t get his success because of his destiny, but because of his determination – Siddhu
Nicest guy I have met in Cricket – Shane Watson
Down to earth and disciplined – Mahesh Bhupati
He is even more difficult than Sachin to get him out
If you can’t get along with Dravid, you’re struggling in life – Brett Lee
Sachin is God. Ganguly is the God on the off Side. Laxman is the God of the 4th innings. But when the doors of the Temples are closed, even the Gods are behind THE WALL – Fan
Rahul Dravid is retired now. In fact all my childhood cricketing heroes are retired. Few teenage heroes like Dhoni or Yuvraj are still around though. But, I will still be a cricket lover. After all, it is very difficult to forget your first love.
India is going to face Australia in the 1st ODI at Perth. India-Australia rivalry might not be as fierce as India-Pakistan. But, there is something really unique about the contest. The India-Pakistan contest is fierce mostly due to political reasons, history and emotions. But, the India vs Australia series is a special treat for cricket lovers primarily because of cricket only. I hope Dhoni’s Team put a good show this time as well. After all, as Dravid once said “People Back Home Deserve A Fighting Team“. Yes, he always stressed on the efforts more than the results.
Against Australia, Dravid featured in 33 Tests and batted in 62 innings. His average of 38.67 might look mediocre against an illustrious overall batting average of 52.31. But, his impact on most of the matches have been phenomenal. My top three iconic innings of Rahul Dravid against Australia in Tests are:
My Top 3 Iconic Innings of Rahul Dravid Against Australia
No. 3 – 93 at WACA (Perth), 2008
Australia had already an unassailable lead of 2-0 in the 4 test match series. There were the Monkeygoat and notorious umpiring controversies. The moral of the Indian Team had hit the rock bottom. The WACA pitch at Perth is famous for fast and bounce – basically a minefield for Indian batting order. Not many people thought India would even be able to draw the Test. But, it turned out to be something else. Batting first India made a decent start. Coming at 57-1, Dravid made a valiant 93. The innings did what Ganguly’s 144 did in the first test match of 2003-2004 series Down Under. It lifted the team’s morale and India bowled out Australia for 212. The test match also saw one of Ishant Sharma’s iconic spell to Ricky Ponting (Goosebumps). India finally won the match what was super game of cricketing contest. Rahul Dravid had played so many legendary innings during his career, that this innings got shadowed, just like his stardom got shadowed by Sachin’s Demi-God avatar.
No. 2 – 180 vs at Eden Gardens (Kolkata), 2001
How can one forget the famous Indian win that stopped the 16-match winning streak. Dravid made a splendid 180 in the 3rd innings of the match, and featured in the one of the greatest partnership of Test cricket history. It was a rollercoaster of a match as India who was on the verge of facing an innings defeat after follow-on, ended up on the winning side. It might not be Dravid’s best knock, but definitely one of the most important – and one of those that will give immense joy to all cricket fans forever. Dravid failed in earlier three innings of the series and was under immense pressure. He came out to bat at No. 6 and joined the classy Laxman. The rest is history.
No. 1 – 233 at Adelaide Oval (Adelaide), 2003
The innings that removed the tag of “tigers at home, paper tigers abroad” that dogged Indian cricket for ages. Australia had made a mammoth total of 500+ in the first innings. In reply, the top order of the Indian bating got out pretty cheaply. Draid came out to bat at 66-1. Dravid and Laxman brought back the memories of 2001 Eden test with a game changing partnership once again. In the 3rd innings Dravid took few spectacular catches at first slip and Australia got all out quickly; thanks to some inspiring bowling from Agarkar and later on Sachin. Dravid also made 72 in the final innings and finished off the match by hitting a classic square cut to boundary. Beating Australia in Australia is not a simple task, and especially in the early 2000s. Dravid’s contribution in that match created history.
Last few years have seen a lot of over-aggression and controversies in Indian cricket. But, because of players like Rahul Dravid, cricket is still a Gentlemen’s Game. Sachin is still my favourite batsman, but Dravid is my role model. He influenced a lot of my career decisions. Dravid could have taken some other role, but he took the role of Indian U-19 Coach. It is because of him that I got inspired give a shot to become a Mentor.
Thank you for all the inspirations and memories, Rahul Dravid – The Wall.