It was the time in Indian cricket after the 1996 Wills World cup where India which was considered a power house was humiliated by the eventual champs The Lankans , The team was heavily hammered by the media and it’s people for the dubious exit and India was in dire need of young blood to accompany the already star of Indian batting Sachin and came the tour of India to England,like they say “cometh the hour cometh the man” the first test was played at Lord’s and two of the most incredible talent the world was yet to witness stepped in and stepped up their game day 1. The southpaw scored his century on debut and the other missed the triple figure by a whisker and went to make that missed attempt a bad luck for the ground, rather for him.He is the one who entered the team as “Jammy” and ended “The Wall” – Rahul Dravid.
I very slenderly remember that Lord’s test which Sourav and Dravid debuted as i was just into cricket following after the 1996 CWC and had very little respect for the 5day game and i couldn’t even spell those two names properly which later on became the widely spelt names of the World of Cricket. When Dravid entered the International scene, he was regarded as just another technically sound and hugely a Test match Cricketer who could keep the bowlers at bay with his sound defense and these strong points of Dravid was the barricades preventing him a entry to the One-day side .Dravid did not alter his game ,but as they say ” perseverance pays” and it did for Rahul as their was a big gap in the Indian middle order and the only batsmen who could fill up the spot after Sachin-Sourav pair was Dravid and the type of performances he exhibited was uncomparable to anybody in the past . The most crtical and most prestigious position in one-dayer’s was handed over to the most deserved of the batsmen India had and later on became the benchmark for all other’s irrespective the color of jersey’s to follow suit.
The day Dravid set foot on the One-day scenario there were too many critics who were ready to write him off but all they got was dust in their mouth and again as they say “everything that came after is history”. Dravid became the Epitome of Indian Cricket along with Sachin and Sourav formed the Terrific Trio and the world’s most feared 1-2-3 and India was still struggling with the lower middle order and always needed an extra batsmen to save them and guess who stepped in “Rahul Dravid” . Puzzled? Yes, he donned the wicket keeping gloves regarded the toughest job for a batsmen but who else than Dravid can accept that kind of challenge and guess what! India Reached the CWC 2003 Finals only to be stopped by the Aussies in the finals .
Further to embarrass the critics he played some beautiful innings at No.3 and especially the innings against Srilanka in CWC ’99 with Sourav and his 153 against NewZealand with Sachin were still etching up in my memory and these innings of his explained to the world that supporting an fluent batsmen from other end is such an important job and one can reap success out of it and he has done it time and again. He was never considered the most feared batsmen but the most respected batsmen and put up a huge price on his wicket and breaching his barrier and having him bowled was like a dream for any bowler and thus earning his title “The Wall” . There has been many batsmen who had purple patches and green patches but he was a batsmen who was consistent ever through out his career and his career could not be dissected into any patches.
Their have been people who lived a short span of glory and their has also been other who are living long years of glory but Dravid have never been those people but an unsung hero who cannot be ever written off and was not often glorified . But, speaking of the truth he is the one who has re written standards for glorification and one to be glorified Hero. Whatever the situation ,whatever the condition,whoever the opposition ,whichever the task there is one man ready for it all and forever he will be hailed