Rahul Dravid has been prolific and exemplary on the field with his bat and with his conduct on and off the field. The former Indian cricketer and captain is known for being a team player who has time and again shouldered responsibility and helped the team sail through in tough situations. Over the course of his tenure as a cricketer he has won over most people who have come in contact with him. His grit, determination, perseverance and aggression are legendary. He is well read, sophisticated and embodies the spirit of the gentleman’s game. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket. He is fondly called ‘The Wall’ because of his tenacity in not losing his wicket, the bowlers had trouble getting past him and bowling him out. Rahul Dravid’s legendary partnerships with VVS Laxman, Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar in various matches are what legends are made of. He took over as captain of the Indian Cricket side from Sourav ganguly and later handed over the reins to Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He was asked to do two things which he didn’t like in cricket – opening the batting and keeping wickets. He did both of them and that too with such panache that nobody could say that he is not a good opener or a wicketkeeper.
Rahul Dravid’s contributions towards Indian cricket can never be marginalized and he was arguably the most technically sound batsman India has ever produced. In terms of sheer impact and coming up tops when the team really needed him he played more significant knocks than his teammate and great friend Sachin Tendulkar. Since it’s the legendary cricketer’s 44th birthday we’ve got some anecdotes and lesser known facts about him.
- Rahul Dravid holds the distinction of being the only Indian to score centuries in four consecutive test-match innings. He scored 115, 148 and 217India’s tour of England in 2002 and later followed it up by scoring a ton against West Indies at Mumbai.
- Rahul Dravid is the first recipient of the ICC Test Player of the year and the Player of the year awards in 2004.
- Rahul Dravid was often touted as a better Test player than an ODI batsman. But did you know that he made his ODI debut before his Test debut.
- Rahul Dravid is the only player in the history of cricket who made his debut and retired in the same match. He made his T20 debut against England in 2011 which was also his last match.
- He was voted as the sexiest sports personality in India in an online survey in 2004-05 beating Yuvraj Singh and Sania Mirza.
- It is well known that Rahul Dravid was nicknamed ‘Jammy’ because his father used to work at Kissan Jams. However, there is a local school tournament held in his honour in Bangalore which is titled the ‘Jammy Cup’ and the man-of-the-match gets the title of ‘Jammy of the Day’.
- Like Sourav ganguly and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Rahul Dravid played hockey before he took to cricket. He was even chosen to represent Karnataka’s junior state team.
- Rahul Dravid was proposed by a woman as a prank on MTV’s popular show MTV Bakra. He was seen advising the young girl to concentrate on her studies.
MTV Bakra on Rahul Dravid from Trevellyn Fynn on Vimeo.
- A Wall had been erected in the honour of Rahul Dravid after he completed 10,000 Test runs. Unveiled by Sachin Tendulkar a unique structure of 27×15 feet called “The Wall” was erected near the main entrance of the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. The words inscribed on “The Wall” are “Commitment, Consistency and Class- A tribute to Rahul Dravid”. The structure has an electronic unit on the right hand top corner which kept on ticking and displayed Rahul Dravid’s Test runs. It stopped at 13,288 runs when he retired. “The Wall” was built with 10,000 bricks saluting Dravid’s achievement of crossing the landmark number in both Tests and ODIs.
- Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath once said that if there was one Indian player who could get a direct entry into the famous Australian side of late 90s it would be Rahul Dravid.
- Rahul Dravid is the only cricketer to have scored a century in each Test playing nation.
- He is also the only non-Australian cricketer to address the Bradman Oration. He delivered the Bradman Oration on December 14,2012 at the War Memorial in Canberra.
- Rahul Dravid played a total of 286 Test innings in which he played 31,258 balls. No other batsman has faced more than 29,000 deliveries.
- Rahul Dravid holds the record of most number of catches, 210.
- Rahul Dravid has been legendary when it comes to partnerships, he was involved in on an average 2.58 partnerships. He is second only to Shivnarine Chanderpaul who has a higher partnerships-per-innings number, 2.66 (at least 100 innings). Rahul Dravid has been involved in 88 Century partnerships and 738 partnerships in Test and over 32000 runs.
- Rahul Dravid can mimic too and has a great sense of humour. He was requested to mimic the Australian accent during commentating and he obliged it to near perfection. Check it out here:
- Rahul Dravid wore the Number 19 jersey in the Indian Cricket Team. Not because of some superstition but because it is the best way to remember his wife’s birthday.
- Rahul Dravid has seen 453 wickets falling at the other end during his entire test career, most by any batsman.
- He has played 164 Test Matches and never dismissed for a first ball duck.
- Rahul Dravid has a wicket under his belt too, he dismissed Ridley Jacobs during a series against West Indies.
We wish a very happy birthday to Rahul Dravid and feel immense pride in the fact that we have seen him bat!
P.S The author is an ardent fan of the cricketer!