Batting legend Rahul Dravid is known to be one of the coolest heads ever to have taken the cricket field. However, there was a rare moment during his storied international career when even he lost his cool as fired back at a former Australia opener Michael Slater who was unhappy after a decision went against the tourists.
It happened in 2001 when a dominant Steve Waugh-led Australian side toured India.
The incident took place in the first Test of the tour in Mumbai. It was the second innings and India were going strong at 103/2. Dravid, who was in the middle with Sachin Tendulkar, faced Damien Fleming who was bowling with Adam Gilchrist up to the stumps.
India’s then no. 3 mistimed a pull shot which fell into the hands, or as replays showed, just short, of Michael Slater’s grasp at short midwicket.
Slater was convinced it was out and he kept appealing, whereas Dravid stood his ground waiting for the TV umpire’s call. The third umpire, after taking a close look at that, felt the ball had hit the ground before being caught by Slater.
The Australian was clearly angry over the decision and charged straight at Dravid.
Initially, Dravid, like a zen master, offered a dead-face to the verbal volley Slater was hurling at his direction. However, with the Australian refusing to stop, Dravid replied in kind.
Here is the video:
Eventually, Dravid was dismissed for 39 runs as Australia won the Test by 10 wickets. Gilchrist bagged the man of the match for his belligerent 112-ball 122.
After finishing his playing career in 2012, Dravid continues to serve Indian cricket – first as coach of India A and Under 19 teams and currently as the director of the National Cricket Academy.