As I sit to pen down some thoughts about this man ,I cannot understand where to start.He is without a doubt one of the greatest cricketers to have ever lived.Along with that he is also,I believe,the most underrated cricketer of all time.But that does not boggle him.Why should it??Playing with one of the greatest cricketers of all time,Sachin Tendulkar,his achievements are bound to be over shadowed.But yet he toils for he knows he has a job to do.A job many people expect the tendulkars and sehwags and laxmans to do,but he is the one who always ends up doing.Yet he never complains.Judging by the treatment given to him by the country one would think he is an ordinary lad who has just entered the international scene trying to make a name for himself.People forget or rather tend to ignore the fact that after Sachin,he has the most test runs.Why should they???In a country that has already produced someone as great as Sachin Tendulkar,why would they remember Dravid. Afterall who remembers the guy who comes second??
In the recently concluded,disastrous,England tour ,Rahul Dravid was the lone warrior.I can only presume the dressing room conversation during that tour would have gone like this.”Rahul,our regular opener was too busy minting money during the IPL and has injured his shoulder.Would leave your regular batting slot,where you have scored tons of runs for us and please open.”
Rahul-“Sure,Anything for the team”.
“Rahul,How to put this delicately, but are premier so called Medium pacers look too tired to take any wickets so our captain, who has bowled just 5 overs in international cricket would like to bowl,so we know you are 39 years old and it would affect your batting but would you please keep wickets”
Rahul-“Sure,Anything for the team”.
“Rahul,half of our players are back home nursing their injuries.You proved that you can play swing .You are now a part of the One day team.And do not get your hopes up as yet,as soon as we go back to India where the ball hardly swings ,you will be dropped without any reason.”
Rahul”Sure,anything for the team”.
I am sure had he been asked to bowl,which I am sure Mahendra Singh Dhoni was considering at some point,He would have obliged.
For a guy who has spent his entire career for the betterment of Indian cricket and who has been a true servant of Indian cricket he deserves a lot of respect.If you ask anyone what is the first thought that comes to your mind when I say rahul dravid?the general answer would be “he is the guy who cost us the 2007 world cup”.For a guy who has done so much for the country do we really want to associate him with this?And why blame him ??why not the other 10 players who played and perished?No we will blame Dravid because we know he will not retort back.He just gets back on the field and silences everyone with his monumental efforts.
Other players,who shall not be named,make newspaper headlines for all sorts of reasons.For slapping their team mates,for going to night clubs,for getting into on-field fights with fellow players.But NOT Dravid.The poor bloke does’nt even make the headlines even for his on-field achievements let alone his off field ones.Yet he never complains.This is something that people should admire about him.He just does’nt let it get to him.He does not break down.He has been nicknamed “THE WALL” for a good reason.And everytime he goes out to bat,the captain of the opposite team starts placing the field for the batsman on the other end because they know “Rahul Dravid puts a price on his wicket like no one else does”.
What is really sad to see is that Rahul Dravid was dropped from the one day side after a few bad performances.Whereas players like Yusuf Pathan continue to be in the team hoping that maybe once a year he will hit that swashbuckling century that will win us the match. But Dravid will never get that advantage .He has been tagged as a “slow ” player.What people forget is that he still holds the record for the fastest half century for India in ODI.Its not that he cannot play aggressively.Its just that if he does and if he perishes it will give the management one more reason to criticize.He sure does not want that.For he knows once he is dropped from the team there is no coming back.He is no Sourav ganguly,he knows there will be no one protesting in his hometown that he was dropped.He will just have to deal with it on his own.
People should learn from his endless amount of patience.He toils and toils and gets those precious runs which no one appreciates.Yet he knows the Team needs him.The team banks on him.So no matter what happens ,what time of the innings,what situation India is in ,Rahul Dravid will walk to bat only to be critisized,only to be over shadowed by someone else.But yet he will not say a thing.Just go out there and perform,for that is what he is best at.
My whole point writing this is to make people ,who read this,realize how great a player Dravid is and that he is second to none.He deserves more respect.I leave all my readers with question.Had India not produced Sachin tendulkar would we be hailing Rahul Dravid as the greatest Indian cricketer of all time?