Dravid’s contribution can’t be quantified
Rahul Dravid is all set to make his final ODI appearance for India in the fifth ODI against England in Cardiff. Sachin Tendulkar talking to Devendra Pandey in the Indian Express describes Dravid as "the unsung hero of the Indian team, despite having such a remarkable career."
He may not give you a quick start, but he will surely make his innings count in terms of time spent at the crease. You need such players in the team, and he was the best man for the job. Others in the team played around him, while Rahul batted as the situation demanded. It wasn’t that he couldn’t bat quickly, he just made sure that he batted according to the situation. His Test innings are of course more famous, but I still fondly remember one ODI innings that he played in 2007 at Bristol where he scored a 90 that came off 60-odd balls. It wasn’t a surprise to any of us, and even in the past, he scored a terrific 50 against NZ.
He is the perfect team man; when he was asked to keep wickets we all knew that he will do well because he was initially a wicketkeeper. It later helped him, and came as a big help to all of us in the Indian team during the 2003 World Cup. He got better by the day during that campaign, and also managed to score quick runs with the bat.
Looking back at Dravid's ODI career, former team-mate and state-mate Anil Kumble says that Dravid has probably been the most important player from an Indian perspective. More from the Hindustan Times.
For a long time, not many people believed Dravid could be a successful one-day cricketer. But he has gone on and on, unfazed by criticism and having supreme confidence in his abilities. He is not someone who will go out and tonk sixes at will but he gets the job done. Rahul's approach has changed in the way he uses the pace of the bowler, looks to take the early singles and keep the board ticking over.
Sriram Veera writing in the Mumbai Mirror states that the real farewell for Dravid will be when his Test career ends.
Akhila Ranganna is assistant editor (Audio) at ESPNcricinfo