Indian cricket March 9, 2012

Meeting Rahul Dravid: The soul of a champion

This man simply did not have the airs of a sporting superstar, someone who was rich and famous, and hobnobbed with other cricketing superstars
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In January 2011, I travelled to Bangalore to meet Rahul Dravid and interview him for the book I was then writing. I intended to write on the changing face of modern cricket, on its response to the introduction of the franchise into a nation-based game, on the challenges Test cricket faced, and on the effects of media and technology on the game. When I thought of which Indian cricketers I would most like to talk to, Dravid's name suggested itself as an obvious choice.

Shortly after I received word that I should go ahead and contact Rahul, I called and spoke briefly with him on the phone. He was unfailingly courteous and helpful, providing detailed directions to his house, even solicitously inquiring whether I knew my way about Bangalore (I didn't, but assured him that I would be just fine).

I arrived at his residence on time, was shown in, and soon our conversation started. Dravid was dressed casually and conducted himself with a polite, relaxed informality that put me instantly at ease, and prompted me to ask all the questions I wanted to. Mrs. Dravid joined us for a few minutes, brought us tea, asked me a few questions about my background, and then left to take care of their boys.

As I talked to Dravid, a slight sense of unreality pervaded the proceedings. This man simply did not have the airs of a sporting superstar, someone who was rich and famous, and hobnobbed with other cricketing superstars (though he did sometimes casually refer to them by first name). I could have been talking to someone that was a keen fan of cricket, rather than a Test great and a former India captain. At times, I had to keep reminding myself that this was Rahul Dravid. Of course, the quality, sharpness, and sometimes bluntness of his observations on cricket, the level of cricketing knowledge on display, and the insights that only someone on the inside of the game could have, reminded me that I was talking to a person located at a very particular focal point of international cricket.

And then, it happened. The money moment, so to speak.

As we talked about the transition from first-class cricket to Test cricket, from Test cricket to one-day games and Twenty20, Dravid said, "My attitude towards batting was simple: the bowler had to earn my wicket. I told myself that I had to bat at least 30 overs in a Test. If I didn't do that, I had failed. I would do it one way or the other."

As he said this, suddenly, his expression changed. The smiling, casual, relaxed demeanour that he had assumed till that point in the conversation was gone. His face hardened, the lines on his visage tautened. I stared at him, a lump now present in my throat, as I felt a slight chill run up my spine.

At that moment, I realised I was in the presence of 10,000 Test runs, of umpteen thousands of deliveries faced, resisted, and scored off; I was in the presence of a man who had faced, among others - Ambrose, Bishop, McGrath, Walsh, Akram, Steyn, Donald, Waqar - bowlers who, quite frankly, would induce me in trouser-soiling, spit-drying fear. At that moment, the friendly mask slipped, just for a second, and I saw the steel and the grit that had made so many of India's greatest Test wins possible.

And then, we were back to being chatty about modern cricket, the big paychecks in the IPL, and the new aspirations of young Indian cricketers.

Our conversation lasted for some four hours. At the end of it, Dravid drove me to the entrance of the residential estate where his house was located so that I could hail a cab. He wished me luck with my writing, and was then gone.

While I remain grateful that he took the time to speak so frankly and voluminously to an utter stranger, I remain even more appreciative that he let me see, just for a brief moment, right into the heart of a true champion. It is the closest I have ever come to knowing what goes into the making of a great cricketer.

Good luck with the future, Rahul. You were a champion and one of the all-time greats.

Samir Chopra lives in Brooklyn and teaches Philosophy at the City University of New York. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • MuNi on April 15, 2012, 20:07 GMT

    cricket will thankful to you ..the way you played the game..

  • raj on April 14, 2012, 18:20 GMT

    a gentleman champion of timeless steel and dignity.

  • santosh joshi on April 6, 2012, 9:05 GMT

    really going to miss you dravid.. would like to see u batting for RR in IPL.. Became RR fan just because of u.. :) all the best for leading RR to victory

  • sandy on April 4, 2012, 19:43 GMT

    "TAKE A BOW SIR"..you ve left big shoes to fill..no words to express your greatness..you had an awesome technique..leaving ball @ speeds of more than 145 kmph inches from the stumps..that too consistently in swinging conditions..batting tirelessly for hours..sessions..TEST matches would never be the same for Indian fans!!

  • VJOSHI on March 26, 2012, 6:51 GMT

    Rahul i becamea great fan of you from your debut. his innings are match winning or match saving so he is no1 of all time batsmen.

  • Cric Kirik on March 22, 2012, 21:05 GMT

    Dravid will be missed by Indian cricket more than the other top former Indian cricketers like Vishwanath, Gavaskar, Kapil Dev or Srikanth or Azar or Kumble. Hopefully Kumble and Dravid can form one kind of acacademy to benefit Indian cricket.

  • Akash Toor on March 22, 2012, 18:54 GMT

    Sir Rahul Dravid, you will be always remembered as d most selfless cricketer INDIA has ever produced. No doubt about it. Thanks for the ENGLAND tour performances at d fag end of ur career. The England tour was a reflection of ur whole career. You rocked all the way. You were not only an exceptional test batsman but also a very handy one day batsman, who although only has 12 tons beside his name but 82 half centuries reflect that you did not play for your personal milestones, instead kept the team goal above. There shall be no one matching your stature Sir.

    Yours obediently, Akash.

  • Vasanth madhav on March 20, 2012, 12:32 GMT

    Test selectors in India will be very much worried for selection of 11th player in future. Hitherto Rahul Dravid will be automatically selected himself in playing eleven.I thank you verymuch for giving us 100 percent entertainment in test cricket.I hope you will employ yourselves in producing another Rahul in Indian team in near future after taking good rest.As myself a universiy cricketer my hatsoff toyou. Hope you will also enjoy as a commentator as well as a coach.Wish you and your family all the best in your future commitments.

  • Anand Reddy on March 20, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    Hi, I never thought of RD's retirement this early. I saw the first test played by RD against England where he scored 95 and Ganguly scoring 100+ runs, but i was fascinated the way he batted . I used to watch tests to see RD's batting and technique and skills. I am a great fan of RD and Laxman. I carry a photograph of RD in my wallet from years. My eyes were filled with tears when he announced his retirement. The Greatest Cricketer with humble nature. He conquered everybody's heart with his cricket, sportsman spirit, and as a good human being. No doubt, he is the book of techniques in cricket sport. Tests are no longer watchable after your retirement sir.

    I wish you a bright future sir.

  • Rajeev on March 17, 2012, 1:23 GMT

    A true legend and the teamman who believed in his accountability for the team. We miss him really in Cricket. Right decision at the right time as he was the best test cricketer last year.

  • MuNi on April 15, 2012, 20:07 GMT

    cricket will thankful to you ..the way you played the game..

  • raj on April 14, 2012, 18:20 GMT

    a gentleman champion of timeless steel and dignity.

  • santosh joshi on April 6, 2012, 9:05 GMT

    really going to miss you dravid.. would like to see u batting for RR in IPL.. Became RR fan just because of u.. :) all the best for leading RR to victory

  • sandy on April 4, 2012, 19:43 GMT

    "TAKE A BOW SIR"..you ve left big shoes to fill..no words to express your greatness..you had an awesome technique..leaving ball @ speeds of more than 145 kmph inches from the stumps..that too consistently in swinging conditions..batting tirelessly for hours..sessions..TEST matches would never be the same for Indian fans!!

  • VJOSHI on March 26, 2012, 6:51 GMT

    Rahul i becamea great fan of you from your debut. his innings are match winning or match saving so he is no1 of all time batsmen.

  • Cric Kirik on March 22, 2012, 21:05 GMT

    Dravid will be missed by Indian cricket more than the other top former Indian cricketers like Vishwanath, Gavaskar, Kapil Dev or Srikanth or Azar or Kumble. Hopefully Kumble and Dravid can form one kind of acacademy to benefit Indian cricket.

  • Akash Toor on March 22, 2012, 18:54 GMT

    Sir Rahul Dravid, you will be always remembered as d most selfless cricketer INDIA has ever produced. No doubt about it. Thanks for the ENGLAND tour performances at d fag end of ur career. The England tour was a reflection of ur whole career. You rocked all the way. You were not only an exceptional test batsman but also a very handy one day batsman, who although only has 12 tons beside his name but 82 half centuries reflect that you did not play for your personal milestones, instead kept the team goal above. There shall be no one matching your stature Sir.

    Yours obediently, Akash.

  • Vasanth madhav on March 20, 2012, 12:32 GMT

    Test selectors in India will be very much worried for selection of 11th player in future. Hitherto Rahul Dravid will be automatically selected himself in playing eleven.I thank you verymuch for giving us 100 percent entertainment in test cricket.I hope you will employ yourselves in producing another Rahul in Indian team in near future after taking good rest.As myself a universiy cricketer my hatsoff toyou. Hope you will also enjoy as a commentator as well as a coach.Wish you and your family all the best in your future commitments.

  • Anand Reddy on March 20, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    Hi, I never thought of RD's retirement this early. I saw the first test played by RD against England where he scored 95 and Ganguly scoring 100+ runs, but i was fascinated the way he batted . I used to watch tests to see RD's batting and technique and skills. I am a great fan of RD and Laxman. I carry a photograph of RD in my wallet from years. My eyes were filled with tears when he announced his retirement. The Greatest Cricketer with humble nature. He conquered everybody's heart with his cricket, sportsman spirit, and as a good human being. No doubt, he is the book of techniques in cricket sport. Tests are no longer watchable after your retirement sir.

    I wish you a bright future sir.

  • Rajeev on March 17, 2012, 1:23 GMT

    A true legend and the teamman who believed in his accountability for the team. We miss him really in Cricket. Right decision at the right time as he was the best test cricketer last year.

  • Amit Shukla on March 16, 2012, 18:58 GMT

    Rahul Sharad Dravid a name to "BOW", some humans are super some are ultra super he is a Common Man who has nurtured the spirit and given birth to the feeling of being super Calm when Heart Meters display a Danger level in this game of perspiration and anxiety called CRICKET .Mr Dravid is an irreparable damage to India Cricket where the game has always been treated like an EPIC for all ages to come and go..I personally feel very bad that few humans have risen a finger at this special creature of God nay god curse them the way he wants........ At last m again bereft of words....as I cant express except tears in my eyes that the WALL stands no more with GREAT WORLD CHAMPIONS INDIAN TEAM................Rgds Amit

  • Azhar on March 16, 2012, 18:22 GMT

    He was not only a great player but a great sportsman and a thorough gentleman. I believe he was still good enough to play for some more time but he made a decision and I respect that. He is a role model for all the young cricketers to follow. I wish him all the very best for his future. Dravid, you'll be missed.

  • Harish on March 16, 2012, 15:04 GMT

    Nice article Samir. Rahul you are a Hero, you got the name "Wall" of the Indian batting, its not easy to get that type of big name. You will be in the Cricket history forever. We love you Rahul.

  • nats1973 on March 16, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    Cricket has become poorer with the retirement of Rahul. I am a little dissapointed with the hate campaign against Sachin and other peers. The quartet of Rahul, Sachin, VVS and Ganguly have given us so much joy. Rahul, wish you a happy family life.

  • Naveen Kumar on March 16, 2012, 12:57 GMT

    Dear Rahul Brother,

    you are the real Kannadiga of "KARNATAKA" We missed lot of Cricket from your end. All the best for you & your famaily enjoy the life,

  • rihana on March 16, 2012, 7:51 GMT

    Dravid I am a biggggggggggggggggggest fan of you.This is my first comment in a blog. I am lucky to post my first comment about you.My dream is to meet you atleast once in my life time. I don't like when people compare u with others. You are unique. Undoubtedly, I can say that nobody replaces you. When you announced your retirement one of my friends called me n told me that you are retiring from cricket, all the news channels are covering your press conference,unfortunately due to power cut I couldn't watch it. But you believe it or not, I sticked to the news channels for 3 days from that day. I cried a lot.I really really miss u. because of u I started watching cricket. But now I am giving up. U said in ur retirement cermony that you are going to miss cricket. But its not true, the fact is Cricket is going to miss a selfless, dedicative,supportive,co-operative,perfect,technical,classical, dependable player like You Dravid.No words for me to describe you. Am proud to be a fan of you

  • Pratik on March 16, 2012, 5:24 GMT

    The Newton of Test Cricket

    The Perfect Gentleman and the most humble of all cricketing characters

    The best ever slip fielder the world has every produced

    And above all, the great of WALL of India !!! ------------------------------------------------------------------ Thank You Rahul Sharad Dravid for all your contribution towards Indian cricket ... The world will miss you because you were a true fighter and played the game of cricket with true spirit and one of the greatest ever sporting hero that the world has ever produced....Adieu , we will miss you. Wish you the very best on your retirement.

  • gaurav on March 15, 2012, 17:50 GMT

    you are the bestest Mr.Dravid....

  • santosh kumar on March 15, 2012, 11:34 GMT

    "THERE IS NO DRAVID THERE IS NO TEST CRICKET" after six months we will play our first test without him. that feeling can't be expressed when 1st wicket falls and we don't have THE WALL :( :(

  • Sundaram K.M on March 15, 2012, 11:02 GMT

    Rahul Dravid was keeping one end safe for his partner's to indulge in their strokes. I Think this aspect will be surely missed in the Indian batting line up. I wish and hope that an young cricketer will fill the gap at least to some extent if not fully.

  • Tanvir on March 15, 2012, 6:09 GMT

    There are many batting giants, only one COLOSSUS, that is and will always be Rahul Dravid

    So, it was written and so it shall be done....

  • Vilander on March 15, 2012, 1:26 GMT

    And he would probably say " i just played cricket, there are people who actually fight in siachin" about all this fuss..

  • sanjeev on March 14, 2012, 17:22 GMT

    Recently I thought I should watch Rahul Dravid playing a test cricket sitting in a stadium. I should see his techniques. So far I was fan of one day cricket only. But, now I regret this thought should have come some time back :( Thanks Rahul for at least creating this thought in me!

  • Vikram Singh on March 14, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    You will be missed Dravid. a real super Hero and the legend. a person who always brought the cricket on to its gentlemen's game status. it is going to be impossible creating another wall.

    truly and very honestly i do not feel like watching cricket. i have already given less time after Ganguly's retirement and now it will be a hard work sitting down and giving my time to cricket. i still love cricket but RAHUL DRAVID IS RAHUL DRAVID....

  • Ali Siddiqui on March 14, 2012, 17:18 GMT

    Since the day Dravid retired, i have pored over many articles online in India,UK,Australia and even Pakistan...am yet to find one article/comment that has nothing but praise for Dravid. just goes to show how admired he was,not loved,admired. was a privilege to watch him bat and it will linger in our shared memories long after all this out poring of accolades stops. Thanks Dravid.

  • Halls on March 14, 2012, 16:46 GMT

    Hi all thanks for your positive views on champion cricker Rahul Dravid...

  • pramodh on March 14, 2012, 15:59 GMT

    I am from india. we r miss ur batting style Dravid. Your retirement from test cricket is very dissapointing us....we wish u all the best for your future

  • Senthil Kumar on March 14, 2012, 12:49 GMT

    From my childhood i started loving cricket b the way Dravid plays his defence. .Am happy I got a chance to see all his 16yrs cricket lively. .He proved he as a Cricketing legend. .I never lost hope when Dravid is Batting. .M proud to be an Dravid Fan. .Now I have Someone (Dravid) to describe my Kids in future What's Cricket all about!

  • Imdadulla on March 14, 2012, 12:07 GMT

    For me Rahul Dravid was selfless and modest person. In these terms he is far superior to Sachin. He is infact an unsung hero. He deserved a better exit than the one he opted. As a least, one final Test match for him to depart with standing ovation was ideal send off. For me Dravid deserve better ovation from Indian Cricketing fans than Sachin who mostly played for his records like Sunil Gavaskar in previous years.

  • Anonymous on March 14, 2012, 11:44 GMT

    Dravid is the best

  • KVM on March 14, 2012, 11:33 GMT

    Hey..I think after Great Great GRV's retirement one event that has got so much great attention & emotions is the Rahul..Brother you will be badly missed by your fans & also selectors( we only hope)All the very best.....

    KVM

  • Zeeshan Ahmed Siddiqui on March 14, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    I think Dravid is peerless in test cricket with ability to stay on pitch. Neither Lara nor any other have same ability to stick on pitch like him. More than 31,000 balls in test matches, it means almost 110 balls per inning. At no. 3 plus role of anchor for his team make him very special. He missed one record 100 times 50 or plus scores 36 + 63 = 99. It means he never chase records. Just only put himself in situation and then score runs for his team. Only played cricket for 16 years and then take retirement to vacant place for youngsters. There is no doubt that he is one of the best test batsman that cricket history ever produced.

  • S A Raja on March 14, 2012, 4:53 GMT

    Dear Rahul Bhai,

    The day you announced your retirement, i had the same feeling when Tugga (Steve Waugh) retired. You were a great player, a wonderful man. Hated to see you getting bowled and cursed those Aussie Bowlers at that time though i support the Australian Team.

    All the best Rahul Bhai. Wish you and your family Happiness and good Health and finally A Big Thank you for all those gritty down the trench innings which i thoroughly enjoyed and will be an inspiration all my Life. Thank You Bhai!!!

    Cheers!!! Raja

  • harikrishna on March 14, 2012, 4:46 GMT

    He is really a true and dedicated cricketer in indian cricket than any other, we surely miss him forever. I wish him bright and wonderful life with his family

  • Bhavesh Chauhan on March 14, 2012, 3:46 GMT

    Rahul is truly - A GREAT. His greatness is clearly depicted by his batting record in overseas tests, his ability to adjust to seaming, bouncy overseas track where real technique is tested. In Indian sub-continent the challenge is to play spin (which Indian cricketers thrive upon). It is will be very difficult to replace him at no.3 spot in test for India.

  • Dilip JOHN on March 14, 2012, 2:51 GMT

    no 3 is the backbone of a cricket team and dravid was the back bone of indian cric team for last 8 years-10 YEARS .GOOD LUCK TO THE NEW INDIAN TEAM TO KEEP UP THE SAME GLORY AS THE OLD LEGENDS SACHIN,DRAVID AND GANGULY ...well done dravid for keeping indians all over world happy and proud as we can always talk about cricket proudly all the time.

  • Arvind on March 13, 2012, 19:57 GMT

    Quietly Brilliant... was Rahul Dravid!

  • S.Nagaraja, Bangalore on March 13, 2012, 17:19 GMT

    Rahul Dravid a great, disciplined, self assuming cricketer.We all really miss a Gem from our cricketing treasure. I Wish Rahul Dravid and his family members all the best in their lives. Really he was very rightly called as a WALL. Best of Luck, Dravid

  • abishek surana on March 13, 2012, 14:14 GMT

    i remember rahul's 1st odi. he scored 3 runs and was run out if i can recall. those 3 runs were scored of a late cut down to 3rd man. seeing that shot i said to myself that there is some quality. will never forget the leeds test match where dravid and sanjay bangar literally showed nerves of steel to bat out the ist day. dravid took a number of blows on his body. that test match may be remembered for sachin and ganguly's onslaught late on day two or for kumble and harbhajan's bowling but for me that test match was won on sheer grit of rahul and bangar. many many more such innings are there to rahul's credit.he played in an era where stroke makers like sachin, saurav, sehwag hogged all the limelite. but then, the type of person rahul is, he would've remained the same in any era. was disappointed with his captaincy. thought that after ganguly had developed a core set of players with his attitude, dravid's methodical ways would carry india forward. take nothing away. salute the hero.

  • Pravin on March 13, 2012, 12:54 GMT

    Rahul Dravid was very good batsman I am Fan of him.

  • M. Nawaz Janjua on March 13, 2012, 12:22 GMT

    Rahul Dravid, a legend gentleman lord of the cricket. He showed to cricket world how to play cricket as a true & devoted cricketer. He can simply be shown as an example if anybody asks what a cricketer should look like. When I heard about his retirement, I didn't want him to retire so soon. But, his decision is right & final. I shall miss you always.

  • Vaseem Khan on March 13, 2012, 12:13 GMT

    Cricket would be poorer without his services...it was a pleasure to watch him batting session by session and bowler by bowlers. Wishing you a wonderful life ahead....GOD Bless You!!!

  • aditya on March 13, 2012, 12:04 GMT

    In this era of cricket where every one of speaks of sixes and fours, Rahul showed us solid beauty of diffence and glorious drives. He is a true legend. Nodding for everything he was approached for shows his obedience. Inspiration to many across the world , what a servant to game of cricket . Last but not the least it would game of Cricket that misses this great wall of India most than anyone else.

  • Swati Manchanda on March 13, 2012, 7:47 GMT

    Words fail me , when i write about Dravid, My hero since last 13 years.He may no longer be in the national Team, but he will always be in our National Anthem.

    A GREAT BATSMAN and an even GREATER HUMAN BEING! THANK YOU SIR RAHUL DRAVID for the glorious moments. And thanks Samir, for the wonderful article.

  • Niranjana on March 13, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    Thanks for the lovely piece of article. Rahul was a total package - as a cricketer and a gentleman. THANKS RAHUL for what you are and the joy you have brought in our life. You are one of the very few sports personalities I admire for being a great human being along with personalities like Prakash Padukone, Gopichand, Vishwanathan Anand, Steffi Graf, Pete Sampras, Ramesh Krishnan and some others who have gone around making this world a better place to live in, in their own way. May your tribe increase and make the sporting world a better one enriching the lives of people and bring more moments of joy in this greedy world. May Rahul and his family continue to lead a fulfilling life.

  • M.Bharath Yeshwanth on March 13, 2012, 7:42 GMT

    The heartbeat of Test Cricket is now gone. None could easily match RD in adapting to test cricket and its harder demands. With T20 pushing the longer format of the game to the sidelines it would be hard to find a person of RD's stature. What differentiates and elevates RD more than the players of the same plane is the way he has carried himself ON and OFF the field. On the field, he was a fort guarding his wicket and protecting his team. Off it, he carried the very grit in maintaining the air of his dignity and decorum. This deadly combination is what made RD the legend that he is today. In the accolades that have been showered on him by many a cricketer and sports historians, what was spoken in volumes was not his cricketing talent but his character as a person. The exploits of his bat have spoken a lot about him. As ST said "There can be one RD". A gentleman and a true sportsman package in the era of instantaneous fame and quick money is something that you don't get for a bargain.

  • Vijay on March 13, 2012, 7:40 GMT

    Never felt so low before about cricket !!! damn !! cant think of anyone else batting at no. 3. terrible and saddest day for Indian Cricket. A TRUE LEGEND !!! I wish he should have played couple of more seasons. One of the all time greats !!!!

  • Vijayakumar on March 13, 2012, 7:12 GMT

    Indian cricket is going to miss a class , talented and stylish Cricketer. We all going to miss your most fav. cover drive and square drive shots, etc.... Wish you and your family for more happiness and good health.

  • Arun K Gupta on March 13, 2012, 6:06 GMT

    Ed Smith discribed Dravid best in his article "A Gentleman Champion of Timeless Steel and Dignity". Dravid, you are the greatest Indian Criketer,to ever play the game. Thank you for your selfless, humble and devoted service to the Indian team and the game of cricket. Cricket has lost one of it's great ambassadors. Cricket has lost one of the last handful of gentlemen left in the game. I will miss watching you play test cricket. Rahul, thankyou for the centuries, but most of all, thank you for playing the game with dignity, grace and honor. Deeply saddened to see you retire but happy for your family as you will be with them a lot more. May the Almighty give us a lot more Rahul Dravids.

  • Ajeet on March 13, 2012, 6:03 GMT

    India's No.1 No.3rd position Batsman. World's one of the Best No.3rd position Batsman. Technically Sound and Copybook Batsman.

    .....Salute To the Great Student,Team Man and Player Of Cricket....

  • venkateswaran on March 13, 2012, 5:38 GMT

    dear rahul...two cricketers i luv most, admire most..real gentlemen..team-men..gud human being with a good heart..both from karnataka..one G R Vishwanath..and other RAHUL DRAVID..hats off men..GOD will bless u with all the good things.

  • silva on March 13, 2012, 5:28 GMT

    dravid definitively the best test cricketer india produced, he was not selfish and always for the team, tendulkar might have scored more but the runs that dravid scored is more important for india than sachins. coolness of dravid and the way he approached the game is remarkable, his technique is never seen from any of indian cricketers. he is the best in that, his retirement was on right time, hope other senior players will follow him, im sure for next couple of years this seniors will make many more runs because they only play in the subcontinental pitches. they should not think about they making runs on asian flat tracks. they should also retire now and let the young and new players to grow up with some experience so they can be ready for the next world cup and coming years. GAME IS BIGGER THAN THE PLAYERS

  • Ajith on March 13, 2012, 5:21 GMT

    We are going to miss your presence everytime India takes on the field. Nobody can replace you in the game of cricket.Everyone spoke about how class a test batsman you are (indeed the BEST), but i admire you even for your contribution to ODI. You started slow but with everymatch you improved yourself. a)You have the second fastest fifty in India. b)You have scored above 10k runs. c)You have scored 83 half centuries. d)Number of partnerships forged to build and score huge totals for our country. I thank you for the delight, happiness and joy you have provided to all of us in ODI. Miss you Dravid..

  • Padhu on March 13, 2012, 5:11 GMT

    Good article about a Great Cricketer. Rahul will always remain as my favourite cricketer. All the best Rahul!

  • sivakumar on March 13, 2012, 5:08 GMT

    My salute to a great cricket legend of Indian cricket Wish you all the best Rahul and we miss u a lot.

  • Manoj Bhart on March 13, 2012, 4:25 GMT

    I don know weather Rahul Dravid played according to the text book of cricket or the text book of cricket was written based on Rahul Dravid's batting.... All the best for your future Rahul.... we will really miss you a lot....

  • Meety on March 13, 2012, 0:30 GMT

    Top article. Really enjoyed it. I can't add anymore other than (from an Ozzy), I have total respect for the man & the cricketer.

  • Anonymous on March 12, 2012, 22:21 GMT

    Dear Samir, I'm so jealous you got to meet and chat with Dravid. I would dearly like to talk with him. Watching him bat is such a pleasure. Whenever he gets out, whether or not he's scored a lot of runs, I shut my laptop off. As the Danes say, ``Mange tak'' for your article.

    Cheers,

    Prakash

  • Gangadhar Nalluri on March 12, 2012, 22:13 GMT

    Dravid,

    He can be described as below:

    D- Determined to stand and Deliver for the team R- Respect toward the Bowlers to be called "The Wall" A- Acceptance of his Strength and Weakness. V- Volatile for any role in the team to Deliver the results I- Integrate within the team members D- Dedication in his Game

  • Chetak on March 12, 2012, 22:07 GMT

    Rahul is truly a magnificient human being first, a great cricketer by all means and a sound leader and motivator. Like the great wall of China, our wall's legend will last forever and many generation of cricketers will be inspired by his deeds,character, humbleness and simplicity. Will miss him a lot but wish him the best in what ever he chooses to do from now on.

  • Vasanth on March 12, 2012, 21:02 GMT

    hi.. dravid.. am die hard fan for u.. i love to watch your batting fielding specially test batting. when i heard you retirement announace that time i felt very sad minutes of my life. really i miss u. atleast hereafter you will ipl please.. really i miss u and i luv dravid... you are my energy rahul.. now am crying beacause never i will see you are in test cricket. bye. i miss u

  • Nitin shrikant mishra on March 12, 2012, 19:32 GMT

    I started watching cricket in 1991 when sachin came in the picture .It was india going to England in 1995 when rahul scored his 95 on debut. Than India toured South Africa in 1996 where in the first test india bowled our for 66 and 100 and in both the inings Rahul Dravid batted beautifully as a youngster. I was his fan from that series only . His ability to motivate himself in a Test matches is awesome with his solid defensive Technique. I nearly cryed with happiness when i heared Rahul Dravid's Retirement , he is altime great batsman . To face fast bowlers in Australian Pitches or South African Pitches - he is just great. Also he is very quiet batsman - he does his job . India will miss him very badly ------ Time for Selector's to be Serious otherwise india will be whitewashed in all their Foreign Tours. His great knock was in Adelaide 2003 - india won a test with Rahul having 200+ There is only one Rahul Dravid and only one . No one can replace Rahul .my no. 8108611303

  • Shareef Bacchus on March 12, 2012, 18:33 GMT

    You were one of a kind. You were a fighter without the outward signs of pugnacity. Instead you were graceful yet resolute. You brought a charm that has been sadly absent from the game within recent times. If Sachin was the king of the art of batsmanship then you were the crown prince. You were dignified on the field of play and I have a feeling that you would be a class act in anything that you did off the field. Even the manner of your retirement was a class act. I would therefore want to wish you every success in your future endeavors and to fervently hope that some of the networks have the common sense to hire you as a commentator.

  • Shripad S R on March 12, 2012, 18:25 GMT

    Cant forget those great test victories in Australia, England, West Indies and Pakistan, each one after 2+ decate gap. And one man drop them, through his sheer determination and genious. While most would say Rahul Dravid is typical test cricketer and not fit for shorter versions, and left out of one day squad intitially, here is a tip. IF YOU SEARCH FOR HIGHEST 1 DAY PARTNERSHIPS.. YOU WILL FIND ONE NAME COMMON - RAHUL S DRAVID. Such was greatness of this man, not just 10,000+ test runs, but 10,000+ one day runs too. and Bowlers had to earn his wicket even in the shorter form of the game too. He held his head high and retired with dignity. Well Done Rahul Dravid, You Are The Finest Cricketer India has produced. One of All Time greats, Wishing you all the success for future.

  • ajit maddiwar on March 12, 2012, 17:42 GMT

    A gem of a cricketer. A combination of all the elements which make a legend and even more... God bless this fantastic person and bestow him with every thing in life..

    I wish he will contribute to the Indian cricket in the days to come with a huge experience behind

    As he is going to start a new innings of life, all the best and truly we miss u a lot....

  • ankitg on March 12, 2012, 17:37 GMT

    we will miss you sir,you are the greatest ever.

    first ganguly went we will miss him even after 3 years.now u are going.than sachin and laxman .cricket will never be the same again.no matter who replaces you,kohlis and sharmas but noone can come close to these 4 greats.please play till you are 50 years as crciket fans watch the game only for you guys,

  • madhu on March 12, 2012, 17:23 GMT

    u r a one of a backbone of indian team,, & ur a one of the backbone of test cricket,, really india ill face the middle order problem.... I know next few years dravid son(samit) ill play in one-down after is father that time ill relif that problem... because rahul how ill disappionted i know,, i hate BCCI ...... I am big fan DRAVID[WALL].. when dravid ill given retirement all the test bowlers ill happy ,, ah ah ah see how is it Karanataka Boy,, Samit is ready to fill is father job .....

  • shahidbasha on March 12, 2012, 16:58 GMT

    Rahul you will never retire from our hearts your game will remain in our heart till cricket lives... all the best for ur life after retirement spend good time with the family..

  • Shivdutt on March 12, 2012, 16:41 GMT

    I am privileged to have watched you bat for last 16 years . You were the Rock of Gibraltor of Indian batting. May god bless with loads of happiness. Salute to a legend .

  • mihir shah on March 12, 2012, 16:34 GMT

    I think test Cricket should be ended permanently now onwards... As it is incomplete w/o Rahul Dravid - The God of Test Cricket !!

  • Manohar Chavan on March 12, 2012, 16:24 GMT

    Rahul You are living legend and perfect gentlemen you the best sports person world has even seen and true team men who has played for his country every single time .... In one word you are un-describe.

    Thanks for entertaining us through out your career, wish u and your family all the very best for future.

  • d reddy on March 12, 2012, 16:23 GMT

    Dravid without an exception is the best india as produced.He will always be remebered for his good gentleman like behaviour and solid technique in his batting.I wish him all the best for a peaceful retired life

  • dr.ramdas rai on March 12, 2012, 15:23 GMT

    i am proud to belong to the state which has produced three greats -in all senses of the word-gr.vishwanath, anil kumble and rahul dravid-great cricketers and great human beings-i am a huge fan of sachin and gavaskar-but asked to name the greatest indian cricketer-i have six equal choices-sachin,gavaskar,vishwanath,kapil,kumble and dravid-each has attined the mantle of greatness by right-let us celebrate these icons of indian cricket-and rejoice that we had the pleasure of watching and enjoying their unique talents-dr.ramdas rai

  • Yogesh on March 12, 2012, 14:48 GMT

    RAHUL DRAVID , The Best batsman ever of the world . ...LEGEND...TRUE GENTLEMAN...MATCH WINNER...SELFLESS...WALL ...PERFECTIONIST...BEST TECHNIC IN WORLD...MR. DEPENDABLE ...TEAM MAN...BEST HUMAN BEING...I WILL MISS U FOR EVER

  • Denis Fernandes on March 12, 2012, 12:28 GMT

    Tendulkar may be great, but ther is no one like RAHUL who was a complete and total cicketer and a true gentleman of the sport, besides being humble. He was a team man like no other and it is sad that he departs from the game he so dearly loved. I sincerely wish him and his family all the very best and hope one day India will find someone who at least comes close to DRAVID . India will sorely miss him.

  • vinod on March 12, 2012, 11:03 GMT

    -- / / | / / | / / | | |the | | |wall| | | |_________________ | | indian test cricket/| | |--------------------/ / --____________________ |/| | | @ _______________________|/ / /

  • ranjee on March 12, 2012, 11:00 GMT

    Rahul You are Greatest Batsman in the world i like your batting style very inteligent i am from srilanka i wish u all the best

  • nasir on March 12, 2012, 10:52 GMT

    we all will miss you ... you were great wall of india .

  • sridharan on March 12, 2012, 10:00 GMT

    hi i am pro fan of RSD.When i met once in bangalore ,cool,calm respectable person.we miss him so much.as long as test cricket played by india,No:3 is will be remembered as RSD.

    hats off

  • Sujit on March 12, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    One of my Childhood superhero,There was one and only one RD.Cricket will never be the same. Though there may be virats and sharmas taking his place and may go on to eclipse his record but they would not be my stars. even if they score a 50 test centuries ,these would not be a part of my memories as has been the 36 sons of Dravid been watched and rejoiced by me.

  • syed akhtar ahmad on March 12, 2012, 9:40 GMT

    A finanest batsman crickter india had produce. I have seen some of his inninges on TV.His shorts selection and timing was perfect.

    I really will miss his inninges as i am a great fan of RD.

    All the best RD i will miss your.

  • Hareesh on March 12, 2012, 9:23 GMT

    The best man to idolise..

    He is my idol and i am proud of his achievements as if they are mine..

    He is the legend.. For me he is best Indian Batsman even ahead of Sachin n Gavaskar..

  • ramki on March 12, 2012, 8:15 GMT

    super conversation

  • Ajit on March 12, 2012, 7:20 GMT

    D=Dynamic R=Run machine A=accurate V=very stylish I=Innocent D=Dashing

  • Sonali on March 12, 2012, 3:19 GMT

    Dravid is greatest Indian player ever..He will be missed forever...

  • anson on March 12, 2012, 1:07 GMT

    Rahul dravid a true legend. Please be the batting coach for the indian team and teach kohli respect and hubleness.

    Greatest player ever

  • Graham on March 11, 2012, 22:12 GMT

    Rahul Dravid embodies all that is great and worthy in the game of cricket. I am an England supporter, but recognise in RSD the mark of a true great of the game and, equally importantly, a real Gentleman. When England were playing India, it was always Dravid's wicket that was key; not Tendulkar, not Sehwag, not Laxman, not Yuvraj. When Dravid was gone, India was diminished, the backbone had been broken.

    I want to wish Rahul a long and prosperous life, and I hope he is fulfilled and happy in his life to come. He has certainly given viewers the world over something special and precious to remember.

  • Joseph Borges on March 11, 2012, 19:01 GMT

    It was a sad day for me to know you retired, I enjoyed the game so much while you were playing all these years, I always wished the best for you as you were a terrific player and a gentleman. I am certain you will continue to be a strong advocate for the younger generation and for the Country on the whole. I would like to see you in the Cricket Leadership Team, whenever that happens I can expect the Indian Team to be at the highest level. Over the years, I also enjoyed cricketing years of Karsan Ghavri, Brijesh Patel, Azharuddin, Eknath Solkar, Sachin Tendulkar and many more! All the best Dravid, your welcome to come to Canada for a holiday!!!

  • gdaurupa on March 11, 2012, 18:47 GMT

    truly genius .BUT has done a very wise decision.

  • Nathan on March 11, 2012, 18:10 GMT

    Rahul Dravid contribution to Indian cricket is unmeasurable. He set his own standards of batting technique and value for his wicket, the lessons the new generation of Indian Cricketers can adopt and be themselves - and not emulating Dravid, per se. Whoever is going to take his #3 position in Test matches, may well be aware of the responsibility that comes with that position, and carry on the torch with more added dignity to the success of the team. Rahul you are going to be missed, and wish you all the best in your future endeavours post retirement

  • Mayur Baruah on March 11, 2012, 18:00 GMT

    Hail Rahul Dravid the champion..You will be missed with utter dignity and respect deep into the annals of Indian Cricket especially Test Cricket..Love you Rahul 'Sharad' Dravid..all the best!

  • Dr.Srinivas on March 11, 2012, 16:53 GMT

    Sir, All the very best for your future, i have been seeing cricket since 1996 since the time u started ur career n now i don feel the urge to go n watch it..... u were one of a kind legend..... a true team player.....no one can ever replace u..

  • sandeep kannelil on March 11, 2012, 11:53 GMT

    RD is the only batsmen whom a beginer can look,imitate and learn the basics .That basics of a batsman is mechanised in him as a "BATTING TUTORIAL"......after learning thE basics any one can improvise on the tectonic they have learnt..........!so Rahul Sharad Dravid is the "BATTING MANUAL OF CRICKET"

  • Anand on March 11, 2012, 10:02 GMT

    A True legend , thnks samir chopra for posting about dravid

  • P.Balasubramaniam on March 11, 2012, 9:07 GMT

    Talent without hard work is useless.

  • Eli on March 11, 2012, 7:25 GMT

    Dravid...a perfect coaching manual, a model of gentlmanship,humitlity and respect fot the game and a lesson for young cricketers as to how to behave on and off the field

  • Eli on March 11, 2012, 7:22 GMT

    Watching Dravid was like reading a batting coaching manual; his classical style would always be missed; but I think more than anything, his perfect gentlemanship, humility and respect for the game would be missed by all and sundry. Just wish young indians and others would take a page out of his life to see how to conduct on and off the field.

  • reddy on March 11, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    Rahul Dravid retirement, the is very sad new for Indian fans and nobody full fill is position

  • dr naveed on March 11, 2012, 6:31 GMT

    yes, he was a true Champion.he was respected all over the world.he is the one, who rightly deserves to be called SIR,in the cricketing field.will miss him.Indian board should use his experience for benefit of the Indian team.he should also try to make his debut as a commentator.

  • krishna on March 11, 2012, 4:43 GMT

    Rahul You Greatest Batsman in world And Rahul you Great clip Fielder n Your bating style very good We miss u Rahul U such of nice parson

  • Jheems on March 10, 2012, 19:19 GMT

    A gentleman, a legend, and on top of that....humble! Qualities not found togather. He was one of the rare species. Salute from a Pak Cricket fan.

  • Arif on March 10, 2012, 18:39 GMT

    Now there is no wall, so the defence is easily penetrable.

  • sunil on March 10, 2012, 18:12 GMT

    Rahul ur a classic cricket player in this world we miss u wall.. but i hate MSD coz he is not give any tribute for ur retirement i hate u MSD..

  • Douglas Newsam on March 10, 2012, 16:43 GMT

    The cricketing world is lessened by Rahul Dravid's decision to retire from active participation. It had to come at some time but whenever it came, it was always going to be a feeling of great loss. I hope he enjoys many years of happiness, health and contentment with his family and friends. I have enjoyed having the opportunity and privilege of watching him and treasure those hours.

  • V.in.U on March 10, 2012, 15:20 GMT

    A.D.(After Dravid) era in cricket has been started and I am not intrested to see these cricket. But still I whould watch cricket on one condition that if he whould become a commentator so that I can hear his humble voice. LOVE U DRAVID.

  • rajjramm on March 10, 2012, 14:56 GMT

    i planned to c a test match in kolkatta last year where i thought i would have my last chance to my sportmen-heroes tendulkar , laxman and dravid operating together. for some reason that did not materialize. it is gone for me fore ever. hail dravid.

  • Anonymous on March 10, 2012, 14:55 GMT

    i planned to c a test match in kolkatta last year where i thought i would have my last chance to my sportmen-heroes tendulkar , laxman and dravid operating together. for some reason that did not materialize. it is gone for me fore ever. hail dravid.

  • Omar Haider on March 10, 2012, 14:51 GMT

    Not only was he a great batsman, he was a perfect gentleman. In this world of professional sports he reminds us of why cricket is supposed to be a gentleman's game. All the best to a legend.

  • Anwaruddin Akbar on March 10, 2012, 13:07 GMT

    The greatest ever batsman from India after Sunil Gavaskar and Gundappa Vishwanath. Truly a legend.

  • mushtaq on March 10, 2012, 12:04 GMT

    I cried when i heard the news that DRAVID retirement, i am proud to be bangalorean bcz DRAVID belongs to bangalore, Karnataka produce many great cricketers, no body touches the height of the GREAT WALL. I watch test matches bcs of DRAVID & LAXMAN's batting.

    THE GREAT WALL OF INDIA RAHUL DRAVID

  • Salem Shankar Ramasawamy on March 10, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    Sudden gloom in our family of sports followers. We were more passionate for cricket than other sports and for Dravid than any other cricketer. For me and two sons cricket would never be same again--We would not see style , grit, technique, perseverence, modesty, commitment diginity and devotion all in one cricketer again though shades of each manifest in some cricketers

    Big salute with choked throats and moist eyes

  • kath on March 10, 2012, 10:25 GMT

    A True Legend. Gentleman of the game. He is irreplaceable.Cricket will miss him!!

  • Anonymous on March 10, 2012, 10:20 GMT

    Salute to the true honest and trustworthy last soldier of Indian cricket, I am a hardcore fan of this genius from his first test match. I can say I watch test matches only because of him and now we have to see which limited edition hero replaces him at No.3. I like him a lot because he is more human and not GOD. Cricket is not in his blood, he has to learn and work very hard to come to this level it’s like a child learning how to walk. He failed at times and works hard to overcome his weakness. He scored each and every run with pride and dignity for the country like a true soldier moving forward inch by inch in the battle field. He never had an AK 47 or bomb to tear away the opposition easily but he just had a very old model hand gun with lots and lots bullets (courage and passion) which saved the country and winning the battle than anyone else in the team. He is my role model and If god willing I may name my second son after “Rahul”. Thanks for the wonderful memories.

  • pravanjan on March 10, 2012, 9:13 GMT

    the wall will stand still 4ever. the great wall of indian cricket. Dravid u r a handsome fighter evr indian cricket has produced. keep fighting u legend. best of luck. we will miss u 4 ever

  • Altrin on March 10, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    we miss rahul....

  • mk49 on March 10, 2012, 7:51 GMT

    The greatest player of swing bowling of the past two decades. Thank you Rahul Dravid again and again- because there are so many things to thank you for. For *that* stunning 148, the largely unsung 180, that game changing 233, but most off all for that sublime 117 last June that you scored exclusively for my benefit - because I travelled 5000 miles way to watch you (and the ONE - I will not lie) bat. Or so I would like to think.

    I will miss you very much!

  • Hnas Raj Yadav on March 10, 2012, 7:08 GMT

    if we choose a perfect brand ambassador of Indian cricket,it has to be Dravid. A through gentleman,Perfect team man and always cherished challenges and above all, never chased Records.

  • Dale Ferns on March 10, 2012, 6:40 GMT

    I have always been a Rahul Dravid fan ever since i saw him first play cricket.. I have followed his game and India's performance closely. true he has scored so many runs against so many bowlers.. but he always appeared to be in the shadows of better performances of his team-mates and thus has not got as much credit that he deserves. but the point that most fans seem to miss out is that dravid laid the foundation stones of all those great performances, something which his team-mates couldnt do without him.. one of the most important things we need to learn from dravid is " hard work always pays". thank you Rahul Dravid.

  • Nazir Adenwala on March 10, 2012, 5:46 GMT

    Sad to see you go, it was joy to watch you at the crease. As a Pakistani, I would hope for you to get out while playing against Pakistan, but was sheer joy to see you go on and on. Your artful strokes were genius. You reminded us that cricket is a gentleman's game after all, but a game played with true grit and determination. You will be missed. Wish you all the best for the future.

  • Ali Shah on March 10, 2012, 5:08 GMT

    Good bye Dravid. Your departure marks the end of an era. What a gentleman on and off the field. Best Wishes for the future from Pakistan.

  • selvam, on March 10, 2012, 4:38 GMT

    Rahul! You are a true champion. Though it is highly impossible to fathom an indian test team without you being in it,this particular decision makes you what you are: a man of commitment;hardwork;determination;will power;vision and dedication.You are such a lovable rolemodel,people from any walk of life can always learn things from how you lived your cricket. You are the main reason millions of cricketers following test cricket. The days when you and other batting giants sweat your heart for our team are epic days. Wish you all the best in your future endeavours. All the best legend!

  • Sheheryar Khan on March 10, 2012, 4:31 GMT

    A true champion Cricketer and gentleman. Thank you Dravid for all the wonderful moments. Good luck for the future. You will be missed. An avid fan from Pakistan.

  • shridhar on March 10, 2012, 4:00 GMT

    hats off to the legend...

  • Arshad hussain magray on March 10, 2012, 1:45 GMT

    Rahul dravid, served our country for 16 years and gave stability to indian batting as complete middle order batsman. Technically very sound and true champion will be missing in future.

  • Nikita on March 9, 2012, 22:02 GMT

    One of my favourite ones...

  • Bosco Martyres on March 9, 2012, 21:20 GMT

    Time marches on, and the true greatness of a professional in any sphere is to know when to go. Rahul, you are truly one of the greats. As a cricketer and a batsman you were great, and more importantly,as a human being you are great. You did not let your fame grow your ego. Instead you remained simple and unassuming, the consummate gentleman. Best wishes to you in your retirement, and a long happy, healthy life

  • Kalyan Pichikala on March 9, 2012, 18:54 GMT

    "Do COMMON things in a COMMON way to get UNCOMMON results". And thats what legends do. Day in and day out they always get their regular routines done.

    "The most successful people are the most accessible. And they always want to teach others how to be successful". And I am sure he will do a great deal of contribution to the SPORT.

    I thank Samir Chopra and the entire Cricinfo team for posting wonderful articles.

    Get Excited and Stay Excited ...

  • Halls on March 9, 2012, 18:42 GMT

    Cricket world never had champion player like Rahul Dravid and hope will never going to produce, and more ever it's hard see indian cricket team test team without Great Waill

  • Raj on March 9, 2012, 17:54 GMT

    hearing that Rahul Sharad Dravid retiring, without my knowledge i cried,... tears was in my eyes,.. Jus after one bad series he shouldn't have retired,... Very Sad, but Proud about Dravid, a true Gentlmen of Gentlemen`s Game...

  • nandakumara on March 9, 2012, 15:33 GMT

    dear dravid the whole cricket world will miss you. watching you play cricket was like experincing simplicity and profundity at its best. may god bless you.

  • Wajahat on March 9, 2012, 15:23 GMT

    Without a shred of a doubt, the greatest batsmen India have ever produced. I am from Pakistan, and I have always admired his courage, his humble nature, his sheer determination, his unbelievable skill and his selfless nature. He always played for his country & his team - even in his retirement he has taken the decision based on his country & team's future. A true legend of the game, you will be truly missed Dravid. A whole generation has been privileged to see you battle against the biggest bowling attacks of the world, we wish you all the best Dravid! Will miss you!

  • jewel on March 9, 2012, 15:14 GMT

    Once I heard from a wise fellow that if you want to teach your son cricket, tell him to follow Dravid and I also believe this now. I am a cricket fan from my childhood and I disliked him most on that time.But as the time passes, I realized how special he is for the cricket. You are the definition of cricket and thanks a lot for being that. Wish you all the best for your future.

  • vinod dravid's fan. on March 9, 2012, 13:57 GMT

    it is a heart breaking news to me, yes every great player have to face this day,, i didn't slept last night after watching(hearing) the news but we have to accept the truth,,, but iam expecting and hoping him to play one more test.. that may be vs new zea land.. and make it a complete exit with allllllllllllllll respect from the world. of cricket the greatest player should get all kinds of formalities... honours.......... in front of the true and loving fans.... please ........

  • siri on March 9, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    Rahul a man of character, the real wall. He is will always be remembered for his ability to stand against almost all kind of bowling attack......regards singer2@thandora.com

  • venkatt on March 9, 2012, 12:49 GMT

    Samir, u couldn't have expected nothing different from Rahul, a gentleman if there was one...

  • Pavan Madhini on March 9, 2012, 12:00 GMT

    Real Good article, but . . .

    What the fish do you mean "You WERE a champion"?

    Rahul Dravid will always be a champion. Always.

  • Kunal on March 9, 2012, 10:42 GMT

    Throughout his career, what happened to Rahul Dravid on a Test tour was always a decent indicator of how good India was in the series concerned. His batting was sound toward the end, even considering what happened Down Under. But the catching had slipped, so to speak, for about three years.

  • Bharath on March 9, 2012, 10:25 GMT

    Best of Luck Rahul...We truely miss you...

  • DravidFan on March 9, 2012, 9:51 GMT

    well said.. heart touching.. what a person he is.. no one in the cricket world can be compared to this great person..

  • Virag Desai on March 9, 2012, 9:51 GMT

    Nice article Samir. Wonderful..

  • ADD on March 9, 2012, 9:37 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar said there can only be one Rahul Dravid. Let's hope he's wrong. Dravid's most relevant legacy lies in how his is an example to be emulated. You're either born a Tendulkar or you're not (so far there's only been one). But you take someone with reasonable talent, a bit more than just basic ball-sense, then look for all the other attributes. Dravid had most of these in abundance. This isn't to say that Tendulkar didn't have to work hard. But if things aren't going well, and you're Tendulkar, your talent can carry you. If you're Dravid, you've got no chance. That Dravid is on the same plane as Tendulkar in terms of batting achievement is a tribute to his intelligence and work ethic. If more like him were to follow, the message would have been passed.

  • Thiyagarajan Krishnamoorthy on March 9, 2012, 9:19 GMT

    A Era of great technique,commitment has come to end today, he was somebody who will always put a lot of value on his wicket when in the middle, We will always miss Mr Dependable had always been our teams Saviour in difficlut times, i still cannot forget the Match saving Test innings he played together with VVS Laxman to rout australia after put to follow on. Best of Luck for your future Jammy

  • Chethan on March 9, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    Truly understated..reliable & dependable, a gentleman to the core!

  • Narbavi on March 9, 2012, 8:59 GMT

    WOW!! Humbleness and genuiness personified!!

  • Fram Hansotia on March 9, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    Brilliant article. Cricket has lost a great player and role model. He is truly a modern legend.

  • Santosh J S on March 9, 2012, 8:42 GMT

    Very well written Samir, as always. And manages to convey the genuine attachment that a lot of us had for Dravid. My own fondness for him and his game began a few of months before his debut series in SA. I had read reports of his games in the Ranji matches, the manner in which he scored those runs and of GRV mentioning the soundness of his technique. So convinced was i – for no particular reason other than a hunch – of him being the real thing that I boldly predicted to my friends that Dravid would turn out to be a star in SA and that he would handle pace bowling really well. That he did that and far more goes without saying, but beyond his formidable record, his sense of dignity and conduct on and off the field, his sense of history, his major role in instilling belief that pace bowling could be tackled on overseas pitches, his willingness to take on the role of an opener and keeper – all without the barest of fuss. A true champion, and who played his part well.

  • Subramanya K V on March 9, 2012, 8:06 GMT

    He is always a Roll Model for others. Even in retirement he is done the same. Others ......................................................... don't know

  • Deepesh Paudel on March 9, 2012, 7:29 GMT

    With the retirement of Rahul Dravid, a cricketing era will be over for me. Test cricket will never be the same again. I’ve learned many things watching Dravid’s life on and off the field. Not only about cricket but his presence has taught me about honesty, sincerity, temperament and humility that I’ve always tried to abide throughout my life. I believe he played the game on its merit, that is as a “Gentleman’s game”. A true gentleman with immense dignity, respect for others and a placid persona, Dravid inspired me to learn the game of cricket and develop an enduring love towards it. Let alone his strokes, now with his absence the world will miss an elegant leave outside the off stump. I stand proud to consider Rahul Sharad Dravid as my idol and forever will admire his life. This is my tribute to “The Wall”

  • Nandha on March 9, 2012, 7:14 GMT

    Miss u dravid :(

  • Vamsi on March 9, 2012, 7:07 GMT

    Brilliant article about an even brilliant cricketer!

  • Anonymous on March 9, 2012, 7:05 GMT

    Thanx Samir Chopra for this amazing insight on what lies on the other side of the Wall........A true Great of the game,Rahul Sharad Dravid!

  • Ganesh J on March 9, 2012, 6:49 GMT

    It's the determination, hard work and using available talent. Dravid in my mind exemplifies what the current thinking is about success: Talent is overrated. It's everything surrounding that which matters. He is the poster boy for the world.

  • Emancipator007 on March 9, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    One of the best things about Dravid has been that not getting the hosannas/plaudits in Tests v Tendulkar or in ODIs v Ganguly EVER bothered him. Not for him the trappings of a sporting superstar and recognitions/limelight that new generation cricketers like Yuvraj and Kohli crave for. I see this as something different and distinctive personalities that cricketers have as everybody does not have to be goody-two-shoes like RD and VVS. If Ganguly too would have been like Dravid persona-wise, then he would not have been the Caesar-like leader that he was and which Indian cricket needed after the shambolic cricket of ’90s. But let it be also said that SRT is no less humble (too much of vile hate floating around him nowadays) about his IMMENSE achievements. Gavaskar, that monumental legend whose public posturing was only to cock a snook at the Poms and Aussies for their supercilious attitude towards sub-continental greats is/was also humble in real life during his playing days.

  • shanib on March 9, 2012, 6:37 GMT

    I am very sad.becuase i heared a bad news,the big wall is retireing.very anxious moment for me.good by my big big wall

  • ramesh k on March 9, 2012, 6:35 GMT

    Dravid is the true champion of indian cricket! a pity he had to play alongside other champions.Samir has really brought out his real character in this piece.nice to read this tribute.

  • HG on March 9, 2012, 6:32 GMT

    Dravid is a true champion and a real gentleman. A combination that will be hard to find. We will miss you Rahul!!!!

  • Dharmendra Pant on March 9, 2012, 6:32 GMT

    The technique of Dravid was well organised and his mind just as compose.....By Christopher Martin-Jenkins in his report in The Telegraph on Rahul's test debut innings. One of the greatest ever cricketer and a true gentleman . We all missed him.

  • Susheel on March 9, 2012, 6:31 GMT

    One of the True Legends who gave India the much needed stability in the Test Matches. Technically correct. Great attitude... Carries his head on his shoulders. Above all a team player.

  • JK on March 9, 2012, 6:26 GMT

    Thanks for the article Samir. I have always wondered how it would feel to pick the brains of perhaps the most erudite cricketer. I envy you!

  • abdul quadir on March 9, 2012, 6:26 GMT

    India will dearly miss him.

  • Krishna Chaitanya on March 9, 2012, 6:23 GMT

    The Wall..........The Gentleman..........Mr.Cricket........ These titles are not enough to describe him... I can't imagine Test Cricket without you Dravid........

  • lava on March 9, 2012, 6:23 GMT

    true champion

  • Ibrahim on March 9, 2012, 6:20 GMT

    Dravid-You're the best in Our Indian Cricket. Really we are going to miss you a lot. India cricket is going to struggle in middle overs from now. All the best.

  • kishore salikram on March 9, 2012, 6:14 GMT

    Hi I am a South African but i enjoyed watching Dravid bat more than any player from my country. I travelled to India to watch him and must say that he is one of the best batsmen that i have ever seen playing test cricket. Good luck on your future and the cricket world will miss a champion player and a true gentleman. All the best

  • UdhayaSan on March 9, 2012, 6:13 GMT

    Really very sad about Dravid's Retirement, Hey we miss u wall... really if india fail to recover their batting order in Tests or Odi it will be very tuff without you.... Keep On going i wish u all the best in future with good family and friends...

  • Kool Kat on March 9, 2012, 6:10 GMT

    A Champion in the most courgeous mould. A selfless legend calls time. RSD, you will be missed.

  • Srinath on March 9, 2012, 5:58 GMT

    Dravid, the superhero of Indian Cricket, you are the rockstar, cheers!

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  • Srinath on March 9, 2012, 5:58 GMT

    Dravid, the superhero of Indian Cricket, you are the rockstar, cheers!

  • Kool Kat on March 9, 2012, 6:10 GMT

    A Champion in the most courgeous mould. A selfless legend calls time. RSD, you will be missed.

  • UdhayaSan on March 9, 2012, 6:13 GMT

    Really very sad about Dravid's Retirement, Hey we miss u wall... really if india fail to recover their batting order in Tests or Odi it will be very tuff without you.... Keep On going i wish u all the best in future with good family and friends...

  • kishore salikram on March 9, 2012, 6:14 GMT

    Hi I am a South African but i enjoyed watching Dravid bat more than any player from my country. I travelled to India to watch him and must say that he is one of the best batsmen that i have ever seen playing test cricket. Good luck on your future and the cricket world will miss a champion player and a true gentleman. All the best

  • Ibrahim on March 9, 2012, 6:20 GMT

    Dravid-You're the best in Our Indian Cricket. Really we are going to miss you a lot. India cricket is going to struggle in middle overs from now. All the best.

  • lava on March 9, 2012, 6:23 GMT

    true champion

  • Krishna Chaitanya on March 9, 2012, 6:23 GMT

    The Wall..........The Gentleman..........Mr.Cricket........ These titles are not enough to describe him... I can't imagine Test Cricket without you Dravid........

  • abdul quadir on March 9, 2012, 6:26 GMT

    India will dearly miss him.

  • JK on March 9, 2012, 6:26 GMT

    Thanks for the article Samir. I have always wondered how it would feel to pick the brains of perhaps the most erudite cricketer. I envy you!

  • Susheel on March 9, 2012, 6:31 GMT

    One of the True Legends who gave India the much needed stability in the Test Matches. Technically correct. Great attitude... Carries his head on his shoulders. Above all a team player.