March 9, 2012

India's overseas hero, and much more

Rahul Dravid scored more runs in India's overseas wins than any other batsman, and his contributions go beyond his aggregate and hundreds
  shares 45

The stat that perhaps best sums up Rahul Dravid is not the runs he made or the hundreds he notched up, but the number of balls he consumed over a Test career that spanned fifteen-and-a-half years. In 286 Test innings, Dravid played 31,258 balls. Given that no other batsman has faced more than 29,000 deliveries, it puts into perspective the amount of hard work and sheer effort that went into scoring those 13,288 runs. There were other batsmen who had more natural talent, and were more elegant, aggressive, and exciting to watch. In terms of dedication to craft and working on achieving perfection, though, Dravid ranks second to none. That dedication fetched him just rewards, ensuring he scored runs in every country he played in, and finished his Test career as the second-highest run-getter, next only to Sachin Tendulkar.

From the time he scored 95 in his first Test innings against England at Lord's, it was clear he was an exceptional batting talent, but even so, not many would have envisaged a career that spanned 164 Test matches and 344 one-day internationals. His maiden Test century, a sparkling 148 against a tough South African attack in Johannesburg, further confirmed his class, and from there it has been a journey of several highs, interspersed with - as every career must have - its share of lows.

For most of his career, consistency was one of Dravid's fortes. For instance, of the first ten series that he played in (excluding one-off Tests), he averaged more than 40 in seven of them. His best phase, though, was the four-year period from the middle of 2002 to 2006, a stunning spell when he scored heavily pretty much everywhere he went: in 16 series during this period, 13 times he averaged more than 49, and nine times over 75. More importantly, he scored those runs in tough batting conditions, and in overseas Tests that led to wins abroad, a phenomenon that till then had been pretty rare in Indian cricket. During this period, his overseas average was an exceptional 77.07.

A slump followed, almost inevitably, from the middle of 2006 to 2008, when he struggled in South Africa, England, Australia and Sri Lanka. There was talk, inevitably again, that Dravid should quit Tests, but in his last three years he came out of that slump pretty well. He was among the runs in New Zealand, West Indies, and - in what must rank as arguably his best series, given the lack of batting support - in England in 2011, when he fought the England pace attack almost singlehandedly, scoring 461 runs at 76.83. His last series was admittedly a huge disappointment, but despite that he averaged more than 52 in his last 33 Tests.

Rahul Dravid's Test career
Period Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s Home ave Away ave
Till Mar 31, 2002 55 4329 50.92 9/ 24 48.91 53.20
Apr 2002 - Jul 2006 49 4720 68.40 14/ 22 55.71 77.07
Aug 2006 - Dec 2008 27 1460 31.06 3/ 7 31.60 30.66
Jan 2009 onwards 33 2779 52.43 10/ 10 75.31 42.54
Career 164 13,288 52.31 36/ 63 51.35 53.03

At home overseas
As mentioned above, perhaps the most significant aspect of Dravid's Test career was that the runs he scored contributed significantly to India's wins, mainly overseas. Overall, Dravid scored 5131 runs in Test wins, next only to Tendulkar's 5594. However, in overseas Test wins, he was often India's main man, even more than Tendulkar. India won 15 Tests abroad during Dravid's career (excluding matches in Bangladesh and Zimbabwe), and in those games he scored 1577 runs at 65.70 - both aggregate and average is higher than Tendulkar's.

Quite fittingly, Dravid was Man of the Match in the last overseas Test win that India achieved during his career - his second-innings 112 and match tally of 152 were largely instrumental in India winning a low-scoring game in Kingston by 63 runs. In all, eight of his 11 Man-of-the-Match awards came in overseas Tests, and five in overseas wins, including unforgettable performances at Headingley (2002), Adelaide (2003), Rawalpindi (2004) and Kingston (2006). Tendulkar won only five out of his 14 Man-of-the-Match awards overseas, and only one in a win (excluding Bangladesh). In fact, no Indian has won as many match awards overseas as Dravid has. (Remember, though, that this award wasn't always around during the days of some of India's earlier players.)

As well as helping India win overseas, Dravid also scored mountains of runs in draws overseas, averaging more than 75 in those matches, with ten centuries in 32 Tests. Two of those hundreds were in the drawn game in Hamilton in 1999, one of two times he scored a century in each innings of a Test. In fact, he is one of only three Indians to achieve this feat - Sunil Gavaskar and Vijay Hazare are the others.

Indian batsmen in overseas* Tests, in wins and draws
Batsman Won Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s Drawn Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Rahul Dravid 15 1577 65.70 4/ 7 32 3083 75.19 10/ 17
Sachin Tendulkar 13 1219 60.95 5/ 3 42 3484 71.10 11/ 18
VVS Laxman 14 1111 52.90 2/ 8 26 1931 58.51 4/ 14
Virender Sehwag 11 965 56.76 3/ 1 15 1386 57.75 4/ 4
Sunil Gavaskar 9 756 50.40 3/ 3 30 2697 64.21 9/ 12
Sourav Ganguly 9 617 51.41 1/ 5 21 1601 59.29 5/ 8
Gundappa Viswanath 6 533 53.30 2/ 3 19 1040 40.00 2/ 8
* Excluding Tests in Bangladesh and Zimbabwe

No. 1 at No. 3
India didn't always have the luxury of solid opening pairs through his career, which made Dravid's presence at No. 3 all the more important. He is the only batsman at the moment to have scored more than 10,000 runs at that position, and he did it at a superb average too, scoring close to 53 runs per dismissal. At No. 3, though, his home record was better - he averaged 54.81 in India, and 51.35 abroad. In overseas Tests excluding Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, his average at No. 3 fell marginally below 50, to 48.75.

Highest run-getters at No. 3 in Tests
Batsman Innings Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Rahul Dravid 219 10,524 52.88 28/ 50
Ricky Ponting 196 9904 56.27 32/ 43
Kumar Sangakkara 158 8702 58.79 27/ 36
Don Bradman 56 5078 103.63 20/ 10
Richie Richardson 107 4711 47.11 14/ 21
Rohan Kanhai 90 4689 52.68 13/ 20
David Boon 111 4412 45.58 13/ 20
Ian Chappell 91 4279 50.94 13/ 22

Dravid's stats at No. 3 sorted by the score at which he came in to bat present some interesting numbers. He averaged only 38 when the first wicket fell with ten runs or fewer on the board, but on the 18 occasions when the first wicket fell at zero, he averaged 51.94, with three centuries and as many fifties. In fact, his highest Test score, 270, came when he came out to bat second ball, after Virender Sehwag had fallen to Shoaib Akhtar off the first ball of the innings in Rawalpindi. He also had plenty of success when he came in to bat fairly early, with the score between 11 and 20. The 148 at Headingley in 2002 came after the first wicket fell for 15, while the 217 that followed in the next Test, at The Oval, was scored after the first wicket fell at 18.

He obviously relished coming in to bat after the openers had given the team a solid start. On the 66 occasions when they added more than 50, Dravid averaged 62.41. Among his key knocks in such situations was the 233 in Adelaide in 2003 - that match-winning effort came after the openers had added 66.

Dravid at No. 3 by point-of-entry scores
Point of entry Innings Runs Average 100s/ 50s
10 or below 66 2322 38.07 4/ 12
11 to 20 45 2482 60.54 7/ 9
21 to 50 42 1913 53.14 4/ 11
51 and above 66 3807 62.41 13/ 18

Staying through partnerships
Dravid's ability to spend long periods at the crease meant bowlers had to invariably work hard to get his wicket. On an average, he played 123 balls per dismissal, which works out to 20.3 overs. Since the year of his debut, the only batsman who has faced 10,000-plus deliveries and has a higher rate of balls per dismissal is Jacques Kallis, who averages 125.55 balls per dismissal. They're the only two batsmen with a balls-per-dismissal figure of more than 120. Further down the table below, Tendulkar and Kumar Sangakkara have similar numbers: both have higher averages than Dravid, but their higher scoring rates also mean they don't play as many deliveries per dismissal.

Highest balls per dismissal in Tests since Jan 1996 (Qual: 10,000 balls faced)
Batsman Innings Not outs Balls faced Average Strike rate Balls per dismissal
Jacques Kallis 253 39 26,867 57.28 45.62 125.55
Rahul Dravid 286 32 31,258 52.31 42.51 123.06
Shivnarine Chanderpaul 221 33 21,365 48.79 42.93 113.64
Thilan Samaraweera
114 20 10,497 53.42 47.84 111.67
Steve Waugh 137 21 12,705 53.06 48.45 109.53
Gary Kirsten 143 14 13,841 47.19 43.98 107.29
Sachin Tendulkar 256 25 23,781 56.22 54.61 102.95
Kumar Sangakkara 179 12 17,191 55.97 54.37 102.94

Dravid's ability to spend long periods at the crease obviously meant his contribution to the team was much more than just the runs he scored. His solidity at the top of the order allowed the other, more extravagant, strokeplayers in the Indian team to express themselves freely, knowing that Dravid would hold his end up for long periods without losing concentration.

The table below shows that when Dravid was at the crease, the team scored 32,039 runs (60 of those runs were in the Test between Australia and the ICC World XI, so 31,979 runs were scored by the Indian team). Given that the entire Indian team scored 89,668 runs, it means 35.6% of the total runs that India made in Tests involving Dravid were scored with him at the crease. The corresponding percentage for Tendulkar is 29.9, and 32.6 for Kallis. Dravid is also the only batsman to be involved in more than 700 partnerships; in fact, no other batsman has even touched 650 so far.

Every time Dravid walked out to bat, he was involved in, on an average, 2.58 partnerships. Among batsmen who've played at least 100 innings, only Shivnarine Chanderpaul has a higher partnerships-per-innings number (2.66). So, while Dravid scored heaps of runs himself, his batting style also meant many more runs were being scored from the other end while he was around, all of which helped the team's cause.

Partnership runs for batsmen with 10,000-plus Test runs
Batsman Partnerships P'ship runs 100/ 50 stands Batsman runs Percentage
Rahul Dravid 738 32,039 88/ 126 13,288 41.47
Sachin Tendulkar 646 30,278 85/ 121 15,470 51.09
Ricky Ponting 496 26,703 85/ 110 13,200 49.43
Jacques Kallis 578 26,107 64/ 119 12,260 46.96
Allan Border 617 24,500 63/ 104 11,174 45.61
S Waugh 590 23,457 64/ 87 10,927 46.58
Brian Lara 508 21,495 62/ 84 11,953 55.61
Sunil Gavaskar 519 21,080 58/ 85 10,122 48.02
Mahela Jayawardene 420 20,635 63/ 78 10,086 48.88

Dravid has also been involved in more century stands than any other batsman: he finishes at 88, with two other current players about whom there has been plenty of retirement talk - Tendulkar and Ponting - on 85 each. Dravid is also the only batsman to have ten or more century stands with four others. And with Tendulkar, Dravid scored more partnership runs and century stands than any other pair, including openers: 6920 runs in 143 partnerships at 50.51, with 20 century stands.

Batsmen involved in most 100-plus stands in Tests
Batsman Century stands Partners with 10+ century stands
Rahul Dravid 88 Tendulkar (20), Laxman (12), Sehwag (10), Ganguly(10)
Ricky Ponting 85 Hayden (16), Langer (14)
Sachin Tendulkar 85 Dravid (20), Ganguly (12)
Jacques Kallis 64 de Villiers (12)
Steve Waugh 64 -
Allan Border 63 -
Mahela Jayawardene 63 Sangakkara (14), Samaraweera (10)
Brian Lara 62 Sarwan (12)
Shivnarine Chanderpaul 60 -
Sunil Gavaskar 58 Chauhan (11), Vengsarkar (10), M Amarnath (10)

Beyond the batsman
And if all those achievements as a batsman are not enough, Dravid was captain of the Indian Test team for 25 Tests, a period during which the team had an 8-6 win-loss record, and won series in West Indies and England. Among Indian captains who led in 20 or more Tests, only MS Dhoni and Sourav Ganguly have a better win-loss ratio.

Indian captains with best win-loss ratio (Qual: 20 Tests)
Captain Tests Win/Loss Draw W/L ratio
MS Dhoni 37 17/ 10 10 1.70
Sourav Ganguly 49 21/ 13 15 1.61
Rahul Dravid 25 8/ 6 11 1.33
Sunil Gavaskar 47 9/ 8 30 1.12
Mohammad Azharuddin 47 14/ 14 19 1.00

And on the field, he snaffled a record 210 catches, mostly in the slips. That was another aspect of the game where his immense powers of concentration stood him in good stead.

There's plenty to like about Rahul Dravid's Test career. The one aspect that's disappointing, though, is his record against Australia and South Africa, arguably the two best bowling sides during his playing period. His poor final series in Australia meant his overall average against them dipped below 40 (38.67), while against South Africa he averaged only 33.83. Thus, in 54 Tests against those two teams, he averaged 36.75 with only four hundreds; in 27 Tests in those two countries, he averaged 36.53, with only two centuries. He never scored another Test hundred in South Africa after that 148 in Johannesburg in 1996-97, while the 233 in Adelaide remained his only Test hundred in Australia. Those, though, are minor blips in a career that largely stayed at an exceptionally high level through more than 15 years.

With inputs from Travis Basevi

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • BillyCC on March 12, 2012, 20:00 GMT

    @Emancipator007, an excellent and well thought out analysis of Dravid compared to some other batting greats. The one questionable comment is around your opinion on the luck/intangible factor. It can always go both ways in cricket. And Dravid's stocks rose significantly in the 4-nil loss to England because he stood out above the pack across the series even though India's bowling failed to take the 20 wickets required in each of the 4 tests. In the same series, Tendulkar's stocks declined because his experience warranted a significantly better performance.

  • Naikan on March 12, 2012, 16:40 GMT

    Dear Mr. Rajesh, thanks for this article. It is very rare that any writer puts Dravid in the correct perspective. As most Indian fans are too emotional, a majority of the media panders to their requirement for the flamboyant. Few appreciate the fact that it is Dravid's steadfast and down to earth approach which has served India better than most. In fact one hardly hears talk of his 200+ catches (the second best being far behind). May be Dravid should have taken bigger dives taking those catches or hit more sixes like he did in his only T20 match. Thankfully for India's sake he did not do that or it would have been just a flash in the pan and we would never have seen some of the fabulous victories or saved defeats. While I do believe Sachin has far greater talent, what Dravid teaches us is that talent may be god given but ability is self obtained. Here is an interesting stat: Sachin's test tally from the same date as when Dravid got into Test cricket comes to less than 13000 runs!

  • D.Sharma on March 11, 2012, 4:25 GMT

    Also... Dravid averaged the highest away from home in the 90s for a batsmen. What class.

  • praveen4honestremark on March 11, 2012, 0:39 GMT

    @ Sachin 86...Dravid is not rated based on how talented he is. He is rated for how well he played for the cause of the team. 233 and 72 in both the Innings and won a game for India with Laxman support. Dravid has evolved himself and challenged himself and played ONLY FOR TEAM, NOT FOR RECORDS. Remember mr. Sachin 86.

  • praveen4honestremark on March 11, 2012, 0:30 GMT

    A simple and straight question : " If you say Sachin had bad luck in winning matches for India when India need him to battle there for draw or win., you say it as bad luck when he gets out, then more than 90% he played during second innings when India needed him he failed, his average is 20-22%( below 25) in second Innings, so even for the most ill fated or bad luck person stats would change if he tried to improve himself. Where was Improvement in Sachin's batting?When did he start thinking he is not playing tennis( he likes this game) by moulding himself to stay there and play under pressure 4 team??When has he given his best shot when India needed him whether during ODI's or in Tests??We have to think, ah! and pause would say one match against Bangladesh or Zimbabwe would be answer where he might have played under pressure. And now he is extending career for 100th ton.i mention it bcoz when he goes onto field 100th tom comes infront of mind than team cause. RD is opposite to SRT.

  • Wismay on March 10, 2012, 18:04 GMT

    @Emancipator007 I was talking about batsmen being lucky and unlucky depending on whether they take wickets or not. Which is what you were claiming. It just doesn't make sense. We can also say that the famous knock of VVS 281 at kolkata was due to the sheer inability of Aussie bowlers failing to take wickets! But that knock is right at the top of the all time best knocks list, and almost everyone says it was match winning knock. But according to you he was just lucky that bhajji and others took wickets. This is not logical. It goes either way and it is true for every match and every result. So this should not be a factor while comparing players. As along, such results even out like batsmen getting wrong decisions sometimes in their favor and sometimes against.

  • designer.max on March 10, 2012, 17:51 GMT

    @: RoobasOliyath:- If u saying that he was the best ever during 2002-2006,then i think u need to correct ur records first

  • sachin86 on March 10, 2012, 17:43 GMT

    Dravid was never good in AUS and SA...he has got only one century in each of these countries...also,one should keep in mind that sachin played for more than 2 decades and fared well even in the toughest decade of 90s.Dravid amassed runs against WI,NZ when they have become utterly poor and also when batting became relatively easy post 2001.Every good batsman started to average above 50 in 2000s.Sachin at the end of 90s decade averaged 58 and he was one of the very few who averaged above 50 in 90s.

  • harshthakor on March 10, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    Without doubt Rahul Dravid is amongst the top 6 one down batsmen of all and amongst the top dozen batsmen of all time.In a crisis the best batsman of the modern era,better than Lara or Tendulkar.From 2002-2006 arguably the best batsman in the world.Had he mantained that tempo he may have been rated 2nd to only Bradman.

  • RoobasOliyath on March 10, 2012, 10:04 GMT

    World cricket will never see another Wall as strong and effective as Rahul Dravid. He is certainly one of the best test cricketer of his generation, probably the best ever during 2002-2006 period having played more Series Defining innings than anybody in the world. If cricket is a gentleman's game, RD is the best ambassador for the sport. Great loss for the world of sports, will defenitely miss him in action but he retires as a legend that will live on forever. Respect!

  • BillyCC on March 12, 2012, 20:00 GMT

    @Emancipator007, an excellent and well thought out analysis of Dravid compared to some other batting greats. The one questionable comment is around your opinion on the luck/intangible factor. It can always go both ways in cricket. And Dravid's stocks rose significantly in the 4-nil loss to England because he stood out above the pack across the series even though India's bowling failed to take the 20 wickets required in each of the 4 tests. In the same series, Tendulkar's stocks declined because his experience warranted a significantly better performance.

  • Naikan on March 12, 2012, 16:40 GMT

    Dear Mr. Rajesh, thanks for this article. It is very rare that any writer puts Dravid in the correct perspective. As most Indian fans are too emotional, a majority of the media panders to their requirement for the flamboyant. Few appreciate the fact that it is Dravid's steadfast and down to earth approach which has served India better than most. In fact one hardly hears talk of his 200+ catches (the second best being far behind). May be Dravid should have taken bigger dives taking those catches or hit more sixes like he did in his only T20 match. Thankfully for India's sake he did not do that or it would have been just a flash in the pan and we would never have seen some of the fabulous victories or saved defeats. While I do believe Sachin has far greater talent, what Dravid teaches us is that talent may be god given but ability is self obtained. Here is an interesting stat: Sachin's test tally from the same date as when Dravid got into Test cricket comes to less than 13000 runs!

  • D.Sharma on March 11, 2012, 4:25 GMT

    Also... Dravid averaged the highest away from home in the 90s for a batsmen. What class.

  • praveen4honestremark on March 11, 2012, 0:39 GMT

    @ Sachin 86...Dravid is not rated based on how talented he is. He is rated for how well he played for the cause of the team. 233 and 72 in both the Innings and won a game for India with Laxman support. Dravid has evolved himself and challenged himself and played ONLY FOR TEAM, NOT FOR RECORDS. Remember mr. Sachin 86.

  • praveen4honestremark on March 11, 2012, 0:30 GMT

    A simple and straight question : " If you say Sachin had bad luck in winning matches for India when India need him to battle there for draw or win., you say it as bad luck when he gets out, then more than 90% he played during second innings when India needed him he failed, his average is 20-22%( below 25) in second Innings, so even for the most ill fated or bad luck person stats would change if he tried to improve himself. Where was Improvement in Sachin's batting?When did he start thinking he is not playing tennis( he likes this game) by moulding himself to stay there and play under pressure 4 team??When has he given his best shot when India needed him whether during ODI's or in Tests??We have to think, ah! and pause would say one match against Bangladesh or Zimbabwe would be answer where he might have played under pressure. And now he is extending career for 100th ton.i mention it bcoz when he goes onto field 100th tom comes infront of mind than team cause. RD is opposite to SRT.

  • Wismay on March 10, 2012, 18:04 GMT

    @Emancipator007 I was talking about batsmen being lucky and unlucky depending on whether they take wickets or not. Which is what you were claiming. It just doesn't make sense. We can also say that the famous knock of VVS 281 at kolkata was due to the sheer inability of Aussie bowlers failing to take wickets! But that knock is right at the top of the all time best knocks list, and almost everyone says it was match winning knock. But according to you he was just lucky that bhajji and others took wickets. This is not logical. It goes either way and it is true for every match and every result. So this should not be a factor while comparing players. As along, such results even out like batsmen getting wrong decisions sometimes in their favor and sometimes against.

  • designer.max on March 10, 2012, 17:51 GMT

    @: RoobasOliyath:- If u saying that he was the best ever during 2002-2006,then i think u need to correct ur records first

  • sachin86 on March 10, 2012, 17:43 GMT

    Dravid was never good in AUS and SA...he has got only one century in each of these countries...also,one should keep in mind that sachin played for more than 2 decades and fared well even in the toughest decade of 90s.Dravid amassed runs against WI,NZ when they have become utterly poor and also when batting became relatively easy post 2001.Every good batsman started to average above 50 in 2000s.Sachin at the end of 90s decade averaged 58 and he was one of the very few who averaged above 50 in 90s.

  • harshthakor on March 10, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    Without doubt Rahul Dravid is amongst the top 6 one down batsmen of all and amongst the top dozen batsmen of all time.In a crisis the best batsman of the modern era,better than Lara or Tendulkar.From 2002-2006 arguably the best batsman in the world.Had he mantained that tempo he may have been rated 2nd to only Bradman.

  • RoobasOliyath on March 10, 2012, 10:04 GMT

    World cricket will never see another Wall as strong and effective as Rahul Dravid. He is certainly one of the best test cricketer of his generation, probably the best ever during 2002-2006 period having played more Series Defining innings than anybody in the world. If cricket is a gentleman's game, RD is the best ambassador for the sport. Great loss for the world of sports, will defenitely miss him in action but he retires as a legend that will live on forever. Respect!

  • PrasadSovani on March 10, 2012, 8:53 GMT

    Sir, You wrote ___ Dravid is also the only batsman to have ten or more century stands with four others; no one else has even managed three. ___ But in the table below, Sunil Gavaskar appears as the batsman to have THREE such partners. Pl edit.

    Thanks

  • Emancipator007 on March 10, 2012, 8:25 GMT

    @Wismay:Typical of a RD fan calling someone who highlights SRT's natural talent as a fanboy?If you bother to check "It Figures" blog, I have critiqued SRT on many issues.I am surprised that you are discounting the LUCK/ INTANGIBLE factor in cricket.Careers/innings have been lengthened or shortened cos of luck. Stephenson could not play for WI cos of pace bowling arsenal that WI boasted during Lloyd/Richards' era. Kambli could not play Tests after 23 after just 1 series failure against WI! My theory of Indian bowlers holds true cos Sehwag's blazing-magnum 195 in Melbourne in RD's best OZ series was UTTERLY/criminally wasted cos bowlers failed to capitalize. In fact, both Chappelli and Taylor mentioned that India should have won the series 3-0 cos even SRT-Laxman's 300 run partnership went waste as bowlers (along with Parthiv's fumbles) failed in Sydney.Shows Agarkar's effort was a one-off. SMG's stupendous 90 and 121 (at Sehwaguesque SR!) '83 series v WI went waste,no one backed Kapil.

  • silly_pt on March 10, 2012, 7:07 GMT

    @ARad: if someone discovers relativity at 20 then surely he is better than Einstein isn't it? @Emancipator007:Agree with most of your comments but I am afraid this isn't place and time for it.

  • RandyOZ on March 10, 2012, 6:51 GMT

    we didnt need a big article to know Dravid is the greatest Indian player ever. He actually played for the team and never chased personal records unlike sachin.

  • Emancipator007 on March 10, 2012, 6:32 GMT

    @Arad;Logic?Would anybody in their right mind call a theoretical/practical studies/lab-based PhD as a world-beating scientist capable of winning a Nobel/Fields at 20 based purely on that PhD (I had studied a fair bit of Nobel laureates history and don't seem to remember a single prodigious world-beating achievement).And you compare that with the CAULDRON of international Test cricket where there are no favors. Despite that teen SRT got 100s in SA,Eng,OZ (Perth 100 at 18 would be a Nobel Prize winner to use your analogy). I also picked those particular series cos of the high-quality bowling attacks (could easily have picked any of SRT's 89-92 tough abroad series) and just wanted to point out the UNLUCKINESS of some SRT innings not getting victories due to bowlers. Just to compare, RD's 93 at Perth in '08 was decisive cos of Irfan's bowling performance, but SRT's 97 in Mumbai vs SA in '00 again a waste. And for the record, Sanga who I rate as the best Test bat of past 2 years is my fav

  • praveen4honestremark on March 10, 2012, 6:20 GMT

    @ Emancipator007- There are no 'if's' and 'but's' ...If i was given chance i would have become more than Sachin- Praveen Vaddepally with average 80, more than SRT. So, at the end when you compare it is Dravid who came from no 1 to no 8 in bating for team and Sachin never dared., why?? answer yourself. And freedom to express is his cause of his average, if he was under pressure like Dravid he wouldn't have achieved even 30 average. Every second Innings he played in career is an live example for you if you to say Sachin fails in Stress or tensed moments. So at the end even though you may support Sachin, accept there is a guy who has done far better, best. Accept the truth man, after all you are an Indian and Dravid has always been best match winner than anyone. Sachin a good player but not a great player like Dravid in tests.

  • Emancipator007 on March 10, 2012, 2:15 GMT

    SL player after Aravinda.Vaughan barely lasted a decade in international cricket and despite his supreme performance in '03 in OZ could not sustain even a mid-40s average@Chapathishot:Both RD and SRT were never India's best 4th innings bats;singular honor goes to Sunny with an average of 58, I think including that opus 221 in'79 draw against Eng. where Indian lower could not get remaining 9 runs chasing 433, his 90 in Tied Test '86 against OZ and valiant 96 in losing cause in his last Test against Pak. From memory, RD's best 4th innings match-saving performances (73 at Adelaide was match winning) were the Georgetown 100 in WI'97 and 87 in SA '01 apart from his partnership with Gambhir in '09 NZ. SRT's was his debut 100 where he saved match with Prabhakar. @praveen4:At times, it is quite obvious that SRT despite his career runs suffers from "fear of failure" and never maximized his talent (my take is he could have had a 70 average if he had soaked match pressure like RD did) unlike RD.

  • cricketlover777 on March 10, 2012, 2:13 GMT

    @ everyone - in my second post i wanted to say that "the comparison with sachin is not valid"

  • cricketlover777 on March 10, 2012, 2:09 GMT

    @tapeball-55 for sachin and 47 for dravid are the combined no of tests in their won and drawn tests overseas. if u add the no of losses abroad then u get the correct stat.

  • praveen4honestremark on March 10, 2012, 0:57 GMT

    A simple and straight observation on RD- ' He always tries to play above his potential by pushing himself to play longer and play shots which are only safe. He was the protector of other players likes SRT who would come and play the older ball which looses the shine. As we know all Indian players are best in playing reverse swing as we have a bowler like Zaheer under whom they practice and also pitches in India suit Reverse swing after 50 odd overs, so if Sehwag goes out even after 10 overs in test then comes Dravid ,removes shine off the ball and so it becomes easy for players to come. Very tough task to play at number 3 and number 7 in tests. Remaining are easy and these places have to see new ball off . Dravid played how he knows to play, bt never forgot he is playing for country and gave his best shot always. When asked why can't you leave play one more test and leave, he replies" I can't play to just play". It says play for country if u feel u are giving best, dnt play 4 records.

  • praveen4honestremark on March 10, 2012, 0:42 GMT

    @ Emancipator007- U made some interesting notes on Dravid and Sachin when you compared both.Yes, you may be right in saying that Rahul Dravid was vulnerable playing quicks, but he Rahul is a match winner for India than any other player till date in tests. I am not saying this words as because to laud Dravid as he is retiring. I'm just explaining what Dravid is to you.Dravid is one player who played above his potential, tried tried and tried to extend his levels. I rate him far far above than Sachin because even though Sachin having enormous talent never played above his potential, even though so good playing quicks never was great player whom we can depend upon during crisis. Never we believe Sachin can help us in second Innings.If Sachin was Rahul in terms of dedication and extending his potential then India would have done best in tests, as there would have been another player to support Dravid during crisis. Emancipator, can you see Sachin play if India really needs him to play? NO

  • ARad on March 9, 2012, 22:36 GMT

    Emancipator comments: "But I will still MAINTAIN that he is the most talented batsman in Test history (note did not say greatest) cos he has been the only finished Test cricketer at age 16!". This is POOR LOGIC. A person who got his PhD at 20 is more talented than, let's say, Einstein then?!?The commenter also claims that Ponting, Kallis, Vaughan, RD and Sanga fed themselves in the 'quirky' period but Sanga, for example, averages about 5 runs more during his career than 02-06 so this indicates that he was on a diet (relatively speaking). Also, the commenter picks and chooses series to indicate how Sachin was on a different class. Picking and choosing is always shaky. (Why not do the same to Vaughan (Aus 02/03), for example?)

  • S.Jagernath on March 9, 2012, 21:09 GMT

    @TapeBall...What are you talking about?Rahul Dravid has played just 70 tests in India.I think you might be thinking of either Mahela Jayawardene or Kumar Sangakkara!

  • Emancipator007 on March 9, 2012, 19:11 GMT

    @akc5247 @D.Sharma:Have paid my tributes to Dravid in the other "qualitative" columns about his retirement. It is only in the Stats section that I have critiqued him (as I had done previously with Barry Richards' so called legend status in Tests based on a paltry 4 Tests along with others notables profiled by Rajesh). @ cricketlover777: Very good points about Dravid about his peak phase and also why a left-hander might succeed against Eng in Eng more (Lara,Smith, Chanderpaul being other egs.)@Sivadubai: I can't even BEGIN to tell tales to younger cricket fans worldwide about Sunny's supreme excellence (sadly all videos are not available on YTube) in the toughest era for fast bowlers in cricket history as an OPENER without a helmet! In private conversations in Mumbai during frequent visits, Lloyd,Viv have called SMG the greatest Test bat bar none; obviously in public have to keep mentioning Don and SRT's names. Sobers, Roberts and Croft have unabashedly publicly called SMG the greatest.

  • Emancipator007 on March 9, 2012, 18:55 GMT

    @Spex750:You did not read my 1st post properly; I have CLEARLY mentioned that I consider Gavaskar the greater Test bat than SRT and RD and I have not SHIFTED allegiance cos of the uniqueness that SMG bought to world cricket as a high-performance Asian cricketer and the stupendous scale of his achievements (unthinkable to surpass Don's 29 centuries and then scale the peak of 10,000 Test runs during that era). On these VERY forums, I have been the biggest critiquer (my term) of Tendulkar;pointed out his petulance at stealing Sehwag's 300 run thunder(first Indian to do so) in Pakistan by complaining about India's declaration when he was on 194*; why SRT does not BUDGE from his sacrosanct no. 4 position in Tests and no. 1 in ODIs and also POINTED out that SRT does not necessarily chase records, but LOVES his records. But I will still MAINTAIN that he is the most talented batsman in Test history (note did not say greatest) cos he has been the only finished Test cricketer at age 16!

  • Wismay on March 9, 2012, 18:27 GMT

    @TapeBall What are you mentioning? Where is 47 and 55 in that list? Dravid has played 70 Tests at home and 94 Tests away, overall.

  • chapathishot on March 9, 2012, 18:10 GMT

    @Emancipator007: There are some stats which dont lie ,Like fourth innings hundreds and innings to save test matches ,where SRT was very very poor than all those compared by you.If you have any counter points clarify

  • Wismay on March 9, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    @Emancipator007 So what you say is that, other batsmen were lucky but Sachin was unlucky. Because bowlers failed when Sachin batted well but India lost? It shows how insecure you are and how you bring intangible things like luck etc to prove your point. Learn to give credit where it is due rather than worshipping a single player.

  • Wismay on March 9, 2012, 17:06 GMT

    @ Emancipator007 ok, you are a Sachin fanboy. Why are you trying to prove Dravid is less than Sachin? Are you guys feel insecure whenever other Cricketers get praised?

  • TapeBall on March 9, 2012, 16:02 GMT

    I am astonished that no body critical out the way stat. has been shown in this article. For example in "Indian batsmen in overseas* Tests, in wins and draws" it showed that dravid and tendulkar played only 47 and 55 test matches overseas? what about the rest of the test matches they have played? Don't tell me that out of 164 test matches Dravid only played only 47 overseas even you rule out bangladesh and zimbabwe test matches.

  • akc5247 on March 9, 2012, 15:25 GMT

    @Emancipator007 - Your thought process and points are spot-on, but at the wrong juncture. And if one cannot respect the juncture at which their opinions are given in detail, those points and opinion are of essentially no value.

  • InnocentGuy on March 9, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    Look at Bradman's average!! Man!!

  • D.Sharma on March 9, 2012, 14:16 GMT

    @Emancipator007.. with all respect to your comments, no one wants to hear about how well Tendulkar did this or how bad Dravid did that. Wrong place and wrong time, buddy.

  • Bubble_Buster on March 9, 2012, 14:15 GMT

    Rahul you were simply the best batsman!

    Your loyal fan from Islamabad !!!

  • cricketlover777 on March 9, 2012, 13:15 GMT

    in their bowling unit so ganguly did not have have contend with outswing bowling which is lethal in English seam tracks. this is where rahul's contribution comes to the spotlight. also the comparison with srt is valid since there style is different. SRT will on most days face half the no of deliveries dravid faces and scores 1.5 times more runs than dravid. this was what happened in the recently concluded australia series. u may say that this is dravid's weak point but this weak point has on many occasions proven to be his strength in Indian wins especially overseas.Lastly i wud like to say that my aim is not being biased towards dravid and underestimating srt and ganguly but rather my purpose was to highlight the contributions of a illustrious batsman which u had somewhat dampened by ur comments.

  • spex750 on March 9, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    As an Australian, I may have winced when I watched him blunt our bowling attacks, but I'll remember those performances fondly in his absence. A superb cricketer, and a gentleman to boot. Cricket needs more like him.

    @Emancipator007, you're not kidding anyone. "Detached"? You're clearly a Sachin fanboy.

  • cricketlover777 on March 9, 2012, 13:06 GMT

    @Emancipator007-i definitely agree with ur bowlers contribution part in the last paragraph. However i feel that u have slightly underachieved dravid in the 3 paragraphs. u said that he said scored in 2002-06 which was a quirky period however his most struggled and hardened knocks have come there(148 headingley, 233 adelaide, twin 100s jamaica, 217 vs nz which is a very underrated knock and 270 rawalpindi). u may argue that many of those pitches were battingfriendly and the bowling attacks were not threatening. However the standout feature in these knocks was his patience and had he not shown that this matches wud have had a very different outcome. ANOTHER thing in ur comments is the constant reference to ganguly. i dont disrespect him but when u say that he scored in england so its no big deal on dravids part,i disagree becoz ganguly is left handed which gives him an advantage against outswingers of right hand pacers. and i dont remember english bowling attacks carry a left armer CONTD

  • sivadubai on March 9, 2012, 12:35 GMT

    @emancipator07 - You have just reinforced my belief and gave a perfect analysis of Dravid's strength and weakness. The stats do not reveal the actual situation though. Sunny Gavaskar was always the best given the batting strength the team he had possessed and the quality of the bowling he faced (West Indies were the best, Australians and the English while not to forget Imran Khan's and Sikandhar Bakht's. Sunny was the who stood his ground fearless against the battery of the quickies and also relentlessly put a brave face against the sledging Ozzies

  • Y2SJ on March 9, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    He is the greatest Test batsman from India ever. His patience and technique is awesome. But the best part is the way he handed himself. He never sledged, never used abusive language, never broke rules. A true gentleman.

  • Breaks on March 9, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    "GREAT WALL ALWAYS STANDS TALL AMONGST RUINS". Mr. DEPENDABLE

    You have achieved everything in cricket, but left the fans with sadness and tears with your retirement. You are irreplaceable by any one. Just 1 unsuccessful tour of Australia doesn't diminish your class or form. You are always a go to man for India in crisis situations. A total team man. All the very best for your future. Hope to see you in full flow during IPL 5.

  • satya1231 on March 9, 2012, 10:01 GMT

    If you look at one series where Dravid didnt perform overseas you can imagine how much important he was winning or saving test matches for us overseas..It an art to play in overseas conditions and Dravid was a master...

  • Emancipator007 on March 9, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    Meanwhile, fans and analysts should stop spreading false canards about Sehwag and Gang in Indian wins (look at the figures). Also, let's bury this MYTH about batsmen and match-winning innings (I prefer calling them match-decisive or match turning innings as 20 wickets are NECESSARY for the wins ) as far as Indian batsmen go. Because there is SIMPLY no way of knowing when or which of India's bowler(s) will LUCKILY (very imp term as Indian teams have not had consistent, penetrative attacks abroad like Pak, OZ and WI teams) click overseas for 100s/200s to be deemed significant. If Agarkar did not have that burst in Adelaide, Dravid's 300 plus match agg. Would have been a waste. As also VVS' 281 if Bhajji had not clicked in Kol' 01. Shows that SRT's supreme 116 in '99 Melbourne or his 2 100s in OZ in '92 or 2 100s in Eng in '96 were wasted simply cos particular Indian bowlers did not CLICK in those Tests.

  • Emancipator007 on March 9, 2012, 9:12 GMT

    prospered (except surprise, surprise Tendulkar). RD was MORE adept at handling seam and swing (as attested by his superb records in Eng and NZ,but then Gang also never failed in Eng). In effect, RD's game had deteriorated long back but he somehow with his superb powers of concentration, resolve and technique resurrected himself against fast-medium pace attacks in Eng and WI but predictably FAILED against pacy Morkel and Steyn in SA'10 and the hustling pace of Pattinson and Harris in OZ this time. This is where SRT's SAME game is ASTONISHINGLY still intact at 39 as at 16 (cue his superb batting in first 2 Tests in OZ before the sudden loss of form as against his game). As RD himself mentioned that cos of the faith that selectors had in him as also the credits he had gained, that he was allowed to come back into form after those awful 2 years when Gambhir and Sehwag's stupendous run scoring spree (both consecutive ICC Test cricketers of the year) cushioned RD.Still a SALUTE to the Wall.

  • Emancipator007 on March 9, 2012, 9:10 GMT

    As a detached yet passionate cricket observer, I will NEVER hesitate to critique cricket greats,whatever their body of unsurpassable achievements and have done that with the peerless Gavaskar too (for me a greater Test bat than SRT and RD). And the stats column gives the best chance. These stats don't REVEAL the fact that Dravid had problems with extreme/express pace and therefore had average returns on the pacy decks on 4 SA tours (that 148 at J'burg was also when Ganguly, the weakest of the Big 4 scored agg. 130 plus runs) and 3 OZ tours (being scoreless in '99 and scoring less than 100 runs!). He was also miserable in the home Test series against SA in 2000 against Donald and Pollock and against Akthar and Akram in '99 (3 series including OZ '99 during which SRT proved why he was in a DIFFERENT league along with Lara than Ponting,RD and Kallis) Dravid along with Ponting,Kaliis,Vaughan,Sanga etc. fed themselves in that 'quirky' period b/w 2002-06 when every pedigreed batsman CONTD.

  • D.Sharma on March 9, 2012, 8:32 GMT

    THE REAL GOD OF INDIAN CRICKET, goodbye, Rahul.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • D.Sharma on March 9, 2012, 8:32 GMT

    THE REAL GOD OF INDIAN CRICKET, goodbye, Rahul.

  • Emancipator007 on March 9, 2012, 9:10 GMT

    As a detached yet passionate cricket observer, I will NEVER hesitate to critique cricket greats,whatever their body of unsurpassable achievements and have done that with the peerless Gavaskar too (for me a greater Test bat than SRT and RD). And the stats column gives the best chance. These stats don't REVEAL the fact that Dravid had problems with extreme/express pace and therefore had average returns on the pacy decks on 4 SA tours (that 148 at J'burg was also when Ganguly, the weakest of the Big 4 scored agg. 130 plus runs) and 3 OZ tours (being scoreless in '99 and scoring less than 100 runs!). He was also miserable in the home Test series against SA in 2000 against Donald and Pollock and against Akthar and Akram in '99 (3 series including OZ '99 during which SRT proved why he was in a DIFFERENT league along with Lara than Ponting,RD and Kallis) Dravid along with Ponting,Kaliis,Vaughan,Sanga etc. fed themselves in that 'quirky' period b/w 2002-06 when every pedigreed batsman CONTD.

  • Emancipator007 on March 9, 2012, 9:12 GMT

    prospered (except surprise, surprise Tendulkar). RD was MORE adept at handling seam and swing (as attested by his superb records in Eng and NZ,but then Gang also never failed in Eng). In effect, RD's game had deteriorated long back but he somehow with his superb powers of concentration, resolve and technique resurrected himself against fast-medium pace attacks in Eng and WI but predictably FAILED against pacy Morkel and Steyn in SA'10 and the hustling pace of Pattinson and Harris in OZ this time. This is where SRT's SAME game is ASTONISHINGLY still intact at 39 as at 16 (cue his superb batting in first 2 Tests in OZ before the sudden loss of form as against his game). As RD himself mentioned that cos of the faith that selectors had in him as also the credits he had gained, that he was allowed to come back into form after those awful 2 years when Gambhir and Sehwag's stupendous run scoring spree (both consecutive ICC Test cricketers of the year) cushioned RD.Still a SALUTE to the Wall.

  • Emancipator007 on March 9, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    Meanwhile, fans and analysts should stop spreading false canards about Sehwag and Gang in Indian wins (look at the figures). Also, let's bury this MYTH about batsmen and match-winning innings (I prefer calling them match-decisive or match turning innings as 20 wickets are NECESSARY for the wins ) as far as Indian batsmen go. Because there is SIMPLY no way of knowing when or which of India's bowler(s) will LUCKILY (very imp term as Indian teams have not had consistent, penetrative attacks abroad like Pak, OZ and WI teams) click overseas for 100s/200s to be deemed significant. If Agarkar did not have that burst in Adelaide, Dravid's 300 plus match agg. Would have been a waste. As also VVS' 281 if Bhajji had not clicked in Kol' 01. Shows that SRT's supreme 116 in '99 Melbourne or his 2 100s in OZ in '92 or 2 100s in Eng in '96 were wasted simply cos particular Indian bowlers did not CLICK in those Tests.

  • satya1231 on March 9, 2012, 10:01 GMT

    If you look at one series where Dravid didnt perform overseas you can imagine how much important he was winning or saving test matches for us overseas..It an art to play in overseas conditions and Dravid was a master...

  • Breaks on March 9, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    "GREAT WALL ALWAYS STANDS TALL AMONGST RUINS". Mr. DEPENDABLE

    You have achieved everything in cricket, but left the fans with sadness and tears with your retirement. You are irreplaceable by any one. Just 1 unsuccessful tour of Australia doesn't diminish your class or form. You are always a go to man for India in crisis situations. A total team man. All the very best for your future. Hope to see you in full flow during IPL 5.

  • Y2SJ on March 9, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    He is the greatest Test batsman from India ever. His patience and technique is awesome. But the best part is the way he handed himself. He never sledged, never used abusive language, never broke rules. A true gentleman.

  • sivadubai on March 9, 2012, 12:35 GMT

    @emancipator07 - You have just reinforced my belief and gave a perfect analysis of Dravid's strength and weakness. The stats do not reveal the actual situation though. Sunny Gavaskar was always the best given the batting strength the team he had possessed and the quality of the bowling he faced (West Indies were the best, Australians and the English while not to forget Imran Khan's and Sikandhar Bakht's. Sunny was the who stood his ground fearless against the battery of the quickies and also relentlessly put a brave face against the sledging Ozzies

  • cricketlover777 on March 9, 2012, 13:06 GMT

    @Emancipator007-i definitely agree with ur bowlers contribution part in the last paragraph. However i feel that u have slightly underachieved dravid in the 3 paragraphs. u said that he said scored in 2002-06 which was a quirky period however his most struggled and hardened knocks have come there(148 headingley, 233 adelaide, twin 100s jamaica, 217 vs nz which is a very underrated knock and 270 rawalpindi). u may argue that many of those pitches were battingfriendly and the bowling attacks were not threatening. However the standout feature in these knocks was his patience and had he not shown that this matches wud have had a very different outcome. ANOTHER thing in ur comments is the constant reference to ganguly. i dont disrespect him but when u say that he scored in england so its no big deal on dravids part,i disagree becoz ganguly is left handed which gives him an advantage against outswingers of right hand pacers. and i dont remember english bowling attacks carry a left armer CONTD

  • spex750 on March 9, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    As an Australian, I may have winced when I watched him blunt our bowling attacks, but I'll remember those performances fondly in his absence. A superb cricketer, and a gentleman to boot. Cricket needs more like him.

    @Emancipator007, you're not kidding anyone. "Detached"? You're clearly a Sachin fanboy.