For a man considered a misfit in the ODI format in the early years of his career, Rahul Dravid's name finds its way into two of the biggest partnerships in ODI cricket, which came within six months of each other in 1999.
The first of those was made with Sourav Ganguly in the 1999 World Cup against Sri Lanka in Taunton. The pitch had even bounce, the ground had short boundaries, and after a briefly threatening period at the start of the innings, Sri Lanka's bowling found its discipline waning.
Arjuna Ranatunga's decision to bowl seemed justified when Chaminda Vaas cut the ball back sharply to hit S Ramesh's off stump. However, Dravid, aggressively, and Ganguly, elegantly, soon gained complete dominance, with even Muttiah Muralitharan unable to stem the flow of runs. Dravid established himself as the pacemaker, reaching his second successive hundred at almost a run a ball. Ganguly made his own century, from 119 deliveries, and then began to hit over the top, racing to 183 in another 39 balls.
The pair left of a slew of records in their wake. Ganguly and Dravid's partnership of 318 in 45 overs was the highest in any limited-overs international at the time, surpassing the previous record of 275 set by Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja against Zimbabwe in 1997-98. Ganguly made 183 in 158 balls, which remains the second best in World Cup history, behind Gary Kirsten's 188 not out against the United Arab Emirates in 1996. India's 373 for 6 was their highest score in the World Cup, until they made 413 for 5 against Bermuda in 2007.
Sri Lanka began slipping out of contention as early as the fifth over, as the explosive opening pair of Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana were dismissed. Aravinda de Silva and Ranatunga chipped in with 56 and 42 respectively before the side were dismissed for 216. India's tournament ended after the Super Six stage, but Dravid topping the tournament's run charts was a bright spot.
This article was first published in 2014