Rahul Sharad Dravid
January 11, 1973, Indore, Madhya Pradesh
Right hand Bat
Right arm Offbreak
Top order Batter
St. Joseph's Boys' High School
Rahul Dravid was probably one of the last classical Test match batters, and one of the greatest.
His progress into the India side may have been steady and methodical rather than meteoric, but once there, he established himself at the vanguard of a new, defiant Indian side who were no longer easybeats away from home. Armed with an orthodox technique, he became the cement that held the foundations firm while the flair players expressed themselves. Yet, for a man who came to be stereotyped as one-paced and one-dimensional, he could stroke the ball around when the mood struck him.
Dravid compensated for his relative lack of athleticism with sheer hard work and powers of concentration that were almost yogic. In Adelaide in 2003, when India won a Test in Australia for the first time in a generation, he batted 835 minutes over two innings. A few months later he was at the crease more than 12 hours for the 270 that clinched India's first series win in Pakistan. That formidable concentration also came in handy when he was standing in the slips, where he took 210 catches in Tests, the record.
After impressing in a Lord's debut in 1996, where he was eclipsed by Sourav Ganguly, Dravid's breakthrough innings arrived at the Wanderers a few months later, against a South Africa attack accustomed to bullying visitors. A brief slump followed, but he emerged from that in 2001 with perhaps one of the most famous supporting performances of all, in a partnership of 376 with VVS Laxman that resulted in an unlikely victory after India followed on against Steve Waugh's Australia. The half-decade that followed was a golden one with the bat: tours of England and Australia, in 2002 and 2003-04, fetched Dravid more than 600 runs apiece.
A two-year stint as captain, following Ganguly's axing, was less successful, though he did lead the side to series victories in West Indies in 2006 and in England the year after, the first time in a generation India had won in those places. Just when it seemed his best was behind him, Dravid showed his class once again on the tour to England in 2011: in a series in which India were completely outplayed and none of their other batters scored more than 275 runs in the Tests, he amassed 461, including three hundreds, two of them when opening the innings against a high-quality pace attack. However, that was followed by a poor series in Australia, which turned out to be his last.
Initially seen as a liability in the one-day arena, Dravid retooled his white-ball game over the years to become an adept middle-order finisher, and by the time the selectors eased him aside in early 2008, he had more than 10,000 ODI runs to his name. For a good while, he kept wicket in the 50-overs side, helping the team to find a balance that was crucial in India's run to the World Cup final in 2003.
Batting & Fielding