The nice guy who finished first !!

Who is a unsung hero ? One who contributed substantially but doesn’t get the recognition or credit for his contributions.

if there is one man who you would like to associate with the lines above, it’s Rahul Sharath Dravid.

Cricket in India is a religion, grounds are said to be temples and God in India goes by the name of Sachin Tendulkar. Sachin Tendulkar was the poster boy of indian cricket and he inspired India to the next level after taking over from the likes of Sunil Gavaskar and Company. However, if there was one man who deserves equal or perhaps more is Rahul Dravid.

The wall as he is known by cricketing fraternity, he was the glue which held the Indian team in various dry situations. If it’s a belter of a pitch Sehwag and Vvs will time the ball to all parts of the ground, A great array of bowlers and Tendulakar will relish the contest but on day 5 on a crumbling track with overcast conditions and the team in trouble who would you turn to ? Dravid has a certain knack of doing it when it mattered the most, his 148 at headingly was one for the gods. 233 against the best line up and on their own turf(australia) resulted in India winning down under. Rawalpindi and his 270 ensured India won its first series in the enemies backyard.

Rahul born and brought up in bangalore attended the Karnataka cricket academy at the age of 14. It is here under the watchful eye of Keki Tarapore, Rahul blossomed into a bright young talent. He succeeded by using the three D’s discipline,dedication and determination. Consistency was rewarded with State call ups and soon after hitting his 6th ton for Karnataka the crowning arrived, Dravid made is debut in 1996 against England at the home of cricket and missed out on a century. by 4 runs. It was the start of a beautiful career with soaring highs and some lowly lows.

consistently performing on the big stage set him apart from the good and elevated him to the elite, his remarkable technique compelled with a gifted temperament were the keys to succes, you needed to ball a good ball to get the man out.

Captaincy soon followed, though many point out the 2007 World Cup as a glaring low, there were many bright shining achievements. Victory in South Africa, West Indies and England were enough evidences of succes.

Dropped from the shorter format of the game after limited overs cricket had been revolutionized by dhoni and his young brigade, Dravid continued ammassing runs in the longer format. He showed his teammates that the english bowlers weren’t invincible by finishing as the top scorer in the tour of England in the twilight of his career.

Dravid was once the darling of his female fans and not so much of the men, who preferred fast and flamboyant batting but by the time he called a time on his illustrious career he went out with his head held high. There wasn’t any farewell or a lap of honour. A small press conference and the man announced he was bidding goodbye. Typical Dravid!!!

Rahul Dravids retirement meant a part of my love for cricket died but one thing I will always recall in my mind is that sinewy movement of the willow to meet the ball.

Admired and respected by his colleagues and opponents he was truly the nice guy who finished first.

“If you can’t get along with Dravid, then you’re struggling in life” Bret lee

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