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A man who toiled hard on the paved pitches of the KSCA, a man whose toil of 7 years in domestic cricket didn’t substantiate his dream of donning the Indian colours, a man who was tagged as a ‘test’ batsman in the formative stages of his career, a man who has apparently done everything there is to do on a cricket pitch, a man who has always been there for India, patience and tenacity have been hia childhood friend, a man whose name is forever etched in the psyche of the purists of the game, thy name is Rahul Dravid.
It has been a decade and a half since a studious, shy but a confident young man walked out to bat for India at the Lords.Few, infact very few would have given him a chance against the lethal English bowling battery.What followed, the world is a witness to that.It was the arrival of one of the most prolific batsmen and the nicest human beings in this volatile era of cricket.
There’s a Sachin Tendulkar and then there’s a M.S. Dhoni.Tendulkar, as we all know has attained whatever there is in terms of numbers, fame and ofcourse money.He’s a living legend and apparently impossile to emulate.Then comes our very own captain with all his flamboyance and a debonair aspect who is the icon for the youth, eye candy for the endorsers and has all the makings of a superstar of the filmdom.But, Rahul Dravid is neither.He has his own classical style on and off the field which segregates him from the rest.
As a cricketer, he’s never craved for the limelight, has hardly been in the public eye for wrong reasons,has been mostly overshadowed by his more illustrious counterparts throughout his career.Dravid is like a workman, who reaches his job at a fixed stipulated time, does what he’s expected to do and head back home in the evening.He has worked like an employee for Indian cricket for the last 15 years glorifying not only the name of the nation but the sport itself.
He looks out of place in the kingfisher jingle, maybe he is way above being auctioned for an IPL franchise as well.In the last few years, he has consolidated his image of a serious cricketer who loves to play, well, cricket.Thats Dravid for you
Rahul Dravid is like that nerd you find in your class who has oil drenched hair, takes copious notes and means business. That intensity about him is worth studying, though, for Dravid knows no other way of playing the game. Like a good student would, he assimilates data, works out what he is going to do, and focuses as intently as anyone. Impatience is the hallmark of youth, and while Dravid has been young in years, he has always sported a maturity that belies them.
Rahul Dravid has been the cricketer I’ve admired and followed since childhood.His persona and the subtle stability that he brought to the22 yards from the time his stepped in, made me certain that India was safe.
His numbers apart, Rahul Dravid has been an idol of sorts.His abysmal cover drives, reflex catches at first slip and the urge to perform well, have contributed to his swansong.He is the mascot of never say die spirit and focus. Inspite of not achieving the kind of fame and popularity like some of his teammates, he has never complained and stood like a wall under all circumstances.
As he bids a goodbye to the 50-over format, I wonder whether there would be the same solidity at no. 3 again for India, will anyone would be as dependable as he was.Only time can answer these questions.But, surely Rahul Dravid has put all the wagging tongues to rest by showing what hardwork and honesty can achieve in the long run.I simply salute him for being one of the greatest ambassadors of the gentlemen’s game.
Viva la Dravid!
Electronics and Communication Engineering
Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University