His peers’ thoughts about Rahul Dravid, the ‘fortress’ at No.3 for India in Test cricket.
When at his best, Rahul Dravid was near dislodgable. Over 164 Tests and 344 one-day internationals, Dravid amassed 13,288 and 10,889 runs respectively, earning praise from compatriots and opponents alike along the way.
Here’s what some of the greats of his era had to say about Dravid.
Bring on the cannons!
Shane Warne had many battles with Dravid when both of them were at the peak of their powers, in both India and Australia. He won some and lost some. In Shane Warne’s Century, the master leg-spinner wrote: “As these things go, Rahul Dravid being known as ‘The Wall’ is pretty much spot on. ‘The fortress’ could also describe Rahul. Because once, Dravid was set, you needed the bowling equivalent of a dozen cannon firing all at once to blast him down.”
‘It would be Rahul’
Brian Lara wound up his international career sometime before Dravid did, but had a good enough taste of what the Indian No.3 was capable of. The most prolific Caribbean run-scorer ever said once about Dravid: “Over the years, many cricketers have brought me joy, friends like Sachin (Tendulkar) among others. Rahul Dravid is one player I could go and watch. Come to think of it, if I wanted someone batting for my life, it would be Rahul.”
A phenomenal man
Shane Watson played against and with (in the Indian Premier League) Dravid enough to know the Indian master well. Watson said once about Dravid: “He's probably the nicest guy – no, he is the nicest guy – that I've met in cricket.” Respected for the way he played the game, Dravid was praised by many. Watson said at the time of Dravid’s international retirement in 2012, “He's a phenomenal man. He loves the game with so much passion, it's in his blood and in his heart. He is certainly going to be sorely missed by the Indian public and the cricket loving public as well.”
The perfect role model
Tendulkar and Dravid played at No.3 and No.4 for India in Test cricket for close to two decades, sharing in some memorable partnerships and scripting a glorious chapter in Indian cricket together. “He is a perfect role model for youngsters. He has set a great example for all of us to follow,” said Tendulkar about his comrade.
The marathon man
Glenn McGrath was the pre-eminent fast bowler of his generation, and his career ran side by side Dravid’s from 1995, when the Indian started out, to 2007, when the Australian finished up. “He is not like the other guys who love scoring off every ball, and there is no real weakness in his game either,” said McGrath of Dravid. “He is mentally strong. You have just got to bowl well to him early on because he gets himself really set for a big innings once he is in.”
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