As the ever-dependable batsman celebrates his 48th birthday today, let’s have a look at some of his finest knocks in international cricket.
When one thinks about Dravid’s great knocks, it is hard to go past his 180 against Australia at the Eden Gardens in 2001. This innings by the batsman is still viewed as one of the grittiest knocks in Test cricket.
509 international caps🧢24,208 international runs🏏48 international tons 👍Most catches (210) in Tests 👌Over 10,00… https://t.co/syNtxX1Srf
— BCCI (@BCCI) 1610335773000
Australia were in a dominant position for the majority of the match and the game was a must-win for India after losing the first Test. The Australians were in total control at the Eden Gardens as they enforced the follow-on.
In the first innings, India was bundled out for 171 in reply to Australia’s 445. In the second innings, Indian openers were dismissed and it was then that Dravid and VVS Laxman came up with a rescue act.
(VVS Laxman, left, and Rahul Dravid during the historic 2001 Kolkata Test against Australia – Getty Images )
Nobody would have anticipated that the duo would go on to produce a ‘miracle’ for the side. The pair went on to build a stand of 376 runs. Laxman and Dravid dismantled the Aussie bowling attack which comprised of Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath to leave them wicketless for an entire day.
Another knock is his 270 against Pakistan at Rawalpindi in 2004.
The three-match series was levelled at 1-1 and there was pressure on the Indian side to register their first Test series win in Pakistan. Dravid, who did the stand-in captain duties for the first two Tests, was relieved of the captaincy as regular skipper Sourav Ganguly came back to the side.
🏏 More than 10,000 runs in Tests and ODIs🌟 194 fifty-plus scores👐 Most Test catches by a non-wicketkeeper🔴 Most… https://t.co/tkLVwf5xRe
— ICC (@ICC) 1610343569000
Dravid was out of touch in the previously two matches, but then blasted his critics with a 200-plus knock. Virender Sehwag was sent to the pavilion on the first ball of the match, and from there onwards, the Wall took charge. His knock enabled India to win the game and he went on to be adjudged as the Man of the Match.
One of the most under-rated innings of Dravid has to be his 146-run knock against England at the Oval in 2011. India’s batsmen had a poor series with the bat, and the side was 0-3 down going into the final match. Regular opener Gautam Gambhir was suffering from an injury. As a result, Dravid came out to open the batting.
“He was as important to the Indian side as Sachin Tendulkar.”From Kolkata to Adelaide and beyond, Steve Waugh rem… https://t.co/qdX0Mh7t7M
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) 1609735563000
India kept on losing wickets at regular intervals, but Dravid stood firm on his ground and went on to play an unbeaten knock of 146. His innings was not able to save the match for India, but the batsman went on to become the leading run-scorer for the side in the series.
Dravid, a brilliant catcher in the slips, was a team-man throughout his career, which showcased when he donned the wicketkeeping gloves after the team thought that they could play an extra bowler if Dravid could do the ‘keeping duties.
Kehte hain Deewaaron ke bhi kaan hote hain. Yeh deewar ke kaan toh hain hi jo sabko achhe se sunte hain, balki bahu… https://t.co/8SVJvwnlhg
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) 1610339705000
Dravid is also the only batsman to be involved in two 300-plus ODI partnerships. He went on to play 164 Tests, 344 ODIs and one T20I for India. The batsman finally announced his retirement from international cricket in March 2012.
He finished his career with 48 international centuries, spread across 24,208 international runs.
A very happy birthday to Rahul Dravid. Good day to have you batting!
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) 1610316902000
Dravid’s dedication towards the country and the sport still shows as he took up the role of coaching the junior Indian sides (India U-19 and India A). He is also the head of the National Cricket Academy (NCA).