Rahul Sharad Dravid, a great legend and an asset to Indian cricket and International cricket was born on January 11, 1973. So far he has played for India, Scotland, Asia XI, ICC World XI, Karnataka, Kent, Marylebone Cricket Club, Rajasthan Royals, and Royal Challengers Bangalore. He is one of the best test players world has ever produced in the history of cricket. He is my favorite cricketer to come out of India in the last two decades. He had one of the best techniques in cricket. It’s really a sad day for millions of hearts as Dravid has announced his retirement from International cricket in all formats. I feel privileged to share some information about his cricketing career since his young age.
Dravid started playing cricket at the age of 12, and represented Karnataka at the under-15, under-17 and under-19 level. He also used to 'keep wickets at the school level, but he soon focused solely on his batting on advice from former Test players Gundappa Vishwanath, Roger Binny, Brijesh Patel and his coach Keki Tarapore.
He made his Ranji Trophy debut in February 1991 against Maharashtra in Pune, scoring 82 in a drawn match after batting in the No. 7 position. Dravid's first full season at the Ranji level was in 1991–92, when he scored two centuries to finish with 380 runs at an average of 63.3. He was then selected for South Zone in the Duleep Trophy. Dravid led Karnataka to the Ranji Trophy title in the 1995-96 season (their first win in 13 years). He not only captained the side but scored centuries in both the semi-final and the final.
Dravid had a disappointing start to his international career when he made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka in the Singer Cup, which was held shortly after the 1996 World Cup. He was then dropped from the team, and was not picked again until the tour of England.
He scored 95 on his Test debut against England at Lord's in June 1996. Dravid had replaced the injured Sanjay Manjrekar for the second Test of the series, and held his position even when the latter returned for the third Test.
Dravid broke through on the 1996–97 tour of South Africa. He batted at No. 3 in the third Test in Johannesburg, scoring his maiden century with 148 and 81, en route to winning his first man of the match award.
Dravid scored his first ODI century (107) in the 1997 Independence Cup game against arch-rivals Pakistan in Chennai on 21 May. Though Dravid scored 951 ODI runs in 1997, he was dropped from India's side in the 50-over format in December that year, as his batting was considered to be slow for one-dayers.
Dravid was voted as the Pantaloon Cricketer of the Year (1996-97) even though he was dropped from the ODI team. The late Mushtaq Ali said at the time, ""He (Dravid) is a great batsman. To say that he can't bat in one-dayers is totally wrong. A good batsman like Rahul, can adjust to both forms of the game".
In the 18 months ending mid-1998, Dravid played in an away series against the West Indies, home and away series against Sri Lanka and a home series against Australia, and scored consistently, with 964 runs, including 11 half-centuries, at an average of 56.7.
Dravid was the third Indian batsman after Vijay Hazare and Sunil Gavaskar to score centuries in both innings of a match during the 1999 New Year's Test match against New Zealand with 190 and 103* to force a draw.
Dravid was the top scorer in 1999 World Cup, scoring 461 runs. He is the only Indian to score back-to-back centuries at the World Cup with 110 against Kenya and 145* against Sri Lanka in that tournament.
In 1999, pace legend Glenn McGrath is believed to have said if there was one Indian player who would get an automatic entry into an Australian team filled with stars, it would be Rahul Dravid.
Dravid scored his first double century in Test cricket, when he scored 200* against Zimbabwe at Delhi in November 2000. He also scored 70* in the second innings to help India win the match. He followed this up with a 162 in the following Test, giving him 432 runs in the two-match series at an average of 432.
Dravid was named one of the top-five Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 2000.
Dravid has played two seasons of county cricket in the UK. The first was in 2000 for Kent, where he met and befriended John Wright who later became India’s coach. The second season was in 2003 for Scotland.
In the second match of the three-Test series against Australia at Kolkata in 2001, Dravid and VVS Laxman scripted one of the greatest comeback victories in the history of the game. Dravid (180) and Laxman (281) added 376 runs for the fifth wicket in India's second innings, with the hosts following on.
Dravid's sole Test wicket was that of Ridley Jacobs in the fourth Test against the West Indies during the 2001–2002 series.
Dravid emerged out of Sachin Tendulkar's shadow in 2002 as he established himself as India's premier Test batsman with 1357 runs, including five centuries at an average of 59 from 16 matches. Four of those centuries (3 against England and one against West Indies) were scored in consecutive innings.
In August 2002, against England at Leeds in the third Test match of the series, he scored 148 in the first innings to set up a famous Indian win. He ended the four-match series with 602 runs and was named Player of the series.
Dravid scored three double centuries in the 2003-04 season: 222 against New Zealand at Motera, 233 against Australia at Adelaide and 270 against Pakistan at Rawalpindi. His 233 and 72* under pressure helped India win the Adelaide Test; while his 270 led India to a historic Test series win over Pakistan.
On 4 May 2003, he married Vijeta Pendharkar, a surgeon from Nagpur. They have two children, Samit (born 2005) and Anvay (born 2009).
He was vice-captain during the 2003 World Cup, where he played as a wicket-keeper batsman to help India play an extra batsman. This move paid rich dividends for India as they finished runners-up in the tournament.
Dravid scored the second fastest half-century by an Indian in ODIs when he smashed a 22-ball 50 against New Zealand in Hyderabad on 15 November 2003.
In 2004, Dravid was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India.
Dravid was awarded the ICC Player of the Year and the Test Player of the Year at the inaugural awards ceremony held in September 2004.
In 2006, ICC named him as the skipper of the World Test XI.
On 18 March 2006, Dravid played his 100th Test against England in Mumbai.
On 14 February 2007, he became the sixth player and the third Indian (after Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly), to score 10,000 runs in ODIs.
During Dravid's captaincy the Indian team broke the record for most consecutive ODIs won while batting second. For this 17-match run, Dravid was the captain for 15 matches and Sourav Ganguly was the captain for the other two.
He was appointed as the captain of the Indian team in October 2005 and resigned from the post in September 2007, after the team's exit in the group stages of the 2007 World Cup. Dravid stepped down as India captain after the away series in England in 2007. Mahendra Singh Dhoni took over as ODI captain, while Anil Kumble was named Test skipper.
When Dravid crossed 10,000 Test runs, a wall was built at his home ground – the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore to commemorate the landmark. The wall contains 10,000 bricks, a silhouette of Dravid batting and the words ‘Commitment, Consistency, Class’ inscribed on it. The wall also has a digital run counter on it that keeps updating the number of Test runs Dravid has scored.
In 2007, he was dropped from the Indian ODI Squad following a poor series against Australia. Dravid went back to play for Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy, scoring 218 against Mumbai. In 2008, Dravid made 93 in the first innings of the Perth test as India won the match. However, he was ignored by selectors for the subsequent one-day tri-series.
After a barren run in Test matches in 2008, Dravid came under increasing media pressure to retire or be dropped. Dravid answered his critics in the best manner possible when he scored 136 and put on a triple-century stand with Gautam Gambhir in the second Test against England at Mohali.
Dravid played for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the first three seasons of the Indian Premier League, and was the captain of the franchise in the inaugural season of the league. RCB finished second from bottom and Dravid was subsequently criticised by team owner Vijay Mallya for not picking a squad with the right balance.
Dravid broke Mark Waugh's (181 catches from 128 Tests) record of most catches in the longest format of the game when he caught Tim McIntosh at third slip off Zaheer Khan on day four of the third Test against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve on 6 April 2009. He finishes his career with 210 catches in Test cricket.
Dravid was bought by Rajasthan Royals in the auction for the fourth season of the IPL in 2011. He has been named captain of the franchise for the fifth season.
Dravid was the highest scorer in Test cricket in 2011 with a total of 1145 runs at an average over 57. This is the third time he has scored over 1000 Test runs in a calendar year.
On 7 August 2011, after getting a surprise call to play in the one-day series against England, he announced his retirement from ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals. Dravid played his last ODI innings against England at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff on 16 September 2011. He scored a crucial 69 runs from 79 balls before eventually being bowled by Graeme Swann. Dravid played his first and last Twenty20 International against England at Old Trafford on 31 August 2011; he scored 31 off 21 balls and hit three consecutive sixes off Samit Patel.
On 24 November 2011, Dravid became the second player to reach 13,000 runs in Test Cricket after Sachin Tendulkar.
On 14 December 2011, Dravid became the first non-Australian cricketer to address at the Bradman Oration in Canberra. His speech dealt with the game’s history, current concerns and uncertain future. It won accolades for questioning the ‘mad merry-go-round’ that cricket finds itself in due to scheduling by administrators.
Dravid hold the record of highest number of 100+ partnerships in Test cricket and also first two highest partnership scores in ODI format.
Dravid ends his illustrious international career with 13288 runs, including 36 centuries and 63 half-centuries with a highest score of 270 at an average of 52.31 from 164 Tests; and 10889 runs, including 12 centuries and 83 half- centuries with a highest score of 153 at an average of 39.16 from 344 One-dayers.
Salute to Dravid for his tremendous contribution to Indian Cricket. He is a true Legend and a great man for his understanding of Cricket and its challenges. He gave his services in the form of a Player, Captain a wicket keeper and a teammate to all in the dressing room. Never say die attitude man, who fought with all the spirit and lived cricket. These days’ youngsters are quite passionate about cricket but don't highly value their inclusion in the team and get content very easily. Dravid always valued his inclusion and was very competitive. We will miss you Dravid always.