Dravid is India~~s greatest batsman: media

Published: Monday, July 3, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

New Delhi:The Indian media has hailed captain Rahul Dravid as the country's best ever batsman after leading his team to a rare Test series victory in the West Indies.

India clinched their first series in the Caribbean in 35 years on Sunday when they won the decisive fourth and final Test in Jamaica by 49 runs.

The 1-0 verdict against Brian Lara's home team also enabled India to win a major series outside the sub-continent for the first time since the 2-0 success by Kapil Dev's men in England in 1986.

Dravid led from the front with 81 and 68 on a bowler-friendly Sabina Park wicket in which the highest team total was 219 and no other Indian batsman scored a half-century.

The 33-year-old, dubbed the 'Wall' for his impeccable batting technique, crossed the 9,000-run mark during the match to become the sixth highest run-getter in Test history.

Only Lara (11,505), Australians Allan Border (11,174) and Steve Waugh (10,927) and India's Sachin Tendulkar (10,469) and Sunil Gavaskar (10,122) have scored more Test runs than Dravid's 9,049.

The legendary Gavaskar and current superstar Tendulkar have long been regarded as the greatest Indian batsmen, but Dravid appeared to have leapfrogged ahead in the eyes of the media.

"If there were any doubts about Rahul Dravid being his country's greatest ever Test batsman, he dispelled them in the fourth Test," wrote the Hindu's cricket correspondent from Sabina Park.

The Indian Express concurred. "Let's say it once again here: Rahul Dravid is today the greatest batsman in Indian cricket, the finest in the world on all pitches," it said.

"Even Sachin Tendulkar will shake his head to that, clap his hands."

Since taking over as captain from Sourav Ganguly last October, Dravid has been in prime form, scoring a century or a fifty in nine of his last 10 Tests.

He was the quickest to 9,000 runs in Test history, achieving the landmark in his 176th innings, one less than previous record holder Lara.

Dravid rated the two half-centuries at Sabina Park as "probably two of the best I have played", but preferred to give credit to the entire team for the success.

"Winning the series is the most important thing," he was quoted as saying by the Indian media. "We played the better cricket right from the first Test. It's sort of nice that it all bore fruit in the end."

Dravid also heaped rich praise on match-winning bowler Anil Kumble, whose six for 78 in the West Indian second innings secured India victory.

"Anil is a legend, nothing he achieves surprises me," the Indian captain said. "Give him the ball and he will deliver more often than not."

The 35-year-old spinner took his career tally to 533 Test wickets, the fourth highest behind Australian record-holder Shane Warne (685), Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka (635) and Australian paceman Glenn McGrath (542).

India return home later this week for a short break before travelling to Sri Lanka next month for a limited-overs tri-series against South Africa and the hosts.

Write Comments