Mumbai, Nov 25: The Wall stands tall yet again with a remarkable performance in the third test against West Indies at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. A fine knock of 82 saw him reach another milestone of 13000 runs in Test Cricket. He has also recorded 5 centuries and a total of 1034 test runs from 11 matches to become the top scorer of the year 2011.
While everyone were anxiously waiting for Sachin Tendulkar to score the 100th International hundred, here's a man who silently reached 13000 runs, another landmark in his cricketing career. A man of few words, Rahul Dravid has put in a lot of hard work to reach this level. He has yet again shown his mettle by playing another gritty knock which is valuable as always.
Rahul Dravid scored his 36th century at Eden Gardens Kolkata, marking his fourth at the venue and also registered his fifth century of the calendar year since June. Now he is behind Ricky Ponting (39), Jacques Kallis (40) and Sachin Tendulkar (51) on the list of highest Test centuries.
Having scored 5 hundreds in a year for the second time in his cricketing career, Rahul Dravid went past Ian Bell to become the highest run-getter in 2011. Ian Bell had however scored 950 runs in less than 8 innings when compared to Dravid's tally of 1034 runs. He has achieved this feat twice before having recorded 1000 runs in a calendar year.
In 2002, he had registered 1357 runs off 16 Tests and in the year 200, he had scored 1095 runs from 12 Test matches to have recorded twice prior to this calendar year.
Playing his 159th test match at Mumbai, Rahul Dravid was just 21 runs away from achieving the milestone of reaching 13000 runs, which he successfully completed during his knock of 82 in the first innings, to become the second batsman after Sachin Tendulkar to achieve that feat.
Perseverence, determination, hard work, self-confidence all these terms serve as great adjectives to the Wall, Rahul Dravid who has been there when the team needs him.
A batsman of his caliber, resistance and perseverance, his cool and calm composure is hard to find. Probably one of the cricketers who has played through all positions starting the innings to fighting the battle alone to help the team sail through challenges smoothly.
Since his debut in 1996 against England at Lord's, his progress to the national side was steady and methodical. But he established himself with his orthodox style of batting, rarely being aggressive. Not a natural athlete, but compensated that weakness of his, by hardwork and utmost concentration. Its indeed rare to find a class batsman of his stature in this era of modern cricket.
Like other cricketers, Rahul Dravid has had a lot of highs and lows in his career too. Dravid's Test performance took a back seat but managed to revive it soon unlike his One day performance which forced the selectors to drop him in 1998 for having scored just two fifties from 11 matches. He struggled to find a place in the XI then, though he managed to cement his place a few months later.
Despite a few match-winning knocks in the ODI series against England in 2007, Dravid was dropped from the one day side, after his dismal show against Aussies in Sep 2007. The selectors wanted to bank on youngsters and he was not picked until Aug 2009.
Rahul Dravid, on and off from the One day team off late, was recalled for India's tour of England 2011 after almost two years. Though he played a magnificent knock, was very generous to announce his retirement from One day internationals after playing the first one-dayer against England. He clearing conveyed his view point to the BCCI as the board insisted on Dravid to be a part of the One day side.
Dravid known for his composure, lost his temper in Feb 1997 during the tri-series in Johannesburg, when he was racially abused by South Africa's Allan Donald after hitting a six off his delivery. He refused to accept Donald's apology which was mentioned by Allan Donald in his autobiography.
While his highs include, the most memorable performance in 1999 World cup which happens to be one of the highlights of his cricketing career as he scored 461 runs becoming the highest run-scorer in the World cup, including a knock of 145 against Srilanka at Taunton.
His career best 153, came with another record winning stand of 331 runs with the master blaster against New Zealand in 1999. This record of his was an improvisation as he held another record of 318 runs with Sourav Ganguly during the 1999 World cup.
He was instrumental in helping India win maiden Test and ODI series on Pakistan soil, having top scored with 248 runs in the 5 match ODI series.
Though not successful as a captain, but had his share of limelight when India broke the 14 match West Indies record for most consecutive run chases in ODIs. Dravid was the captain of the Indian team for 15 matches out of the 17 successful run chases.
Wisden cricketer of the year in 2000, ICC Player of the year and Test player of the year in 2004, holds the record for the maximum number of catches in Test cricket. With a career best of 270 against Pakistan at Rawalpindi, Rahul Dravid, stole the limelight when he joined hands with VVS Laxman to produce one of the greatest comebacks in the history of cricket.
Following on, the duo put in 376 runs for the fifth wicket. Dravid scored 180 while VVS Laxman scored his career best 281 against Australia at Eden Gardens in 2001.
2002, was the most successful year as he emerged out of Sachin's shadow and established himself as one of the most reliable players and also as a match winner. With an astonishing aggregate of 602 runs off four test matches against England fetch him the man of the series award. The year 2002 saw him register 5 centuries in Test Cricket becoming the player of the year.
2003-2004 season was even better as he scored 619 runs in the four match series against Australia at an average of 103.16 which eventually won him the man of the series award. With more than 10,000 runs in both the formats of the game, Dravid is placed at 7 in the list of highest run-getters in ODIs while he is behind Sachin in the longer version of the game with 21 runs away from 13000 runs.
With such enormous contributions to Indian cricket, he is definitely a cricketer who has made into the history books of cricket as one of the finest batsman India has ever produced.
Rahul Dravid seems to be untouched by age, at 38, probably after 2002, he is going through another golden era of his cricketing career as he has time and again proved that he belongs to the elite class of cricketers.
Oneindia congratulates and wishes Rahul Dravid success in his future endeavors, as he is the second player to have scored the most runs in Test Cricket behind Sachin Tendulkar.