Melbourne, Mar 9: Stand-in Australian captain Shane Watson has paid his tributes to Rahul Dravid, describing the retired Indian batting legend as a "phenomenal man" and the "nicest guy" he has ever met in cricket.
Dravid, the second highest scorer in Test cricket history has announced his retirement from domestic and international cricket at a press conference in Bangalore on Friday.
And Watson said Dravid, the skipper of his Indian Premier League side Rajasthan Royals, will be sorely missed by the game.
"I've been very lucky to have a really good association with Rahul. He's probably the nicest guy - no, he is the nicest guy - that I've met in cricket. He's a phenomenal man," the Aussie said.
"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," Watson was quoted as saying by the 'Sydney Morning Herald'.
"I suppose I'm lucky that he's my captain for Rajasthan so I'll continue to talk cricket as much as I possibly can because I do love talking to him. He's got a lot of knowledge to be able to give."
Watson believes Dravid is still in pretty good shape his below-par average of just 29 in India's 0-4 drubbing in the Test series Down Under was a result of some brilliant bowling by the Australians.
"I was actually talking to Rahul during the IPL last year and he was contemplating whether he was actually going to come out to Australia," he said.
"But after having such an amazing England series he obviously felt it would be a great option to come out to Australia.
"I suppose in the end it showed the dominance of our bowlers because Rahul was still in pretty good touch but our bowlers just bowled so well to him," added Watson.