Is Rahul Dravid irreplaceable? Experts say yes

Written by: Aprameya .C
Updated: Saturday, July 14, 2012, 15:04 [IST]
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Is Dravid irreplaceable? Experts say yes

Bangalore, Jul 14: It has been more than four months since Rahul Dravid quit international cricket. But tributes for the legend keep coming and Sachin Tendulkar said India will miss him and "nobody will be able to replace Rahul" in number three position in Tests. And some of the former cricketers agree with the Master Blaster.

Dravid's career in numbers

In an exclusive chat with Thatscricket on Saturday, Dravid's former India and Karnataka team-mates Javagal Srinath and Sunil Joshi also echoed Tendulkar's views.

"The Wall" retired from the game, having achieved so much that it is always tough to find a suitable replacement for the right-hander. He scored more than 10,000 runs in both Tests and One Day Internationals.

The former India captain was a tough batsman at the No. 3 slot in Tests. Bowlers often found it difficult to get through the tight defence of Dravid.

"Rahul has been an incredible player for India and for world cricket. Nobody is going to be able to replace Rahul in that position. You need someone to be dedicated, be committed and disciplined," Tendulkar said in a TV interview on Friday.

"The entire country will miss him, because we were all used to Rahul padding up batting at number 3. However, these things will continue to happen because that's how the game goes around for years. Before our generation there were so many great players but the game continues," Tendulkar added.

Former India paceman Srinath said it is "true" what Tendulkar has said

"True, very true. Rahul (Dravid) was known for his batting in difficult conditions. Whole team use to look to Dravid. He was the backbone of Indian batting. He always shouldered a lot of responsibility and through his batting, earned a lot of respect. He was always committed to the team," Srinath told Thatscricket.

"It is not that easy (to find a replacement). However, Dravid is a classical case for youngsters to look upto his achievements and draw inspiration," Srinath, who is now the secretary of Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA), said.

Former India left-arm spinner Joshi, also agreed but said there are three talented young batsmen, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara, who have the potential.

"No doubt about it. You cannot replace Dravid in the Test team at the No. 3 spot. But not only did he bat exceptionally well at number three but he was excellent in all positions. Whether it was opening, No. 3, No. 4 or any other position, Dravid always put his hand up for the team. No one can take his place," Joshi said.

"There are talented players who have the potential, like Virat (Kohli), Rohit (Sharma) and (Cheteshwar) Pujara. But only time will tell how far they can go in Tests. It is for them to grab the opportunity. We have to judged them how consistently they do well in all conditions. It would be unfair to start comparing these youngsters with a legend of the game like Dravid after just one century against Australia or South Africa," Joshi, who recently retired from all forms of cricket, said.

"Dravid has left his footprints in the No. 3 position. Youngsters have to push themselves to be like him," the 42-year-old said.

Joshi also felt Dravid should be conferred with the highest sporting honour, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. He was recently nominated by the Board for Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the award.

"Dravid rightly deserves Khel Ratna award. I am very happy that BCCI has put his name forward. I wish him that he gets it. His contribution to the game in all formats is great," Joshi said.

"I don't think a player like Rahul Dravid can come into the Indian cricket team (again). Especially his performance in overseas matches can be hardly matched by any player," Sehwag had said of Dravid.

Former India batsman GR Viswanath said: "No doubt, he is one of the most technically accomplished batsmen of his era and his records speak for themselves. In my time, Sunil Gavaskar had that quality and after him it was Rahul. He was a great ambassador of this great game and will be missed badly."


Story first published:  Saturday, July 14, 2012, 12:55 [IST]
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