Here Are The 8 Most Important Innings Rahul Dravid Played For Team India
You wanted Sachin to play well but you needed Rahul Dravid to score runs.
Dravid is not just regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of his generation, but also as one of the finest human beings to have played the game. A discussion about the rise of the Indian Cricket Team is incomplete without mentioning how Dravid was the first cricketer to have given us a hope of winning tournaments away from the sub-continent.
His love for the sport combined with his technical prowess has made him one of the most revered cricketers of the generation. Fondly know as The Wall, Dravid has defined perfection and consistency in the best way possible.
Like Joy Bhattacharya says,
The 13,288 runs don’t tell you the real story. Nor do the thirty six test hundreds. 31,258 balls and 44,152 exhausting bruising grinding minutes at the crease, nobody has spent as much time or played as many balls in the history of test cricket. Rahul Dravid, for Adelaide and Headingley and Kolkata and so many more.
On his 45th Birthday, let’s look at some of the most important innings he has played for the men in blue.
1. 233 and 72* vs Australia, Adelaide, 2003
However, wickets fell like ninepins and in no time India were reduced to 85-4 from 66-0.
Ricky Ponting won the toss and elected to bat first without hesitation. The Aussies exploited the situation well and posted a massive 556 in the first innings. Virender Sehwag got India off to a blazing start with his 47. However, wickets fell like ninepins and in no time India were reduced to 85-4 from 66-0. Wearing the Aussie bowlers down with his classy defence, Dravid hit top gear and smashed the bowlers all around the park.
2. 180 vs Australia, Kolkata, 2001
After being bowled out for 171 in response to Australia’s 445, India were sent in to bat again.
By the time Dravid came in to bat, India had lost 4 wickets for 232 runs. Saving the match looked like a mountain to climb, never mind winning it. Dravid’s innings helped India to a 600+ second innings total and eventually one of the greatest turnarounds in the history of Test cricket.
3. 50 runs off 22 balls vs New Zealand, Hyderabad, 2003
Dravid is often thought to be a ‘slow’ player who takes his time to score runs. But when India needed to him score quickly, he delivered.
India was looking good to finish somewhere around the 320 run mark batting first against New Zealand when Dravid was sent in after the dismissal of Sehwag at 283 for 3. Dravid was on his top gear right from the moment he got it. With 8 shots across the fence with 3 going over the boundary rope, Dravid helped India to post a commanding score of 353 with a 22 ball half century – the second fastest by an Indian batsmen.
4. 270 vs Pakistan, Rawalpindi
After Pakistan was bowled out for 224 in the first innings, Viru got out off the very first ball and from then on Dravid took charge.
He patiently built an innings, and ended up making his highest Test score of 270 from 495 balls. India didn’t have to bat again as they won by an innings.
5. 81 & 68 at Kingston vs Westindies, 2006
A match where the teams scores read 200 , 103, 171, 219 in 4 innings and the second highest Indian score was 55 in whole match tells a lot about importance of those 2 innings.
The pitch was nothing short of a minefield and only Dravid looked comfortable batting on that pitch. Both the innings were extremely difficult because of the weather and pitch conditions and paved the way for our dominating batting performances.
6. 148 vs England, Headingley
Headingley has always been a fast and swing bowler’s paradise.Matthew Hoggard, Andrew Caddick, Alex Tudor and Andrew Flintoff were enjoying the conditions, and eager to exploit the fullest. After Sehwag’s wicket, in walked Rahul all ready to get down to business.
The bowlers tested the patience of the Indian batsmen with a tight line and quick deliveries aimed at the rib cage. He scored 148 on a pitch that was damp throughout and had created trouble for all Indian batsmen.
7. 71 vs Zimbabwe during the ICC Champion’s Trophy ’02 at Colombo
Dravid stitched a brilliant partnership of 117 runs, in horrendously-humid conditions with Kaif scoring a well-deserved century towards the end of the innings.
Dravid along with Kaif resurrected India from 87/5 to 288/6 and India ended up winning the match.
8. 104 vs Pakistan at Kochi in ’05
Game 1 of the series and India were reduced to 4/2- after electing to bat first,with Sachin and Saurav back in the hut. Dravid along with Sehwag helped rebuild the innings with a 201-run partnership in unbelievably difficult conditions.
Which innings is your favourite? Do let us know in the comments below.
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