Dravid, a tough batting perfectionist


Classy, conventional, cool in a crisis and controversy-free, Rahul Dravid is an idol and superstar of Indian cricket as well as a gentlemanly competitor revered by opponents the world over. The top-order batsman, who has anchored India’s national team for the last decade and a half, was only the second Indian after Sachin Tendulkar to have completed 10,000 runs in both Tests (13,288) and one-dayers (10,889). Known as “The Wall” for his solid defence and unflappable temperament — a tag he never liked himself — he was renowned for his elegant stroke-play and ability to grind down opponents while withstanding the most intense match-day pressures.
His decision to call it a day came with the realisation that his once-formidable reflexes were beginning to crumble after he managed just 194 runs in eight innings in the recent Test series in Australia. His series average of 24.25 was unacceptable for the 39-year-old perfectionist with a career average of 52.31 in 164 Tests with the help of 36 centuries. Dravid had quit as skipper following his below-par performances in South Africa in 2006-2007 and in England in 2007 when he felt captaincy had been a burden that hindered
his pursuit of runs.