October 14, 2003, 07:52 AM
Dravid, the underrated. Dravid, the shadow of Tendulkar. Average: 55.22
Centuries: 15 !
I like this BBC article which serves justice to a batsman following in a great tradition of Indian batsmen.
For Dravid is also known as the Wall, an impregnable line of defence that can have some of the finest bowlers in world cricket exasperated
He is a wall because of technique, variety and choice of shots. All executed with a temperament suited for the longer version.
[Edited on 14-10-2003 by oracle : spelling]
October 14, 2003, 07:56 AM
Dravid reaches new high
By Oliver Brett
Born: 11 January 1973
Highest Score: 222 (v NZ, Ahmedabad, October 2003)
His runs in the drawn Ahmedabad Test, a massive haul of 222 and 73 to be precise, elevated Rahul Dravid to the rank of third best batsman in the world.
The PricewaterhouseCoopers ratings have him behind only Matthew Hayden and Brian Lara with countryman Sachin Tendulkar slipping to sixth equal.
But a quick straw poll on the streets of any Indian city would reveal Tendulkar remains the darling of the fans by a massive margin.
Dravid is often ignored by the most fervent of the pro-Tendulkar contingent when he is at the wicket.
Usually batting at three, he comes in one place above the shorter, stockier man from Bombay.
And while the 30-year-old from Bangalore is there, the crowds can grow a bit restless, awaiting the entrance of their little maestro.
Like the picador in a Spanish bullfight, Dravid is there simply to goad the opposition before Tendulkar - the matador - tears them asunder.
The reality, however, especially in recent times, is starkly different.
For Dravid is also known as the Wall, an impregnable line of defence that can have some of the finest bowlers in world cricket exasperated.
His finest hour was the 180 he made in Calcutta when the Indians came from nowhere to beat the best Australian side ever assembled.
But the partnership of 376 he shared with VVS Laxman tends to be remembered for the latter's weightier innings of 281.
Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie have a chance to gain their revenge in December when the Indians play Australia on their own turf.
IN SACHIN'S SHADOW
A smaller man, Tendulkar (right) remains a bigger hero in India
And that tour could go some distance to establishing just how good Dravid is.
His most telling purple patch of all came in 2002.
India went 1-0 down in a Test series in England, before two Dravid centuries turned the series on its head.
It all boiled down to a decider at The Oval, where India had to respond to England's first innings score of 515.
Yet again, Dravid came up with goods, hitting 217 to guarantee a draw.
His success during that summer played a huge part in his decision to play for the amateur Scottish team in their first season playing against English counties the following year.
Shortly after his wedding and a brief honeymoon, Dravid took his new bride Vijeta to Edinburgh for most of the season.
And so enamoured was he by life north of the border that he said he would like to come back for more cricket in Scotland in 2004.
"It's a beautiful part of the world. It's a lovely country," he said. "I intend to buy a kilt before I leave and I'll probably wear it at home in Bangalore."
Rather typically, Dravid was kept out of the global cricket headlines at the weekend.
Hayden's record-breaking 380 against Zimbabwe kept Dravid's achievements against New Zealand in the shade.
But his admirers can be sure he will continue scoring big runs in his own quiet way for some time to come.
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