|Full name||Rahul Sharad Dravid|
|Born||11 January 1973
Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India
|Role||Batsman, Part time Wicket-keeper|
|National side||India (1996–2012)|
|Test debut (Cap 207)||20 June 1996 v England|
|Last Test||24 January 2012 v Australia|
|ODI debut (Cap 95)||3 April 1996 v Sri Lanka|
|Last ODI||16 September 2011 v England|
|ODI shirt no.||19|
|T20I debut (Cap 38)||31 August 2011 v England|
|T20I shirt no.||19|
Rahul Sharad Dravid (born 11 January 1973) is a former Indian cricketer and captain of the Indian national team, currently serving as its head coach. Prior to his appointment to the senior men’s national team, Dravid was the Head of Cricket at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), and the head coach of the India Under-19 and India A teams. Under his tutelage, the under-19 team finished runners up at the 2016 U-19 Cricket World Cup and won the 2018 U-19 Cricket World Cup. Known for his sound batting technique, Dravid scored 24,177 runs in international cricket and is widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket. He is colloquially known as Mr. Dependable and often referred to as The Wall.
Born in a Marathi family and raised in Bangalore, he started playing cricket at the age of 12 and later represented Karnataka at the under-15, under-17 and under-19 levels. Hailed as The Wall, Dravid was named one of the best five cricketers of the year by Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack in 2000 and received the Player of the Year and the Test Player of the Year awards at the inaugural ICC awards ceremony in 2004. In December 2011, he became the first non-Australian cricketer to deliver the Bradman Oration in Canberra.
As of December 2016, Dravid is the fourth-highest run scorer in Test cricket, after Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Jacques Kallis. In 2004, after completing his century against Bangladesh in Chittagong, he became the first player to score a century in all the ten Test-playing countries. As of October 2012, he holds the record for the most catches taken by a player (non-wicket-keeper) in Test cricket, with 210. Dravid holds a unique record of never getting out for a Golden duck in the 286 Test innings which he has played. He has faced 31258 balls, which is the highest number of balls faced by any player in test cricket. He has also spent 44152 minutes at the crease, which is the highest time spent on crease by any player in test cricket. Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar are currently the highest scoring partnership in Test cricket history having scored 6920 runs combined when batting together for India.
In August 2011, after receiving a surprise recall in the ODI series against England, Dravid declared his retirement from ODIs as well as Twenty20 International (T20I), and in March 2012, he announced his retirement from international and first-class cricket. He appeared in the 2012 Indian Premier League as captain of the Rajasthan Royals.
Rahul Dravid, along with Glenn McGrath were honoured during the seventh annual Bradman Awards function in Sydney on 1 November 2012. Dravid has also been honoured with the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan award, India’s fourth and third highest civilian awards respectively. In 2014, Rahul Dravid joined the GoSports Foundation, Bangalore as a member of their board of advisors. In collaboration with GoSports Foundation he is mentoring India’s future Olympians and Paralympians as part of the Rahul Dravid Athlete Mentorship Programme. Indian badminton player Prannoy Kumar, Para-swimmer Sharath Gayakwad and young Golfer S. Chikkarangappa was part of the initial group of athletes to be mentored by Rahul Dravid. In July 2018, Dravid became the fifth Indian cricketer to be inducted into ICC Hall of Fame.
Dravid was born in a Marathi Brahmin family in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. His family later moved to Bangalore, Karnataka, where he was raised. His mother tongue is Marathi. Dravid’s father Sharad Dravid worked for a company that makes jams and preserves, giving rise to the later nickname Jammy. His mother, Pushpa, was a professor of architecture at the University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering (UVCE), Bangalore. Dravid has a younger brother named Vijay. He did his schooling at St. Joseph’s Boys High School, Bangalore and earned a degree in commerce from St. Joseph’s College of Commerce, Bangalore. He was selected to India’s national cricket team while working towards an MBA at St Joseph’s College of Business Administration. He is fluent in several languages: Marathi, Kannada, English and Hindi.
Formative years and domestic career
Dravid started playing cricket at the age of 12, and represented Karnataka at the under-15, the under-17 and the under-19 levels. Former cricketer Keki Tarapore first noticed Dravid’s talent while coaching at a summer camp in the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Dravid scored a century for his school team. He also played as wicket-keeper.
Dravid made his Ranji Trophy debut in February 1991, while still attending college. Playing alongside future India teammates Anil Kumble and Javagal Srinath against Maharashtra in Pune, he scored 82 runs in the match, which ended in a draw. He followed it up with a century against Bengal and three successive centuries after. However, Dravid’s first full season was in 1991–92, when he scored two centuries and finished up with 380 runs at an average of 63.30, getting selected for the South Zone cricket team in the Duleep Trophy. Dravid’s caught the national team selectors’ eye with his good performances for India A in the home series against England A in 1994–95.
Dravid, who had been knocking at the doors of Indian national cricket team for quite a while with his consistent performance in domestic cricket, received his first national call in October 1994, for the last two matches of the Wills World Series. However, he could not break into the playing eleven. He went back to the domestic circuit and kept knocking harder. So much so, that when the selectors announced the Indian team for the 1996 World Cup sans Dravid, an Indian daily newspaper carried a headline – “Rahul Dravid gets a raw deal”. Dravid eventually made his international debut on 3 April 1996 in an ODI against Sri Lanka in the Singer Cup held in Singapore immediately after the 1996 World Cup, replacing Vinod Kambli. He wasn’t particularly impressive with the bat, scoring just three runs before being dismissed by Muttiah Muralitharan, but took two catches in the match. He followed it up with another failure in the next game scoring just four runs before getting run out against Pakistan.
In contrast to his ODI debut, his Test debut was rather successful one. Dravid was selected for the Indian squad touring England on the backdrop of a consistent performance in domestic cricket for five years. Fine performances in the tour games including fifties against Gloucestershire and Leicestershire failed to earn him a place in the team for the First Test. He finally made his Test debut at Lord’s on 20 June 1996 against England in the Second Test of the series at the expense of injured senior batsman Sanjay Manjrekar. Manjrekar, who was suffering from an ankle injury, was to undergo a fitness test on the morning of the Second Test. Dravid had already been informed that he would play if Manjrekar fails the test. As Manjrekar failed the fitness test, ten minutes before the toss, Sandeep Patil, the then Indian coach, went up to Dravid to inform him that he was indeed going to make his debut that day.
Sandeep Patil :
I told him he will be playing. His face lit up. I cannot forget that moment.
Coming in to bat at no. 7, he forged important partnerships, first with another debutante Sourav Ganguly and then with Indian lower order, securing a vital first innings lead for his team. Dravid scored 95 runs before getting out to the bowling of Chris Lewis. He was just five runs short of a landmark debut hundred when he nicked a Lewis delivery to the keeper and walked even before umpire’s decision. He also took his first catch in Test cricket in this match to dismiss Nasser Hussain off the bowling of Srinath. In the next tour game against British Universities, Dravid scored a hundred. He scored another fifty in the first innings of the Third Test. Dravid concluded a successful debut series with an impressive average of 62.33 from two Test matches.
- Debut World Cup success
Dravid announced his form in England hitting consecutive fifties against Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire in the warm-up games.
He made his World Cup debut against South Africa at Hove striking a half century, but scored just 13 in the next game against Zimbabwe. India lost both the games. Having lost the first two games, India needed to win the remaining three games of the first round to have any chance of advancing into the Super Six stage. Dravid put up a partnership of 237 runs with Sachin Tendulkar against Kenya at Bristol – a World Cup record – and in the process hit his maiden World Cup hundred, helping India to a 94-run victory India’s designated keeper Mongia left the field at the end of 9th over during Kenyan innings, forcing Dravid to keep the wickets for the rest of the innings. In the absence of injured Nayan Mongia, Dravid played his first ODI as a designated keeper against Sri Lanka at Taunton. Dravid once again staged a record breaking partnership worth 318 runs – the first ever three hundred run partnership in ODI history – but this time with Sourav Ganguly, guiding India to a 157-run win. Dravid scored 145 runs from 129 balls with 17 fours and a six, becoming the second batsman in World Cup history to hit back-to-back hundreds. Dravid struck a fine fifty in the last group match as India defeated England to advance into the Super Six stage. Dravid scored 2, 61 & 29 in the three Super Six matches against Australia, Pakistan & New Zealand respectively. India failed to qualify for the semi-finals having lost to Australia and New Zealand but achieved a consolation victory against Pakistan in a tense game, what with the military conflict going on between the two countries in Kashmir at the same time. Dravid emerged as the top scorer of the tournament with 461 runs from 8 games at an average of 65.85 and a strike rate of 85.52.
Dravid’s post-World Cup campaign started on a poor note with just 40 runs coming in 4 games of Aiwa Cup in August 1999. He soon came into his own, top-scoring for India in two consecutive limited-overs series – the Singapore Challenge, the highlight being a hundred in the Final coming in a lost cause, and the DMC Cup, the highlight being a match winning effort (77 runs, 4 catches) in the series decider for which he received man-of-the-match award. Dravid topped the international runs chart for 1999 cricket season across all formats scoring 782 runs from 19 matches. By now, Dravid had started to keep wickets on an infrequent basis with India fielding him as designated wicket-keeper in five out of 10 ODIs played in the three events.
Dravid kick-started his post World Cup Test season with a decent outing against New Zealand in the 3-match home series. His best effort of the series came in the second innings of the First test at Mohali scoring 144, helping India salvage a draw after being bowled out for 83 runs in the First innings. This was Dravid’s sixth test hundred but his first test hundred on Indian soil. Dravid did well in the 3–2 series win against New Zealand in the bilateral ODI series, scoring 240 runs in 5 games at an average of 60 and a strike rate of 83.62, ending as the second highest scorer in the series. His career best effort in ODIs came in this series in the second game at Hyderabad where he scored run-a-ball 153 runs which included 15 fours and two sixes. He featured in a 331-run partnership with Tendulkar, which was the highest partnership in ODI cricket history, a record that stood for 15 years until it was broken in 2015. In 1999, Dravid scored 1761 runs in 43 ODIs at an average of 46.34 and a strike rate of 75.16 including 6 hundreds and 8 fifties and featured in two 300+ partnerships.
India toured Australia in December 1999 for a 3-match test series and a triangular ODI tournament. Although Dravid scored a hundred against Tasmania in the practice match, he failed miserably with the bat in the Test series as India slumped to a 0–3 whitewash. He did reasonably well in the 1999–2000 Carlton & United Series scoring 3 fifties in the triangular event however, India failed to qualify for the Final of the tournament.
Dravid’s poor form in Tests continued as India suffered a 0–2 whitewash against South Africa in a home series. He had moderate success in the bilateral ODI series against South Africa. He contributed to India’s 3–2 series win with 208 runs at an average of 41.60 which included 2 fifties and three wickets at an average of 22.66 topping the bowling average chart for the series. His career best bowling figure of 2/43 from nine overs in the First ODI at Kochi, was also the best bowling figure by any bowler in that particular match.
Dravid captained India in the first two tests in the absence of injured Ganguly and led India to their first-ever Test victory in Pakistan. Dravid, standing in only his second test as team’s captain, took a bold and controversial decision during First Test at Multan that divided the cricket fraternity. Pakistani cricketers had been on field for 150+ overs as India posted a total in excess of 600 runs in the first innings. Dravid, who wanted to have a crack at the tired Pakistani batsmen in the final hour of second day’s play, declared Indian innings with Tendulkar batting at 194, just six runs short of his double century. While some praised the team before personal milestones approach of the Indian captain, most criticized Dravid’s timing of declaration as there were no pressing concerns and there was ample time left in the match to try and bowl Pakistan out twice. While Tendulkar was admittedly disappointed, any rumours of rift between him and Dravid were quashed by both the cricketers and the team management, who claimed that the matter had been discussed and sorted amicably behind closed doors. India eventually went on to win the match by innings margin. Pakistan leveled the series beating India in the Second Test. Dravid slammed a double hundred in the Third Test at Rawalpindi – his third double hundred of the season. He scored 270 runs – his career best performance – before getting out to reverse sweep trying to force the pace. India went on to win the match and the series – their first series victory outside India since 1993. Dravid was adjudged man of the match for his effort.
Dravid was appointed the captain for the Indian team for 2007 World Cup, where India had an unsuccessful campaign.
During India’s unsuccessful tour of England in 2011, in which their 4–0 loss cost them the top rank in Test cricket, Dravid made three centuries.
- 2011 Tour of England
Having regained his form on the tour to West Indies, where he scored a match-winning hundred in Sabina park, Jamaica, Dravid then toured England in what was billed as the series which would decide the World No. 1 ranking in tests. In the first test at Lord’s, in reply to England’s 474, Dravid scored an unbeaten 103, his first hundred at the ground where he debuted in 1996. He received scant support from his teammates as India were bowled out for 286 and lost the test. The 2nd test at Trentbridge, Nottingham again saw Dravid in brilliant form. Sent out to open the batting in place of an injured Gautam Gambhir, he scored his second successive hundred. His 117 though, again came in a losing cause, as a collapse of 6 wickets for 21 runs in the first innings led to a massive defeat by 319 runs. Dravid failed in both innings in the third test at Birmingham, as India lost by an innings and 242 runs, one of the heaviest defeats in their history. However, he came back brilliantly in the fourth and final match at The Oval. Again opening the batting in place of Gambhir, he scored an unbeaten 146 out of India’s total of 300, carrying his bat through the innings. Once again, though, his efforts were in vain as India lost the match, completing a 0–4 whitewash. In all, he scored 461 runs in the four matches at an average of 76.83 with three hundreds. He accounted for over 26% of India’s runs in the series and was named India’s man of the series by England coach Andy Flower. His performance in the series was met with widespread admiration and was hailed by some as one of his finest ever series
Rahul Dravid was dropped from the ODI team in 2009, but was selected again for an ODI series in England in 2011, surprising even Dravid himself since, although he had not officially retired from ODI cricket, he had not expected to be recalled. After being selected, he announced that he would retire from ODI cricket after the series. He played his last ODI innings against England at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, on 16 September 2011, scoring 69 runs from 79 balls before being bowled by Graeme Swann. His last limited-overs international match was his debut T20I match; he announced his retirement before playing his first T20I match.
My approach to cricket has been reasonably simple: it was about giving everything to the team, it was about playing with dignity, and it was about upholding the spirit of the game. I hope I have done some of that. I have failed at times, but I have never stopped trying. It is why I leave with sadness but also with pride
– Dravid, at his retirement speech, March 2012
Dravid announced his retirement from Test and domestic cricket on 9 March 2012, after the 2011–12 tour of Australia, but he said that he would captain the Rajasthan Royals in the 2012 Indian Premier League. He was the second-highest run scorer and had taken the highest number of catches in Test cricket at the time of his retirement.
In July 2014, he played for the MCC side in the Bicentenary Celebration match at Lord’s.
Towards the end of his playing career, Dravid took on a role as mentor of the Rajasthan Royals IPL team, officially taking over in 2014. During this time, he also became involved with the Indian national team, serving as mentor for the team’s tour of England in 2014. After leading the Royals to a third-place finish in the 2015 IPL season, he was appointed as the head coach of the India U-19 and India A teams. Dravid achieved immense success as coach, with the U-19s reaching the finals of the 2016 U-19 Cricket World Cup. Two years later, the team went on to win the 2018 U-19 Cricket World Cup, beating Australia by 8 wickets to win their fourth Under-19 World Cup, the most by any national side. Dravid was credited with bringing up future national team players including Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan and Washington Sundar. Alongside his coaching roles, Dravid took on several mentor roles, including at the Delhi Daredevils IPL team.
In July 2019, following his four-year stint as coach of the junior teams, Dravid was appointed Head of Cricket at the National Cricket Academy (NCA). He was in charge of “overseeing all cricket related activities at NCA was involved in mentoring, coaching, training and motivating players, coaches and support staff at the NCA”. As head of NCA, he was widely praised for developing a steady supply of talent to the senior team and revamping player fitness and rehabilitation regiments.
In November 2021, he was appointed as head coach of the Indian national cricket team.
Achievements and awards
- National honours
- 1998 – Arjuna Award recipient for achievements in cricket
- 2004 – Padma Shri – India’s fourth highest civilian award
- 2013 – Padma Bhushan – India’s third highest civilian award
- Other honours
- 1999 – CEAT International Cricketer of the World Cup
- 2000 – Dravid was one of the five cricketers selected as Wisden Cricketer of the Year.
- 2004 – ICC Cricketer of the year – Highest award in the ICC listings
- 2004 – ICC Test Player of The Year, ICC Cricketer of The Year
- 2004 – MTV Youth Icon of the Year
- 2006 – Captain of the ICC’s Test Team
- 2011 – NDTV Indian of the Year’s Lifetime Achievement Award with Dev Anand
- 2012 – Don Bradman Award with Glenn McGrath
- 2015 – Wisden India’s Highest Impact Test Batsman
- 2018 – ICC Hall of Fame
On 4 May 2003 he married Vijeta Pendharkar, a surgeon from Nagpur. Vijeta Pendharkar is also from Deshastha Brahmin community as Dravid. They have two children: Samit, born in 2005, and Anvay, born in 2009. Dravid is fluent in Marathi, Hindi, Kannada and English.
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