Rahul Dravid was born Rahul Sharad Dravid on 11th January 1973. He was born in the Dravid Maratha family in Indore in Madhya Pradesh. Dravid belongs to a Maharastrian Brahmin family settled in Bangalore in Karnataka. His father worked for Kissan, a company which is popular as producing jams and preserves and as such Rahul Dravid earned the nickname ‘Jammy’ from is teammates in St. Joseph’s Boys High School. Dravid’s mother, Pushpa, was a professor of architecture in Bangalore University. Rahul Dravid has a degree in commerce from the St. Joseph’s College of Commerce in Bangalore.
Rahul Dravid started playing cricket from the age of 12 and he first represented the Karnataka state in the under-15, under-17 and the under-19 level. His talent for playing was first spotted by former cricketer Keki Tarapore who was coaching in a summer camp in the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Dravid went on to score a century on his debut match for his school team. Apart from batting, he was also seen keeping wickets. As such, later he stopped keeping wickets on the advice from former Test players Gundappa Vishwanath, Roger Binny, Brijesh Patel and Tarapore. He married Vijeta Pendharkar, a surgeon from Nagpur on 4th May 2003. The couple has two children.
Career of Rahul Dravid:
Rahul Dravid was selected to make his Ranji Trophy debut on February 1991 against Maharashtra in Pune alongside future Indian teammates Anil Kumble and Javagal Srinath. He scored 82 in a drawn match after batting in the 7th position. Dravid’s first full season was in the year 1991-92 when he scored two centuries to finish with 380 runs at an average of 63.3 and was selected for the South Zone in the Duleep Trophy. After the moderate performance in the home series against Australian team and the South African team, Rahul Dravid broke through on the 1996-97 tour of South Africa. There he batted at 3rd position in the third test against Johannesburg and scored his maiden century with 148 and 81, the top scores in each innings. He then went on to claim his first man of the match award. Dravid made his first half century against Pakistan in the Sahara Cup in the year 1996 where he scored 90 runs in his 10th ODI. Thereafter, in the span of 18 months ending in mid-1998, Dravid played in an away series against the West Indies, a home and away series against Sri Lanka and a home series against Australia. He scored eleven half centuries but was unable to convert them into triple figures. Dravid scored his second century in late 1998 against the Zimbabwe team in a one-off test match, scoring top scores in both the innings with 148 and 44 runs respectively. Rahul Dravid became the third Indian batsman after Vijay Harare and Sunil Gavaskar to score centuries in both innings of a match during the 1999 New Year’s test match against New Zealand.
Performances by Rahul Dravid:
In the 7th World Cup in the year 1999, Dravid was the top scorer scoring
461 runs. He is the only Indian to score back to back centuries in the
World Cup. He was the vice captain during the 2003 World Cup where
Indian reached the final. He served his team in the dual capacity of a
batsman and wicket keeper to accommodate an additional batsman. Dravid
was also the captain during the 2007 Cricket World Cup held in West
Indies, where the Indian team has a dismal campaign.
In the year 2001, in the second test of the three match test series
against Australia in Kolkata, Rahul Dravid joined hands with VVS Laxman
to produce one of the greatest comeback victories in the history of
cricket. The pair put on 376 runs for the fifth wicket in the second
innings of the match. Even though Dravid ended up second best, the
performance remains his one of the greatest till date. In the year 2002, Dravid gradually went on to establish himself as
India’s premier test batsman. He started on with an unbeaten144 runs in a
test match series against West Indies during the month of April. Later
in that year, he scored up to four consecutive centuries against England
(3) and West Indies (1).
On August 2002, Dravid scored 148 runs in the first innings to set up a
famous India win in the third test match of a series against England in
Headingly Stadium. He won the man of the match award for this
performance. In the 2003-2004 seasons, Dravid scored three double centuries, one each
against New Zealand, Australia and Pakistan. In a four match series
against Australia, Dravid made 233 runs which were the highest
individual score by an Indian batsman overseas.
During the later part of the season, in the absence of Saurav Ganguly,
Dravid went on to lead India to its first test victory over Pakistan in
the first test match in Multan. In the third and final match of the
series in Rawalpindi, Dravid scored masterly 270 runs to a historic test
series win over Pakistan. Dravid was India’s lifesaver in the
disastrous tour of England in the year 2001, which cost India the top
rakings of test cricket which they lost 4-0. However, the performance of
Rahul Dravid stood up as he hit up 3 centuries.
Rahul Dravid has been a significant player in the Indian cricket team.
He has the reputation of being a defensive batsman who should be more
confined to Test cricket. Though initially he was slow in making runs,
over the years in the ODIs he started making runs and this has earned
him the ‘ICC Player of the Year’ award. His nickname ‘The Wall’ in
Reebok advertisements has become a consistent image to his personality.
He is one of the few Indian players who average more at away Test
matches than at home, averaging about 5 more runs a match abroad than on
Indian pitches. In matches where the Indian team has won, Dravid
averages 66.34 in Test matches and 50.69 in ODIs. Dravid’s sole Test
wicket was that of Ridley Jacobs in the fourth test against the West
Indies during the 2001-2002 series.
Dravid is also an efficient wicket keeper and has often kept wickets for
India in the ODIs. He has since delegated the wicket keeping gloves to
Parthiv Patel and then to Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Dravid has contributed to nearly 32% of the total runs scored by India
in those 21 matches. On 18th March 2006, Rahul Dravid played his 100th
Test against England in Mumbai. In the year 2006, it was announced that
he would remain captain of the Indian team up to the 2007 World Cup in
West Indies. However after the England series, he stepped down as
captain due to personal issues and Mahendra Singh Dhoni took over from
him as ODI captain and Anil Kumble replaced him in Test cricket.
Records by Rahul Dravid:
Dravid was involved into two of the largest partnerships in ODIs, viz. one being 318 run partnership with Sourav Ganguly and another 331 run partnership with Sachin Tendulkar, which is the present world record. Dravid also holds the record for the greatest number of innings since debut before being dismissed for a duck. Dravid also holds the current world record for the highest percentage contribution of runs scored in matches won under a single captain, where the captain has won more than 20 tests. In the 21 Test matches that India has won under the leadership of former captain Sourav Ganguly, Dravid has played every single one of the wins and has scored a record average of 102-84 and has piled up an astonishing 271 runs, with nine hundreds, three of them double centuries and ten fifties in 32 innings. Rahul Dravid is one of the two batsman to score 10,000 runs in a single batting position and is not the second highest run getter in Test cricket next to Sachin Tendulkar. As of the year 2012, Dravid is the only player to score a century in all the ten Test playing nations. With more than 200 catches, he also holds the world record for the highest number of catches taken by a player in Test cricket.
Commercial appearances by Rahul Dravid:
Rahul Dravid is the first non-Australian cricketer to address at the Bradman Oration in Canberra. Rahul Dravid is also engaged in a number of commercial endorsements including Reebok, Pepsi, Kissan, Castrol, Gillette and Samsung among others. He is also involved in social commitments like for the Children’s Movement for Civic Awareness and UNICEF Supporter and AIDS Awareness Campaign.
Retirement of Rahul Dravid:
Rahul Dravid has been dropped from the ODI team in the year 2009. He was again included in team in the year 2011 for an ODI series in England. This decision surprised many people as well as Dravid as he didn’t expected to be recalled though he haven’t retired till then. After he was selected, Dravid announced that this series will be his last appearance. Dravid played his last ODI innings against England in Sophia Gardens on 16th September 2011. He also had the distinction of playing his last limited overs international match on his debut match in a T20 game. He then announced his retirement before playing his first T20 match.
After the tour of Australia, Rahul Dravid announced his retirement from test and domestic cricket although he said he will be leading Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League in the year 2012. During his retirement, Rahul Dravid was the second highest run scorer and player with the highest number of catches in test cricket.
Achievements of Rahul Dravid:
Dravid was named one of the Wisden cricketers of the year 2000. Wisden ranked him the third greatest Test batsman of all time, after Sachin Tendulkar and Don Bradman. He was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri award by the Indian Government on 7th September 2004. He was also awarded the inaugural Player of the year award and the Test player of the year award by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Rahul Dravid also has two biographies written on his career including the ‘Rahul Dravid- a Biography’ written by Vedam Jaishankar and another ‘The Nice Guy Who Finished First’ written by Devendra Prabhudesai. A collection of articles, testimonials and interviews were also released by ESPN Cricinfo after Dravid’s retirement. The book was titled ‘Rahul Dravid: Timeless Steel’.