Home > Sport > Rahul Dravid….The last Gentleman

Rahul Dravid….The last Gentleman



For eight months now the Indian cricket fan has waited with breathless anticipation for the ultimate cricket icon, Sachin Tendulkar, to score his 100th international hundred. All this while, one man has stayed under the radar, doing what he has done with quiet efficiency for several years now.        Rajdeep Sardesai

A text book technique, herculean determination, impeccable concentration and never-ending commitment to the team describe Dravid… the player, in a single sentence. There is something about Rahul Dravid that has always been awe inspiring. It is not his accolades on the field that mesmerize me, but it is how he gets them. The intensity with which he takes the field is what separates him from the rest of his peers. Books have been written about his technique; some with praise and some scathe his technique as being redundant, in the current high pitch, money driven era of T20. But everyone agrees that he is the last of the generation, who plays the gentleman’s game the way it should be played…Like a Gentleman

Of his contemporaries it is only the master blaster who is ahead of him in runs and tons and when we dig a little deeper we find Dravid actually has a slight edge over mighty Tendulkar. For example, if you exclude Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, Dravid’ s average in overseas series is marginally better than Sachin’s as is his contribution to India’s overseas wins. Quite remarkably, 32 of his 36 test centuries have come in wins or draws, confirming his stature as a true match winner. Add to nearly 13,000 test runs, the small matter of 10,000 runs in a format that is not his specialty and 200 plus test catches, and his place as an all-time great is assured.

I am told batting in Australia and England is the toughest challenge for an Indian batsman, because of playing conditions and Pakistan is tough because of pot boiling pressure that the matches generate. It is sometimes poetic that Dravid earned his prosaic title: THE WALL playing in these countries, I wanted to check how, the two greats of Indian contemporary cricket, fared in these three countries. So cricinfo came to my rescue. The data is given below.

 While the result has not been checked for statistical significance, the result does indicate Dravid brilliance when he plays in tough conditions. What came as a new insight and a surprise to me is the fact that Rahul has a better average even in the limited format version of the game which we generally assume Tendulkar is the clear master.

Century to win ratio is another statistic that Sachin Tendulkar has made popular. It is argues incorrectly that when Sachin score a century India does not win. (Read my previous analysis on this) while it is not a correct statistic, it still is a fun statistic that we can use to compare batsman. So I wanted to see how these legends stand against each other.

Rahul Dravid in a test match is a formidable player. His ability to save a test or win a test for India is well documented and it reflects in his Century to win ratio. When he hits a century he is able to save or win the match about 89% times compared to Sachin being able to do that 78% only.

While Sachin has a lower score I still will not go an record to compare these players. They had different roles in the team and each of them delivered as best as he could. Sachin played a lot more matches and has been playing for India from the age of 16, it is but natural that he has more chances to fail and he did not have Rahul Dravid playing in the initial career. Dravid always had Sachin and Dada to back him up so it is understandable that Dravid has a better score than Sachin


If we want to look at Dravid’s place along with legends of the game, we need to benchmark it with the gold standard of test match batting. Sir Don Bradman’s 99.94 average in 52 consecutive tests. So these are the most productive 52 match streaks as purple as Bradman’s. Ricky pointing stands next to Bradman even though he is 25 runs short of him. Interestingly enough as expected we find Rahul Dravid sitting quietly on the 5th place just after Kallis and Sobers. Sachin is not far. Even though Sachin stands 8th on the table the difference between him and Dravid is almost negligible.


Source http://tinyurl.com/cboum4p

There is another statistic that I came across and while this was no surprise I was just not expecting it. Dravid is currently the number one batsman for the year 2011 in the long format of the game. This is the Top five batsmen for 2011 as on Nov 20th.

# Batsman Mts Inns Runs Hs Avg 100 50

1

R Dravid (Ind)

10

19

952

146*

59.5

5

2

2

IR Bell (Eng)

8

11

950

235

118.75

5

2

3

AN Cook (Eng)

8

11

927

294

84.27

4

2

4

KC Sangakkara (SL)

9

17

923

211

54.29

3

4

5

DM Bravo (WI)

9

18

735

195

43.23

2

3

Dravid resembles sportsmen of the last era. He often reminds me of Ivan Lendl or Mats Wilander of yesteryears, they never lost their cool on the tennis court, in a win or a loss; they came to the court and did what he was best known for, playing a classic tennis match. But how many of us remember them? We were so enamored by the likes of boom boom Becker, erratic Ivanisevic, or the temperamental McEnroe. Their serve and volley games and their antiques on the court and sometimes off the court made us read about them and follow them like fanatics. I don’t question their talent, they had a style that screamed of their accolades, had a mass appeal. In the same sense as a Star and an Actor, we love our stars but Actors make the movie watchable. Dravid like Lendl and Wilander reaffirms one’s faith in old fashioned values of solidity and integrity. He has shown that true class doesn’t need a megaphone for self-promotion but only needs an unswerving commitment to one’s profession. He is probably the last of the few who help us explain why cricket was called a gentleman’s game.

Rahul Dravid statistics are taken from Cricinfo.

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  1. January 30, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Great post. Thoroughly loved it. Dravid’s greatness is incomparable. 🙂
    I am a huge fan of Rahul Dravid as well. Please check out my posts on him if you please. 🙂

    http://akkishaki.blogspot.com/search/label/Rahul%20Dravid

  2. Priyanka Kashyap
    January 21, 2012 at 10:16 am

    I think Dravid is much a match winner than sachin. Sachin may score century of centuries but his inability to win matches for India will be a blot on his career.

    http://dipqa.com/view/dips/224/sachin-tendulkar-most-overrated

    Thanks
    Priyanka

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