Rahul Dravids are not born everyday. They come, adapt and create a summit beyond the reach of lesser mortals. The former Indian captain bids adieu to the 50-over format after the fifth and final One-day match against England in Cardiff today. At 38, Dravid still retains his boyish enthusiasm for the game he loves and has not lost his unquenchable hunger for runs. The good thing for his team and fans though is that will continue to play Test cricket for India.
Akshay Iyer digs out Dravid's best innings in One-Day Internationals.
Speaking to NDTV, Rahul Dravid says in his own mind he had played his last ODI two years back, but added it was nice to be given the opportunity to bring an end to his international career in the shorter formats. Dravid said this though won’t bring any change to his life adding the Indian team has moved on in the shorter formats.
AR Hemant of Y! Cricket while comparing Dravid to the famous Bollywood villain and character artist Pran writes: "There are those who who fancy old-fashioned ideas like hard-work, ethical behaviour, principals, being well-mannered, showing up on time, and committing till the end. To them, Pran and Dravid will be the heroes, the nice guys who came first."
Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly paid rich tributes to Rahul, who will be playing his last One-day match in Cardiff.
He may not give you a quick start, but he will surely make his innings count in terms of time spent at the crease. You need such players in the team, and he was the best man for the job, Tendulkar said.
Rahul has had a checkered One-day career and it took a new turn once he decided to keep wickets in 2002. His decision was absolutely for the team as it helped reorganize the middle-order and add more depth to it, Ganguly added.
Dravid said that his long career spanning over 300 games has made him a versatile player, one who could captain or keep wickets, and bat at different positions.
"I think that I have got enough respect and enough recognition for what I've done, and to be honest, I'd like to end off with a win. It would be lovely for India, and you know we've had a tough tour," he said.
Anil Kumble got a lap of honour, Tendulkar also got a victory lap at Wankhede. So how is Dhoni planning for Dravid's swansong...
For a long time, not many people believed Dravid could be a successful one-day cricketer. But he has gone on and on, unfazed by criticism and having supreme confidence in his abilities. He is not someone who will go out and tonk sixes at will but he gets the job done. Rahul's approach has changed in the way he uses the pace of the bowler, looks to take the early singles and keep the board ticking over, Anil Kumble wrote in his column for Hindustan Times.
Dravid has represented India in 343 matches so far, at an average of 39.06. We bring you some interesting facts about his ODI career:
KC Vijaya Kumar of The Hindu explains why 'it has not been an easy ride for Dravid'
Other interesting reads -
Curtain call for wonderWall
Rahul Dravid: A true-blue hero
Rahul Dravid deserves just as much credit as India's little master
What are your favourite Dravid memories?