Today in 30 Days, 30 Questions:
Question: Looking back at Rahul Dravid's entire career, what would you consider to be his best innings across formats?
Yahoo! Cricket's response: Though there are so many to choose from like the 180 in that memorable turnaround with Laxman in Kolkata, the century on a green-top in Leeds in 2002, his highest Test score of 270 that helped India to a historic series win in Pakistan and maybe even an ODI innings like the one he played against Sri Lanka during the 1999 World Cup, but looking at occassion, circumstance and impact our vote goes to his 233 against Australia in Adelaide, 2003.
Rahul entered with India on 66-1 and he left the field only left when India's innings wrapped up at 523. He was circumspect early on his innings after India lost Chopra, Sehwag, Tendulkar and Ganguly in quick sucession, which left them reeling on 85-4.
He then went on to once again stitch together a spectacular partnership with Laxman, but this time managed to go way ahead of him and in the process helped his team to reach a total just short of Australia's mammoth 1st innings score of 556. His innings was classy, confident and full of poetic cover drives. His knock answered critics who questioned his ability to score runs in Australia and was ultimately responsible for the outcome of the match - India's first victory on Aussie soil in 22 years. India's performance in Adelaide put them 1-0 up in the series and cemented their reputation as world beaters.
It was befitting that after India knocked out Australia for 196 in their second innings, it was Dravid who took India to their target with a masterful unbeaten 72 and hit the winning runs.
Leave your answers in the comments below and we will republish the best ones.
Here are some of the most interesting answers we received -
Arif writes in from Moscow and gives his vote to Dravid's top Test score - the 270 he made against Pakistan in Rawalpindi:
Innings at Rawalpindi was the best for few reasons: He came to this third and last test of the series at 1-1 after captaining first two tests in Ganguly's absence who was now back to lead this third all important test. He was criticised for declaring innings at Multan when Tendulkar was closing to a double century, though India won the test by innings. In second test at Lahore he was criticised for opting to bat on a grassy pitch, which India lost. With Shoaib Akhtar in full steam playing at home pitch, series level at 1-1, a green top was offerred to India. The Wall stood firm when other stalwarts fell down to sheer pace. Innings was ended at 270 becuase Rahul played unlike-wall shot in order to collect fast runs for Ganguly gave signal of declaration. Rest is history. India won the series 2-1 against arch rivals Pakistan, beating then in their own back yard (and don't you forget - cricket between two countries is much more than a game) and brought glory to home.
Adelaide was good one, but in context of a lost series I wouldn't rate it higher than Rawalpindi.
One correction there, Arif. Adelaide saw India go 1-0 up in the series. Australia managed to win the next Test in Melbourne and the 4 Test series was eventually drawn 1-1.
Thomas from Delhi picks century No 1 as the best. This brought India close to a Test win at the Wanderers, before they were done in by bad light and rain in the last session of play:
Although he has so many good knocks, I rate his 148 against SA is the best one. Because it came against bowlers like Donald, McMillan, Cronje.... In that he drove on the off side,on the on side, he pulled and played all the strokes in the book.
First impression is the best impression.
Vipul from Mumbai rates the century on a green track in Headingly as Dravid's best:
3rd Test at Leeds test in 2002 I think. His innings with Sanjay Bangar was the cornerstone for a massive Indian total. One of the best test innings by a team as he led with sheer determination on a moving pitch. Sachin and Ganguly built on that innings and I've never seen India bat so aggressive after that.
Others like Taj rate his last purple patch - the one against England this past summer as his best:
146* against England in the 2011 Pataudi Trophy. Carrying his bat when the remaning batting fell apart a bit too easily!
Dravid is best known for his Test knocks, but some of his fans think his best innings came in an ODI -
Kadambari from Santa Clara in the US has fond memories of his debut ODI ton in Chennai. We remember Dravid battling severe cramps in the May humidity but galantly batting on:
For me it would be his debut ODI century against Pakistan in the Independence cup. He was considered too slow and not an ODI player, Saeed Anwar's knock seemed to have demoralized the team and spectators alike, but as long as Dravid batted, hope was still alive and that innings was one of the first Dravid stood strong while the rest of the team fell apart.
Sanjay from Karnataka picks a ODI half ton as his favourite. This was the 2nd fastest 50 by an Indian.
When Rahul Dravid hit 50 runs in 22 balls against New Zealand in Hyderabad. This innings was just opposite of the nature of his playing style.
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