Top 5 Test innings played by Rahul Dravid

Author : Jinit

The wolf who lived for the pack, the quintessential Test batsman, Rahul Dravid came up with heroic knocks which embodied resilience and an unflinching desire to win throughout his career.

Here are his 5 best innings in Test cricket:

5. 146 Not Out vs England, The Oval, 2011

England v India: 4th npower Test - Day Four

This match began with India’s middling bowling “attack” of Ishant Sharma, RP Singh, S Sreesanth and Amit Mishra being mowed down and scalped by destroyers-in-chief, Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen. The duo powered the Poms to a mammoth total of 591. It was the final match of a series that went miserably wrong.

The bowlers, after being blitzed all around the park and the fielders, chasing leather to no avail, were left exasperated and lorn. Being beaten black and blue throughout the series, in the final Test, Team India were out to seek some consolation to pacify themselves and escape the brutality of the media and the fans back home.

With Gautam Gambhir suffering from the up consequences of a concussion, India once again turned to Mr. Dependable for respite.

Rahul Dravid, along with Sehwag opened the batting for India. With steely determination, he tried to keep the English bowling attack at bay on his own while watching wickets tumble from the other end. With the Indian batsmen showing little resistance, England almost steamrolled their way through India’s batting line up.

Dravid, like a lone ranger, made it less of a cakewalk for the English, resisting them like Harry Potter obstructed Lord Voldemort. Literally and figuratively, in this match, he was the last man standing, the only one amongst 10 other “boys”, with the scoreboard showing a dismal 300 all out in reply to England’s 591.

India eventually lost the match by an innings and the series 4-0 with Dravid being India’s highest run-getter.

4. 190 vs New Zealand, Hamilton, 1999

Rahul Dravid 1

Vijay Hazare and Sunil Gavaskar were the only Indian batsmen to have scored hundreds in both innings of a Test match till then. If there was another name deserving enough of being mentioned in the same breath as them, it had to be that of Rahul Dravid.

He did enough to begin his ascent in that direction by scoring 190 in the first innings and 103 in the second, denying the Kiwis a second win in the series in the process.

He exhibited some elegant stroke play consisting of a variety of shots including his trademark hook, a few straight drives, cover drives and leg glances. The crowds were also “treated” to his majestic front foot defence.

Before Dravid came out to bat and settled in, India had lost Navjot Sidhu (yes, the laughter show guy used to play Test cricket for India!) and Ajay Jadeja in less than 5 overs.

Then, along with Sachin Tendulkar, Dravid steadied the ship only to see Ganguly, Azharuddin, Mongia and Kumble fall cheaply, shortly after Tendulkar departed.

He was then involved in an important partnership with tail ender Javagal Srinath who scored 76. Dravid’s responsible innings dragged India to 416.

New Zealand responded well and Dravid and Ganguly scored centuries in the fourth innings to deny them victory.

3. 148 vs England, Leeds, 2002

Rahul Dravid 2

India went into this match after losing the first match at Lord’s and drawing the second at Nottingham. Unconventionally and to the surprise of many, after winning the toss, captain Saurav Ganguly opted to bat on a pitch with a hint of green.

Virender Sehwag had been roped in to open the innings along with Railways opener Sanjay Bangar. Sehwag did not last long and fell for 8.

In came Rahul Dravid to deal with England’s pacers who were looking to bully the Indian batsmen on a track that favoured swing and bounce.

Dravid tackled everything that was thrown at him with impeccable judgement – each ball bowled outside the off stump was calmly left. The art of “leaving” was practised with perfection. He laid a strong foundation for Sachin and Ganguly by taking blows on his body repeatedly to supress high bounce.

It was an innings in which Dravid had to work hard for each run and do the dirty work for his team mates.

His 148 was the most crucial contribution in this Test match. Tendulkar’s 193 and Ganguly’s 128 would not have been possible without the giant edifice built by Dravid.

India won the match and Dravid was correctly adjudged man of the match.

2. 233 vs Australia, Adelaide, 2003

Rahul Dravid 3

After Saurav Ganguly’s ton in the first Test at Brisbane dragged India away from the clutches of defeat, the message was clear – Team India were going to be no pushovers for the Aussies, even in their own fortress of a backyard.

The pitch at the Adelaide Oval in the second Test was a batsman’s paradise. Ricky Ponting won the toss and elected to bat first without hesitation. The Aussies exploited the situation well and posted a massive 556 in the first innings.

Virender Sehwag got India off to a blazing start with his 47. However, wickets fell like ninepins and in no time India were reduced to 85-4 from 66-0.

The Aussies exulted as Ganguly fell, convinced that even with Dravid and Laxman at the crease, victory was not too far away. Little did they know that the echoes of Eden Gardens, 2001 would be felt at the Adelaide Oval. Fans like us did not have the faintest of idea that our prayers were about to be answered. History was about to repeat itself.

The backdrop this time was the lush green and the golden sunshine of the Adelaide Oval. Rahul Dravid, along with VVS Laxman began India’s resurrection.

Wearing the Aussie bowlers down with his classy defence, Dravid hit top gear and smashed the bowlers all around the park. Dravid held the team together with his talismanic innings.

He was the last man to get out as India were firmly back in the game. The result was a win for India with Dravid’s being the most important contribution, in the first innings as well as the second.

1. 180 vs Australia, Kolkata, 2001

Rahul Dravid 4

After being bowled out for 171 in response to Australia’s 445, India were sent in to bat again.

By the time Dravid came in to bat, India had lost 4 wickets for 232 runs. Saving the match looked like a mountain to climb, never mind winning it.

Dravid and Laxman had their backs against the wall. As Laxman clobbered the Aussies all over, Dravid sculptured an unspectacular but solid innings.

He had answers to everything that was thrown at him by Shane Warne, Jason Gillespie, Michael Kasprowicz and the other Aussie bowlers. The fact that he was run out is proof of the same.

He reached 100 by smashing Warne to the fence and his celebration showed how much this century meant to him. It was the beginning of an era.

Dravid’s innings helped India to a 600+ second innings total and eventually one of the greatest turnarounds in the history of Test cricket. As John Wright likes to put it, this indeed was the greatest comeback since Lazarus.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Moores gets second stint as England coach

Moores gets second stint as England coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh's senior players will have three sessions with a psychological skill development coach later this month More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »