Will there ever be another like Rahul Dravid?

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: When will we ever see a cricketer like Rahul Sharad Dravid again?

Facing the fastest of bowlers in spotless flannels not a crease or button out of shape; executing classy cuts and drive on off and leg; crouched at first slip with the same intensity of focus and concentration that made him the most difficult batsman to get out… the wall, if you will.

He is only retiring from the beautiful game, of course, but rare will be the cricket eye that will not wipe a tear of memory.

Dravid brought to his cricket that rare steely determination to rough out any situation out in the middle and rarer grace and conduct that embellished the game even more.

Taking upon himself things which he had never done before for the sake of the team or for sake of his captain was what cricket all about for him.

Be it opening the innings with Virender Sehwag in Pakistan or donning the wicket-keeper’s gloves for one-day internationals so that Sourav Ganguly could get the balance right, it was all part of Dravid’s unsaid commitment for the team. He took upon the new roles himself with nary a complaint.

Never was a word said against anything or anyone in public, for the cricket he had learnt and practiced would always be fair and can never be ungentlemanly.

If Lord’s didn’t bestow the rare honour of scoring a century on debut, when he was out for 96, Dravid came back after 16 years to score that elusive century on a tour in 2011 where he alone played a lone hand in the entire series, though for a losing cause. Dravid’s name went up at Lord’s as a centurian, a fitting honour for India’s best ever one-drop cricketer.

Dravid’s failure with the bat, if we can call the two months out of 17 years of Test cricket in Australia, surprised the cricketing world including his opponents. That is understandable. Time and again he was the wall between abject submission and victory.

Steve Waugh, looking for victory in India in what he called the Final Frontier ran into Laxman and Harbhajan Singh—and Dravid—who turned a certain defeat into victory at Eden Gardens.

Indian cricket will never be the same without Rahul Dravid, but then a generation of fans all over the world  have been lucky to see one of the best cricketers of the game who had combined the craft of excellence in batting with grace, elegance and humility as his hallmark.

Good Bye, Rahul Dravid. And thanks for what you did both on and off the field.

So, when will we see a Rahul Sharad Dravid again?

Not in our life time, I guess.

Photograph: Rahul Dravid, Test cricket’s second most prolific batsman, after announcing his retirement from international cricket in Bangalore on Friday (Karnataka Photo News)

External reading: Suresh Menon in BBC: A special player

Also read: Player no. 207 is the modern-day Vijay Hazare

India’s greatest match-winning batsman is…

Who cries in Bangalore for Rahul Sharad Dravid?

In a team of lottery tickets, one surefire winner

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40 Responses to “Will there ever be another like Rahul Dravid?”

  1. harkol Says:

    We may not see the likes of Rahul Dravid in future. He was the bridge between the old generation of cricketers who played the game for the love of it, were not ruthless professionals of today. In fact, even among the old lot Dravid may stand up for his gentle to a fault demeanor.

    In a way he is a misfit among middle finger showing, Foul Mouthed team members. We are fast loosing the gentlemen cricketors like Kumble, Srinath, Laxman & Tendulkar.

    But, from purely cricketing prowess, surely there will be more Dravids and Tendulkars. That’s what life is – it goes on.

  2. Brahmanyan Says:

    Rahul Dravid has done his best as a Cricketer for 17 years and taken retirement from active cricket at the right time. Let him contribute to the game by training more youngsters. Wishing him the best of health and happiness.

  3. Gokulam 3rd Stage Says:

    The best batsman India has produced.

  4. Gaby Says:

    Not to forget he was the first really good looking cricketer- even hunk, that you could take home to meet your mother. You could also have dreams of resting your head on his shoulder and bite that ripe lower lip, while watching some graceful and elegant cricket.

  5. Jayashree Says:

    Great guy! He was like Berlin wall of Indian cricket. I still remember him doing batting practice with a Ball hung from a rope. He has a record of playing the most number of deliveries in test cricket. Number I don’t know! Some statistician can tell.

  6. pulikeshi the last Says:

    Gabakka,

    Thusu self-control. Avanna kacchabyaadi.

  7. Faldo Says:

    I have always felt that calling him the Wall was doing him a disservice as he has somehow felt obligated to live up to that title. It often resulted in the media and the selectors not giving him his due and ignoring him for the shorter version of the game.
    He is the ideal role model for aspiring cricketers. His services should be utilized by Indian cricket in the years to come as an administrator, selector or coach.

  8. Jayashree Says:

    It is there in Hindu to day, 31,258 deliveries!

  9. Gouri Satya Says:

    Great cricketer. He was, however, overshadowed by Tendulkar.

  10. Gaby Says:

    Pulikesi Anna, kaccho kanasu ashte. Adhu Kooda maada baradha?
    Whatever you say that lower lip is really made to bite and something else for spanking;)

  11. maisuru Says:

    It is the media which bayed for his blood when he did not do so well in the recent tour! They just forgot in 2011 he was the most successful cricketer of the world. As GRV said neither did any other player succeed spectacularly well. If he decided to hang his bat then the onus lies with the media which is singing hosannas now! He clearly had few more years of quality cricket left still ! How unfortunate !

  12. Chidu22 Says:

    Not withstanding the fact that Dravid never recogniSed himself to be a true kannadiga( lived in Karnataka all his life) , I admire him for everything he stood for on the cricket field. If English was his escapism from Kannada then I am afraid he didn’t do that Job even half as good as his cricket. From a true cricketing point of view the Rich tributes he has been paid from around the world is testimony to his greatness. A true legend who if not surpassed at least equalled another great ,legend kannadiga cricketer Gundappa Vishu, epitomising the Gentlemans game. Wish him even greater success in his second innings.

  13. Manivannan Says:

    I left watching cricket 22 years back, after my elder brother advised me that it will consume my productive time, almost round the year, as he found me filling my school notes full of calculations of averages for all batsman/bowlers!

    In all these years, if I was pulled to the idiot box to see cricket, on rare occasions, it was only because of Tendulkar, and yes, Rahul Dravid. He towers above everybody else in every-way!

    Hats off to Dravid!

  14. Sandeep Gupta Says:

    Rahul “thewall” stood tall at tough times once again ….made way for other cricketers when he thought was right time.. we salute the true gentleman… and thank you for your commitments and achivements.

  15. Pulilkeshi the Last Says:

    Chidu 22–

    Saw an exerpt on You Tube where Rahul mumbles a few Kannada words. If he does not know the language, it is because he doesn’t have to. More and more Kannadigas are joining this group.

    Shri Harkol will say we are dragging language in unnecessarily. Perhaps so, but it shouldn’t stop until our dream of speaking and spoken to in Kannada when necessary comes true. So help me Arivu.

    I suppose Rahul is already a recipient of the Rajyothsava award. Will get a Kannadarathna as well.

    May he prosper.

    P. S. one fewer Brahmin on the Indian test squad. Following the absurd path of correspondence on that mischievous topic is a lot of fun.

  16. chetan Says:

    @chidu22
    did he ever recognise himself as a true marathi? he is a neutral guy. i’ve seen both venkatesh prasad and dravid speak in kannada, i thought dravid spoke much better.

    a telugu person will remain a telugite for generations in tamil nadu but if he is born in karnataka he should become a kannadiga. these things happen only in karnataka. its high time you people respect true orgins of people, even they have their own language, culture, if he takes pride in calling himself a marathi, let it be.

    new definition of kannadiga should be “mother tongue has to be kannada”.

  17. harkol Says:

    One wish I have is that we understand the difference between state’s citizen and language.

    A state will be more of an administrative unit, loosely tied to a language, but not identified with the language.

    Folks can identify themselves with a state and feel proud of their state, without knowing well the predominant language of that state.

    This way, a Maharastrian needn’t be a Maratha, A Karnatic needn’t be a Kannadiga, and a Keralite without being a Malayalee.

    This is essential for the future of our children as there is no guarantee they will live and spread their lineage in Karnataka alone.

  18. Manjunath Hosur Says:

    I sincerely believe that these guys (dravid, sachin, laxman) should have retired three years ago along with ganguly. One is still going on, for that goddamn elusive 100th century. But still the media says he plays for the country.

  19. chidu22 Says:

    Pulakeshi the Last and Chetan,

    Just to clear what I meant to say by true kannadiga, its the attitude which is I am refering to, not just being able to mumble gibberish in kannada.You go to school in Karnataka where I am sure you have to learn and write in kannada atleast as a language.The pass mark is 35% to proceed to next level. You have squandered an oppurtunity to learn a language ,though it may be seen as embarassment in the circles you move. You have tried miserably to master a foriegn language,English, where as you have missed a oppurtunity to learn a language in its own environment, the best way to understand and learn a language. Many of us speak good english however the language is best understood and appreciated in its land of origin. Its beyond me to see a man so good in so many respects didnt appreciate this simple concept. To retierate his favourite lines “ attitude is everything in life, rest is mere details”.., I pity everyone who think regional langauages are inferior to English.
    As I said, his greatness in cricket shouldn’t be seen as an excuse.

  20. Nastika Says:

    @chetan.
    True, when someone migrates to Karnataka, he must forget his old language. When a someone from Karnataka migrates to other place, he must preserve his Kannada and teach his grand-kids, before dying.

    @Pulilkeshi the Last
    There are plenty in queue to make up the Brahmin number.

    Dravid was great Test batsman, who is the first & only batsman to score centuries in all Test playing countries (read all pitches). And a great slip fielder (holds world record for slip catches).

    Again great timing in retirement, when people are asking ‘Why?’ (not, Why not?)

    PS: While Dravid is great in Tests, he is just good in ODIs. India usually lost the momentum in scoring, when Dravid came to the crease.

    ~*~

  21. Sudhindra Says:

    Wonderful human being. Trust to see him as a coach.

  22. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    Mine is an old song: Kannada should be respected in its own land.

  23. Chidu22 Says:

    Anyone who wish to represent Karnataka should be able to speak fluently in Kannada. People who dont may go elsewhere , we can’t let you block a kannadiga’s chances.

  24. the colonel Says:

    how do you score runs in (……your mother tongue).

    i thought it was a number.

    and how about talking with the bat (….mt again????)

  25. Vinay Says:

    Not sure why every other post on churumuri is becoming a language whinefest.

    Rahul Dravid was a great cricketer, and was every inch a gentleman – though I was personally not a great fan of his batting, I have great respect for him. Millions of Indians (and foreigners) admire him and have respect for him. Why bring in silliness about how much “purity” was there (or not) in his “Kannadiga-ness”?

  26. sunil Says:

    chidu 22

    what should be the qualification to represent india.
    speak hindi ??

    and what should be the qualification to be a JUDGE in karnatake high court ??

  27. Kingkhan Says:

    Rahul was a cricketer who was not naturally gifted but a person who came up by sheer determination and hard work. I personally admire his dedication and commitment towards the game. There was one series when he had to open the innings and wicket keep as well. If somebody else would have been there they would have raised a tantrum. Trust Mr.Dependable to take up the additional responsibility.

    We will miss you Rahul..

  28. Chidu22 Says:

    Colonel

    I congratulate you on your sense of humour. Great going. I dare say you are one of those lazy immigrants who don’t want to learn Kannada or you hate it. Come out of your prejudice.

    Vinay

    Your double standards are quite evident from reading your earlier posts. You were breast beating about koliwood in your posts, you would do some good by telling the same to your clan in your state of origin.

    Sunil

    By the way there is difference in representing a state and appointments.
    You have accepted Hindi as national language ,you better learn it.
    If you are going to sit on proceedings concerning the state of Karnataka you are in better position to pass a judgement with knowledge of local culture and language.

    ***

    Vinay

    My apologies for having mistaken you for some other person here.

  29. Krishna Says:

    Harkol

    >>>A state will be more of an administrative unit, loosely tied to a language, but not identified with the language.<<<>>Folks can identify themselves with a state and feel proud of their state, without knowing well the predominant language of that state—>>>

    What is the necessary of identifying with a state then? Language is associated with a culture. The culture is further associated with the state. Do you know what is kannada culture by the way?

    —–>>>>This is essential for the future of our children as there is no guarantee they will live and spread their lineage in Karnataka alone.—–>>>

    Nimmantavru idre kannada uddara. Sadly, karnatakadalli nimmantavre jaasti irodu :( Your next generation kids will learn only “Kannada gotilla” in karnataka.

  30. EmptyMind Says:

    @vinay

    /*Not sure why every other post on churumuri is becoming a language whinefest.*/

    Really, Where was this logic when Churumuri posted Bangarappa’s -final tribute, u people turned it into a Socialite Vs Capitalist debate bashing poor Bangarappa’s dead body. Why so U- turn now. why do u expect everybody in your line and give good send off to your beloved one. Hmm, I am smelling casteism here. :-)

    With no disrespect to the true achievements of any one, I will sign off now.

  31. harkol Says:

    Krishna: Separation of language from state is important.

    Because a state is about the place where you call home. Just like a nation is just a place you call home. You don’t identify with India, because of its ‘culture’. You do so, because like a dog which pisses on four corners to mark an area as their ground, and will fight to death to safeguard it. An animal doesn’t fight for its territory because it can say ‘bow-wow’ in a particular language. We have mentally marked an abstract geographic area as our ground, and we feel a belonging there.

    Beyond that there is no real belonging to any place. If you go to another place and are allowed to mark your ground, then that is your place just as anyone else’s.

    If language was indeed a state, as I said earlier then Kodava, Konkan and Tulu are separate states? Should a person who can’t speak Kannada, but born and brought up in what is demarcated as Karnataka should be stateless?

    Kannada Culture? umm.. Do you mean Ganging up in the name of Rajkumar or KRV to beat up a bunch of folks, or burn buses etc? Or do you mean the dress with Mysore Peta/Dhoti/Kacche, or Mangalore Lungi, Kodava Kupya or Gowdra chaddi?

    Or is it in Reading Kannada Papers, while queing up in MTR for benne masale, and ordering a by-two in darshini?

    Or is it about reading Kuvempu, DVG? Because KavirajaMarga, though Kannada is already a unread-ably different language?

    If Mysore Pak & Mysore Masala Dosa is Kannadiga culture, then what is Pandi Curry or Kori Rotti??

    FYI – I am a Kannadiga, because Kannada (well Kunda-Kannada) is one of my primary languages, and the language we speak at home. So, what I do is Kannada culture.

    But, What you call Kannada itself is much different from Hale-Kannada and Purva-Hale-Kannada or even Nadu-Kannada. How so? Purva-Hale-Kannada had very little Samskruta words, as Samskruta became prevalent Indian language, all Indian languages adopted its words and morphed. Now english is doing the same.

    Regarding Kannada Uddhara – I don’t see a need for a language to survive if it doesn’t have a practical use in future. It may be of interest to linguists. Like Samskruta, a language that was spoken in a far wider geography, is dead now – So can Kannada in a few generations. And no one can stop the wheel of time from turning. Some do try though with the hope of stopping the unstoppable ‘change’.

    If your ancestors of 10-20 generations back listen to our ‘pure Kannada’ they’ll laugh at how we’ve destroyed Kannada, you’d find it very difficult to understand their language and vice-versa.

  32. the colonel Says:

    dear chidu 22:

    am a son of the soil.

    excluding computer languages i know and speak 8.

    i am 9 std pass; 10 std FAIL.

    my bheja cannot take in some more

    finished, kaput

  33. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    Chidu–

    Well said, Chidu. Many of the high court judges who wink at the unspeakable misdeeds of our politicians seem to be non-Kannadigas. They have no stake in what happens to our people. If someone steals a few hundred /thosand crores from them what is it to a judge who is going to retire and head back to his home state?

    The gold standard here is Shri Chiranjeev Singh, a retired IAS Punjabi man who became a virtual Kannadiga. I don’t think he gave up speaking Punjabi with his folks. I wish Churumuri would commission somebody to write an article about him. Better still, KP should ask Singh himself to write about Kannada.

    Vinay–

    “Whinefest” is perhaps a crude phrase to describe the exchange of ideas here. If the thread started with Rahul and started winding its way towards the language issue, it means one thing: all things are connected and Kannada is important. For most people in Karnataka, what keeps us connected is Kannada and that is the reason so many of us bring it up. We don’t believe it is dying, but we are sad that it is being relegated to the status of a poor cousin. And this situation is not novel. In the 1930s B. M. Sreekanthayya and many of his fellow Kannada thinkers were expressing the same anguish that we see in many posts here.

    We don’t apologise for being Kannadigas. We don’t apologise for saying that our language should be the most important language in our state.

    We are not asking anybody not to learn English or speak Hindi. We are only saying that if one lives in Karnataka he should at least speak passable Kannada. we want our children to speak Kannada. It is not as if we are asking everybody to memorise Kumaravyaasa’s great work. That does not sound like chauvinism to me or whining.

  34. EmptyMind Says:

    @chethan
    /*new definition of kannadiga should be “mother tongue has to be kannada”.*/
    /*if kannada and kannadigas have to prosper it can happen only through the contribution of accha kannadigas in my opinion. */

    how did u arrive at this conclusion baby. which school u have studied this. is it similar to Varnashrama type :-).

    are u eager to attest a Outcast or Brahman label to the forehead of newly born cute baby just because of its birth. even present Varnashrama guys will hesitate to accept and may spit on your theory which very kiddish and out dated.

    one doesn’t become Brahman by birth
    one doesn’t become outcast by birth
    one will become Brahman by his deeds
    one will become outcast by his deeds
    one will become kannadiga by his deeds not by his birth
    one will become non-kannadiga by his deeds not by his birth
    one will become hunger by his deeds(read it as fasting) not by his birth status
    one will become Surfeit by his deeds(read it as over eating) not by his birth status
    one will become successful player by his deeds(read it as hardwork, dedication) not by his birth.
    one will become unsuccessful player by his deeds(read it as laziness, non dedication) not by his birth.

    life is driven by deeds and intention which drive those deeds.
    this is law of karma. and also Newton laws are corollary to this. This is eternal truth. our own existence is manifestation by space-time. when we think beyond this space-time, life become empty and say what, it is very delicious.

    we born with nothing, we die with nothing. but we live in illusion between these two points. Realize the ultimate truth.-“This Universe is empty” u are liberated with all these illusion.

    Remember the famous quote from Bhaktha Kumbaara

    “Baruvaaga Bethale, Hoguvaaga Bethale
    bandu hooguva naduve baree kathale.

    And if u still want to do circus of finding the origin of a person,
    just try to find the origin (read it as starting point) of circle or wheel.
    you really deserve noble prize if u answer this.:-).

    A Wheel resembles a successful man. it doesn’t care or doesn’t have any starting or ending point( read it as birth or death). Its only intention is to move forward. With every ruggedness built in itself and adapt to different condition of surface on which it moves.
    if u start any activity of creating separate starting point of wheel, u play with its natural shape, disturbing it, u cripples its natural motion.

  35. Vinay Says:

    EmptyMind:

    You “smell casteism”, do you? That just shows your mentality – typical casteist, backward and cynical.

    I can proudly say that I have no caste affiliation, and I look at nothing on the basis of caste. I did not even bother to find Rahul Dravid’s caste, till it was mentioned on churumuri. On the contrary, scum like you bring up caste in every possible discussion. Casteist scum of your kind need to be shot dead for the nation to progress. I say this in complete seriousness.

  36. Vinay Says:

    Pullikeshi:

    I don’t know whether to call it “chauvinism” or whatever.

    What I do know is, bringing in Kannada “anguish” into every article smacks of something for which I am not able to find an appropriate work atm – whining seems to be the closest.

    The discussion is about a great cricketer who is respected by not just Kannadigas, but hundreds of millions throughout the country (and world). What is the sense in dissecting him apart and analyzing his “Kannadiga-ness”?

    Nobody is asking for anyone to “apologise for saying that our language should be the most important language in our state”, as you put it. But when I ask people the reason for various points they put across in whine-fests on various threads, no one has proper answers. It is all just generic whining about “step motherly treatment”, “dying language”, etc. etc. etc.

  37. Krishna Says:

    harkol,

    >>>Kannada Culture? umm.. Do you mean Ganging up in the name of Rajkumar or KRV to beat up a bunch of folks, or burn buses etc? Or do you mean the dress with Mysore Peta/Dhoti/Kacche, or Mangalore Lungi, Kodava Kupya or Gowdra chaddi?<<<>FYI – I am a Kannadiga, because Kannada (well Kunda-Kannada) is one of my primary languages, and the language we speak at home. So, what I do is Kannada culture.>>>

    I always hear “Dakishan kannada janarige bhashe mele preethi illa” and yes its true. Only Hindu – Muslim – Christian riots matters right?

    >>>But, What you call Kannada itself is much different from Hale-Kannada and Purva-Hale-Kannada or even Nadu-Kannada. How so? Purva-Hale-Kannada had very little Samskruta words, as Samskruta became prevalent Indian language, all Indian languages adopted its words and morphed. Now english is doing the same>>>

    Swamy, what r u trying to prove here? People like you speak 90% english, and whenever someone points at you… then you start speaking about history, geography etc etc. Convince or Confuse policy na?

    Inbetween, our pakkada state very old language speakers are busy trying to prove their language is the oldest. What r v doing here? Halegannada, purvagannada, etc houdhu. Bhashe matadorige matra ivella, nimgalvalla. Yaake tale kedskotira?

    >>>Regarding Kannada Uddhara – I don’t see a need for a language to survive if it doesn’t have a practical use in future>>>

    That is what i am saying. If we are reluctant in speaking kannada then one or the other day, extinct languages list ge serathe. People like you, who feel like being Vishwamanava are sin to our language.

  38. Kashinath Says:

    Pualkesi, Krishna…….

    Totally agree with you guys. Now or never, its high time we need to protect Kannada.

    Colonel,

    Number 9 will suit for you. I meant the language count :)

    Harkol,

    A typical Girish karnad, Anantamurthy’s mentality aka Buddijeevi. Sarvam Vichitra LakshaNam in harkol. Get well soon.

  39. Sagar Says:

    @harkol,

    Tulu, konkani, kodava idakkella script illa… Mangalore li kannada is the bridge language. Tulu gottirorge, byari gottiralla. Konkani gottirorge kodava gotiralla… Aadre yellargu kannada gothu. Kannada culture yenu antha gotaitha ega ninge?

  40. harkol Says:

    PTL:

    >We are only saying that if one lives in Karnataka he should at least speak passable Kannada.

    I understand the need for having a common language to communicate, and thus a desire for requiring local language to be given some degree of primacy.

    But, I believe in a country of polyglots, it is too much to expect people to learn a langauge just because they live here for a while.

    I was on an project in Hyderabad for couple of years. It would’ve been unfair to me to focus and learn Telugu for such a stay.

    Though, If someone lives for long or settles here, it would be ideal for them to know atleast passable Kannada, it should be left to their good judgement. In other words, they should have incentive to learn Kannada not mandated to.

    Rahul Dravid was born and brought up here, and can speak passable Kannada (not ‘shudda’ kannada). His circumstances doesn’t need him to speak “kavi kannada”.

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