One of Australia’s greatest cricketers and most successful captains, Steve Waugh was in praises for former India cricketer and legendary batsman Rahul Dravid, who alongside Sachin Tendulkar was involved in a record-breaking 20 hundred-run partnerships in Test cricket, which is the most by any batting duo in the longer format of the game.
Both Dravid and Tendulkar were the key batters in the Indian batting lineup who played a major role behind their team’s success in their cricketing days.
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Waugh, who donned the baggy green on 168 occasions and played his last Test match against India at SCG back in 2004, reckons that Dravid’s fierce concentration made him unaffected to the sledging, and that the latter was the glue who held the Indian batting order together.
“He (Rahul Dravid) was unflappable, fierce concentration, there was no point in trying to ruffle his feathers because you could not do it. He was the glue who held them all together and the one banker they had in the side.
I knew he was going to score runs, I knew he could occupy the crease and he could repel quality bowling which quality players can do. If he stepped up the gear, he could play shots as good as anyone. He was a world-class player and equally hard to overcome as Tendulkar was,” Waugh said to Cricket Australia.
The most famous innings of Rahul Dravid is the Kolkata Test: Steve Waugh
Recalling the famous Test match against India at Eden Gardens in 2001, wherein Dravid (180) alongside VVS Laxman (281) batted the entire day from a follow on, scored a colossal 356-runs for the fifth-wicket in the second innings to set a 384-run target, Waugh rates that knock of Dravid as the latter’s best, considering it was an unwinnable Test for Team India.
“His concentration and defense was impregnable when he wants to be and he had that fierce competitive attitude too, the big games really excited him, that is when he played his best. Once he got in, it was so hard. Obviously, the most famous (innings of Rahul Dravid) is the Kolkata win, he and Laxman batted all day. Pretty much turned the Test around. That was an unwinnable Test match,” said the 55-year-old.
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The legendary skipper added,” He (Dravid) was as important to the Indian Side as was Sachin Tendulkar. Those guys formed the heart of what was probably India’s best batting lineup.”
India had lost the opening match of the 3-match series against Australia at Wankhede but bounced with a historic win in the Eden Gardens Test by a whopping tally of 171 runs to level by 1-1. The then Sourav Ganguly-led side won the final match of the series at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai to seal the series 2-1.
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Rahul Dravid is fourth on the list of highest run-getters in Test cricket, scoring a jaw-dropping tally of 13,288 runs in 164 Tests at an average of 52.31 comprising 36 hundreds and 63 fifties.
He is second only to Sachin Tendulkar, who tops in terms of most runs scored for Team India in the longest format of the game, with 15,921 runs including 51 hundreds and 68 fifties.