By Jeevan Kumar
A massive crowd in Feroz Shah Kotla stadium went silent when Coulter Nile’s fast delivery departed ‘The Wall’ Rahul Dravid in the final match of Champions League (CL)T-20. It marked the end of one of the greatest cricketing careers.
Players of the Mumbai Indians team shook Dravid’s hand as the legend walked towards the Pavilion. The crowd gave a standing ovation as Gentleman waved his bat towards the audience for the last time.
This was also the last T-20 match for another legendary cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar. He is probably the only cricketer to have had happy endings on the field. He completed his One Day cricket winning the World Cup, and now T-20 cricket with the victory of CL-20. No other cricketer has managed such a record.
It was a sad departure for the ‘The Wall’, however, as he could neither win the cup nor manage to score in a crucial match. But it does not create even the slightest dent in his reputation. He will always be the most gentlemanly sportsperson in the world, a fact that even rival teams admit.
When Team Indian was in trouble, it was Rahul Dravid to the rescue. When the top order failed he was there to build the innings like a wall. No other cricketer could match his patience and determination. He made his mark on Indian Cricket with his technical bating style in both the Test and One Day formats.
Dravid has created many memorable innings during his 17-year long career, but has not got the many things he deserved. He never competed for the captaincy, but he took it when team needed him. Statistics may not show Dravid to be one of the most successful captains. But he was certainly one of the most inspiring captains of Team India.
Sachin Tendulkar said that Dravid was his most favorite batsman in the third position. The historical innings of Dravid as the number 3 batsman will always remain in the memories of cricket fans. Talking about the historical Kolkata test victory, V.V.S. Laxman said “Though I got credit for the innings, I could have never achieved it without the help of Dravid.”
Despite his slow pace at batting, Dravid was successful in all formats of the game. He holds the record for making one of the fastest fifties in One Day cricket. He also led the Rajastan Royals to victory in many matches of IPL and CL T- 20.
Team India will miss “The Wall”. It will surely take a long time to find another cricketer like Dravid.