Dravid’s contribution in Indian cricket is more than Sourav, says Gambhir
When it comes to the best captain of the Indian team, the name of Sourav Ganguly and MS Dhoni inevitably come to mind. When it comes to the best batsman, Sachin Tendulkar and now Virat Kohli will come.
Despite his outstanding contribution to Indian cricket, Rahul Dravid seems to have always been behind Tendulkar-Sourav.
For Gautam Gambhir, however, the shadow of Dravid is much bigger. To him, the shadow of ‘The Wall’ is so big, it overwhelms Sourav too. It was in the early 2000s that captain Sourav and his deputy Dravid pulled the team out of the dark days of Indian cricket in the wake of the match-fixing storm.
After Sourav, Dravid became the captain. Although the period did not last very long. Dravid’s captaincy did not take a special place for the Indians just because of India’s tragic failure in the 2007 World Cup. But keep in mind that it was under Dravid’s leadership that India won the Test on South African soil for the first time. Dravid also captained India in Test victories in the West Indies and England. India’s special reputation for chasing runs was made under him.
Why just the captaincy, Dravid had successfully done all the hard work the team needs. He had picked up the keeping gloves to bring good coordination in the team. He played as a finisher towards the end of his ODI career.
He opened in the Tests, defended the team’s batting order with new balls in strong defensive batting. After leaving the game, he is working as a behind-the-scenes artist. As the head of the National Cricket Academy of India, he is working to form a youth team and an ‘A’ team. Keeping the pipeline of Indian cricket strong.
After so many contributions, Gambhir said, Dravid is an ‘underrated’ captain and player. The former Indian opener recently told on Star Sports show ‘Cricket Connected’:
“I made my one-day debut under Sourav Ganguly and my Test debut under Rahul Dravid. It is so unfortunate that we do not give Rahul Dravid enough credit for his captaincy. We only talk about Sourav Ganguly, MS Dhoni, now we talk about Virat Kohli, but Rahul Dravid has been a fabulous captain for India as well.
“Even his records, he’s probably the most under-rated cricketer and probably the most under-rated leader as well. We won in England, West Indies, we won some 14 or 15 games on the trot.”
Recalling Dravid’s contributions, Gambhir said, “If you look at Rahul Dravid as a cricketer, I think if you asked him to open the batting in Test cricket, he did, he batted at No. 3, he kept wickets for India, he batted as a finisher, he did everything what Indian cricket asked him or what a captain asked him to do and that is the kind of role models you want.
“For me, I think he has had a bigger impact. Sourav Ganguly has always had a bigger impact in white-ball cricket because of his flamboyance, but Rahul Dravid overall, in Indian cricket, had a much bigger impact that probably anyone. You can actually match his impact to someone like Sachin Tendulkar as well because he played under the shadows of Sachin Tendulkar all his life, but yes, impact wise, probably the same.”