Rahul Dravid was a great batter in his time. The right-handed batter was very good for India in the longest format of the game. Even in ODIs, the star batter managed to score over 10000 runs at an average of over 39. With his batting, Dravid won several games for India. when on song, Dravid was almost an unbreakable entity. He used to frustrate the bowlers to the core. In many famous wins of India, Dravid was exceptional and played crucial roles.The trademark of Dravid was his defense.
It was claimed that the bowlers could not break his defense unless he wished to do so. Many bowlers who were up against the star batter felt that it was very difficult to get rid of him. Swing or spin hardly troubled the batter. it was the sheer pace on helpful conditions which probably troubled Dravid a bit. But even in such conditions, Dravid was good and often helped India to win many matches. He was like the ultimate saviour for India in the longest format of the game with the bat and behind the wickets.
The star batter has turned 49 today. He is now the coach of the Indian team. It is time to recall about some of the best match winning knocks of Dravid. Here are the 3 instances where Rahul Dravid helped India to win Test matches with his batting.
3. 180 against Australia at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, 2001
It was one of the matches that changed Indian cricket forever. Australia was dominating every team at their own backyard under the leadership of Steve Waugh. They landed in the Indian soil and Waugh termed it as the final frontier. At Wankhede stadium, Australia did not break a sweat to beat India. In the second Test at Kolkata, Australia posted 445 runs in the first innings.
Australia were all over India when they had the home side for a paltry total of 174 runs. Australia did a mistake which they would never do again. they enforced the follow-on. India returned to the game by posting 657 runs on the board. Dravid scored 180 runs and batted an entire fourth day along with VVS Laxman, who at the other end was just phenomenal. The knock of the two helped India to win the Test match and eventually the series.
2. 148 against England at Headingley in Leeds, 2002
It was a seam friendly wicket under overcast conditions at Leeds. The commentator claimed that if a batter scores hunhdred in such conditions, it would be something. Dravid did exactly that. More importantly, his knock came when the conditions were difficult to bat on early on Day 1. India lost the wicket of Virender Sehwag early. There was a need of consolidation. Dravid joined Sanjay Bangar and played a terrific knock.
From his end, the right-handed batter played out the difficult overs. The defense of Dravid was good as usual. in fact, he left the balls well and showe dincredible discipline in the middle. In his stay in the middle, Dravid scored 148 runs in 307 balls including 23 fours. The knock of Dravid helped the batters to bat in conditions which eased out later. Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly ended up getting hundreds as well.
1. 233 and 72 against Australia at Adelaide, 2003
It was the second Test of the series at Adelaide between India and Australia in the Border Gavaskar Trophy 2003/04. Batting first, Australia posted a huge total of 556 runs on the board, thanks to Ricky Ponting's 242. Replying to it, India saw themselves at 85/4. A big partnership was needed for India, which was exactly what provided by Dravid and VVS Laxman, the two saviours of India in overseas Test matches back in time.
The duo was involved in a mammoth stand of 303 runs for the fifth wicket. In 2001, Laxman was the show stealer who scored a gigantic hundred. At Adelaide, Dravid was the hero as he scored 233 rusn in the first innings, it helped India to post 523 runs, nearly evening out the lead. Australia was dismised for just 196 runs in the second innings. Dravid scored an unbeaten 72 runs and helped India to chase 230 runs in the second innings.