It has happened each time until recent times; Rahul “The Wall” Dravid has been overshadowed by his flamboyant teammates. No one remembers Dravid in the unforgettable Calcutta Test against the Aussies, the world record partnership of 318 in the ODI against Sri Lanka at Trenton, the test at Headingley where he scored 148 only to be nudged out of the limelight by Tendulkar’s 30th century. One almost feels sorry for the bloke. But he has something that his other more illustrious teammates don’t have; consistency. He is said to be heading towards greatness. In Dravid, we have a consistent cricketer; something that India doesn’t produce on a regular basis. We have more than our share of flashy cricketers who will hit towering sixers, accelerate the scoring like nobody’s business, and simply be a delight to watch. Rahul Dravid on the other hand, has been the quiet sorts; scoring his centuries slowly and steadily, piling on the runs and frustrating the opposing bowlers, albeit his nickname “The Wall”.
But persistence has its rewards. Dravid has the attention of the cricketing world and female fans in India, who were visibly crushed when he married. The MTV Bakra video where a pretty thing proposes marriage, he was genuinely shocked and acted like the perfect gentleman which just widened his female fan base. His back-to-back centuries at Calcutta finally signaled the coming of the Dravid age. No longer do people switch off their TV sets after Tendulkar’s wicket; Dravid hai nah! is reason enough to believe who is the best when it comes to crunch situations.
He was recently “picked as the 2004 Youth Icon, ahead of Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan, in a nationwide poll conducted by music channel MTV” and all he could say about the honor was – “humbling”. Now I know what the girls see in Dravid — “grit, determination, reliability, pleasant looks, and good manners”. Heck, he could not play cricket and still be liked.