Popular commentator Harsha Bhoghle once quoted, “If you ask Rahul Dravid to walk on glass for his team, his only question would be -‘How many miles?'”
Such was the dedication and commitment displayed by the legendary ‘Wall of Indian cricket’, Dravid who turned out to be the ultimate ‘Yes man’ for the team.
From captaining to wicket-keeping and then opening the batting for his side, Dravid has done it all and proficiently, whenever the team demanded something off him.
Initially known as a classical Test batsman, Dravid ended up with the sixth-highest tally of runs in international cricket, all formats combined.
The Karnataka stalwart is only one of the few batsmen in international cricket to have achieved the phenomenal tally of scoring 10000 runs in both Tests and ODIs, demonstrating his adaptability. In fact, Dravid holds the record of scoring the second-fastest fifty for India in ODIs.
After making a sensational debut at Lord’s in 1996, Dravid was dropped from the ODI team in 1998. Now, Dravid has opened up to the insecurities inside him after being dropped at an early age in his international career.
“There have been phases in my international career (when I felt insecure). I was dropped from the ODI team in 1998. I had to fight my way back in, was away from the Indian team for a year. There were certain insecurities then about whether I’m a good enough one-day player or not because I always wanted to be a Test player, was coached to be a Test player, hit the ball on the ground, don’t hit the ball in the air, coaching like that. You sort of worry whether you had the skills to be able do it (in an ODI),” Dravid told Sportskeeda.
“I have gone through many phases of insecurities. Growing up as a young cricketer in India is not easy, there’s a lot of competition and especially in the times I grew up there was only the Ranji Trophy and the Indian team, there was no IPL. Even the money in Ranji Trophy was so poor that there was always that constant challenge,” he added.
Further, in the late stages of his career, Dravid went on to suit his game for T20 cricket, while representing Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
“You’ve given up a career in studies, I was not bad in it, so I could’ve easily done an MBA or something. I forego that for a career in cricket and if the cricket didn’t work out there was nothing much to fall back on. So there was a level of insecurity at that age. This kind of helps me when I interact with cricketers of this generation. I can understand some of the insecurities. that they go through,” Dravid concluded.