New Delhi: Indian batting stalwart Rahul Dravid, who is also known as "The Wall" of the Indian cricket team, turned 39 on January 11, 2012.
Born in a Maharashtrian Deshastha family in Indore on the 11th of January 1973, Dravid started playing the game of cricket when he was only 12. He represented Karnataka at the under-15, under-17 and under-19 level. Former cricketer Keki Tarapore spotted his cricketing talents when he scored a double-hundred for his school on debut. Rahul went on to make his Ranji Trophy debut in the year 1991 against Maharashtra in Pune.
It took just 5 more years for the talented young man to make his Test debut for the Indian team. Since then the flow of runs has continued from his bat. He was only the second batsman to score over 13,000 runs in Tests and the third Indian (after Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly) to be a part of the elite club of over 10,000 runs in ODIs.
In Tests, Dravid has scored 36 tons, of which India have not lost the match 32 times. He is the only cricketer to have scored a ton in all ten Test playing nations. This proves what this man is capable of, and why he is called "The Wall".
Moving away a bit from batting, Dravid also holds the record of taking the most number of catches in Test cricket. He is the only cricketer to have crossed the 200-mark in this respect.
Dravid also led the Indian cricket team from October 2005 to September 2007. Even though he had a mixed record as a captain, which includes the disappointing ouster of the team from the 2007 World Cup; he did lead the team to a series win in England after 21 years.
Leaving aside the captaincy, he has been no short of a great contributor in ODIs as well. He has over 10,000 runs, 12 centuries and 83 fifties. He was also involved in two of the largest partnerships in ODIs: a 318-run partnership with Sourav Ganguly, the first pair to combine for a 300-run partnership, and then a 331-run partnership with Tendulkar, which is the present world record.