Mumbai: Rahul Dravid is obviously one of India's greatest batsmen -- great in all conditions and one who scored runs everywhere. From a personal perspective, Rahul is one of the best men I've ever worked with. He always had a great awareness of what the team needed. In short, he's not only a great cricketer, but a great man.
I owe a lot to Rahul. He helped me a great deal during my tenure as coach of India (2000 to 2005). I worked with him at Kent as well as in India where he was the backbone of our batting, particularly overseas. We had a number of great players, but a lot of victories were built around his contributions.
Did he get enough credit for his deeds? Well, Rahul was never one to take credit, but I think people who knew cricket, realised where the credit lay.
He responded well to every challenge. Anything he was asked to do for the team, he committed himself to doing it. Taking on the wicketkeeper's role for our 2003 World Cup campaign is only one such example. He contributed so much to Sourav Ganguly and myself during those years. He was selfless.
There are many knocks that Dravid played that were special. I will never forget his hundred during the 2002 Headingley Test against England in the most difficult of batting conditions. There are others, obviously ? 180 vs the Australians at Kolkata in 2001, the double century in Adelaide (2003) and the unbeaten hundred to chase West Indies' 300-plus score at Ahmedabad in 2002. Rahul Dravid is almost irreplaceable. He will be surely missed and never forgotten.