Rahul Dravid quits international cricket 'sad but proud'

Updated: 09 March 2012 17:41 IST

Rahul Dravid's glorious international career has come to an end, as the veteran batsman announced his retirement today.

New Delhi:

After 16 years he looks forward to "simple pleasures". Like taking sons, Samit and Anway to school. But that means that when India is on a cricket ground next, there shall be no Wall. Rahul Dravid, India's second most prolific run-getter, has hung up his boots. (Also see: Rahul Dravid and his 5 best Test knocks | Rahul Dravid honoured on Twitter)

The 39-year-old Dravid is universally acknowledged as one of the game's greatest batsmen. Also as a gentleman cricketer in an era when there are few to be found. Today, dressed in dark suit and tie, Dravid was his famous dapper self as he announced his decision to retire from Test cricket at a press conference in Bangalore, which was also attended by BCCI President N Srinivasan and Karnataka Cricket Association chief Anil Kumble, another cricketer who quit while ahead in the game. (Also see: Rahul Dravid: The player and the man | Rahul Dravid: The Rock Solid Career)

Rahul had already retired from one-day and Twenty20 cricket.

"I have had a glorious run...A lot of these decisions just come to you. I felt in my heart deep down that the time was right and I needed to move on," said Rahul Dravid. (Also see: Dravid played and captained with pride and dignity: Ian Chappell | Rahul was simply invaluable: John Wright )

The elegant right hander, nicknamed 'The Wall' for his dour defence, is the second highest run getter in Test history with 13,288 runs, behind only Sachin Tendulkar who has 15,470 runs. He has 36 Test centuries with a highest score of 270 and an average of 52.31.

Dravid has also taken more catches (210) than anyone else in Test history in 164 Test matches that he has played since he made his debut against England at Lord's in 1996. He captained India from December 2005 to August 2007. (Also see: 'A totally selfless cricketer'; former players hail Rahul Dravid | Time for youngsters to make new history: Rahul Dravid)

Since his debut in England, Dravid went on to cement his place in the middle order and along with Tendulkar and Laxman was a key member of India's famed middle order.

Dravid occupied the vital number three position in the line-up and played some of his finest knocks for the country in that position.

Armed with an orthodox technique, he became the pivot of the Indian team which not only won matches but also started winning overseas.

At Adelaide in 2003, when India won a Test in Australia for the first time in a generation, he batted 835 minutes over two innings. A few months later, he was at the crease for more than 12 hours for his knock of 270 that clinched India's first series win in Pakistan.

His critics initially did not find him suited for one-day cricket but he reoriented his game over the years to become an adept middle-order finisher in the shorter version. He scored 10,889 runs in 344 ODIs at an average of 39.16. He hit 12 centuries and as many as 53 fifties in ODIs.

Dravid also added value to the team by keeping wickets in the ODIs which gave the team management more options to pick either an additional batsman or a bowler.

His 386-run partnership with Laxman at the Eden Gardens against Australia is part of cricketing folklore as India went on to win the match from a lost position. Many regard this to be one of the greatest Test matches of all time.

A two-year stint as captain from 2005 to 2007, following Sourav Ganguly's axing, was less successful, though he did lead the side to series victories in England and the West Indies for the first time in a generation.

In the 2009 tour of Sri Lanka, Dravid became the highest catcher in Test cricket going past Australia's Mark Waugh.


Topics : Cricket Rahul Dravid Sourav Ganguly India South Africa
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