India’s premier batsman Rahul Dravid has called press conference at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Friday. Speculation is rife that he will announce his retirement from Test cricket tomorrow. BCCI President N. Srinivasan will also be present at the press conference.
After a disastrous Test series against Australia down under, media and ex-cricketers have been calling for the senior players to hang their boots. If Dravid does make the expected announcement, he will be the first person from among the senior members of the current Test team who will retire.
Rahul Dravid, 39, has been one of India’s most successful batsmen in Tests. In 164 matches he has piled on 13,288 runs at an average of 52.31 with the aid of 36 centuries. His run tally is second only compatriot Sachin Tendulkar. His knocks in Wanderers, Headingly, Rawalpindi, Adelaide were critical in India winning the test matches there. His ability to bat for long hours, under trying condition against hostile bowling attacks has been the hallmark of his batting. His strokeplay was no less attractive and repertoire extensive. Often he would walk in at the fall of an early wicket and steer the Indian team like a captain of a ship caught in the rough sea. Dravid’s record in one-day internationals is impressive too with more than 10,000 runs at a steady average. He also has been a brilliant slip catcher for India having taken 210 catches in Test matches, which is a world record.
Dravid also captained India in 25 tests. During his tenure India won Test series in West India and England. He was also the captain of two of the three test matches played in Pakistan during the 2003-04 season when the regular skipper, Sourav Ganguly was out due to an injury. India had won that series 2-1.
His debut in 1995 at Lords, had marked the beginning of a generation of cricketers who took India to the pinnacle of Test cricket and for the cricket fans who grew up watching this generation, to not find Dravid at one down, his regular position in the batting line-up, will be loss that will take a long time to get over.