by Elton Gomes
Former Indian captain Rahul Dravid was inducted in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Dublin on Sunday. Popularly known as “The Wall,” Dravid has made some outstanding contributions to Indian cricket.
Alongside Dravid, former Australian captain Ricky Ponting and England’s wicketkeeper and batter Claire Taylor were also inducted by the ICC. Ponting is the 25th Australian to be inducted in the Hall of Fame, while Dravid becomes the fifth Indian to receive the honour. Taylor is the seventh woman to be included in the Hall of Fame.
“It is a matter of great honour to be named by the ICC in the Cricket Hall of Fame,” Dravid stated. He added, “To find your name in a list of all-time greats across generations is something one only dreams of while setting out on a cricket career and the kind of recognition that would delight any player,” as per a report in ESPN Cricinfo.
The Wall has made India proud as a player and coach
From taking the under-19 Indian cricket team to victory to his indomitable stance at the crease, Dravid can be said to be India’s most reliable cricketer.
Towards the end of 2005, Dravid took over captaincy from Sourav Ganguly after Ganguly was dropped for allegedly being part of a controversy involving the then-Indian coach, Greg Chappell. Dravid captained India in 25 Tests and 79 ODIs, out of which India won eight and 42, respectively. Thereafter, under the captaincy of Dravid, India went on to win the bilateral series against Sri Lanka, England, and Pakistan.
In 2006, after a long wait of 15 years and 3 winless tours, India finally won their first test on South African soil under the leadership of Dravid. India defeated South Africa by 123 runs and took a 1-0 lead in the series. What made the victory special was that the pitch seemed tailor-made for South Africa’s bowlers. Despite that, the Indian team managed to defy all odds.
After 16 years of international cricket, Dravid announced his retirement in 2012. He said that his decision to retire was not sudden and that he deliberated over the decision for over a year. After his retirement, Dravid was appointed coach of both the India A and Under-19 teams in June 2015. Prior to this, he took up mentoring the Rajasthan Royals – an Indian Premier League team that he had earlier played for.
Dravid’s first coaching assignment was with India A’s triangular series against South Africa and Australia A. The Indian side led by Unmukt Chand defeated Australia in the final, giving Dravid much needed success and confidence. Then came Dravid’s biggest task as coach – the 2016 ICC Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh.
The Indian under-19 team was off to a perfect start after winning their fixtures against Ireland, New Zealand, Nepal, and Namibia. In the semi-final against Sri Lanka, the Indian team gave an outstanding performance and looked highly motivated to go all the way. However, India lost the final to West Indies.
Dravid’s biggest success as a coach came when India won the 2018 Under-19 world cup held in New Zealand. The final match saw India defeat Australia by eight wickets. “I am really proud of the boys, proud of the effort that they have put in and proud of the support staff as well. I think the effort we have put in over the last 14 months has been sensational. They really deserved this, couldn’t really be happier and proud for this bunch of boys,” Dravid said, as per a report in NDTV.
Ponting and Taylor have had admirable careers
When it came to being the highest run-scorer in Test cricket, Ponting found himself behind only to Sachin Tendulkar. The former Australian captain ranks all-time third list for one day internationals (ODIs). Ponting captained Australia to clinch successive World Cup trophies in 2003 and 2007, and was part of the winning squad in 1999.
Ponting was named ICC Cricketer of the Year in 2006 and 2007. On being inducted in the Hall of Fame, the Australian legend said, “I feel deeply honoured to be recognised by the ICC in this way. I loved every moment of my journey as a player and am so very proud of the team and personal achievements along the way,” as per a report in ESPN Cricinfo.
Taylor has scored 103 runs in 15 Tests; 4,101 runs in 126 ODIs; and 615 runs in 21 T20s. She was named ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year in 2009.
Taylor took 41 catches and performed five stumpings in her ODI career. When it came to T20s, she took 12 catches and performed two stumpings. “It’s a great honour to be inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame alongside some of the greatest names of the men’s and women’s game from across the world and throughout the generations, players who I looked up to during my playing career and hold in great esteem,” Taylor said, as per a report in NDTV.
Indians make their mark in the ICC Hall of Fame
Dravid joins former teammate and previous India coach Anil Kumble in the Hall of Fame. Kumble’s name will go down in history for being only one of two bowlers to pick 10 wickets in a single inning of a test match.
Apart from Kumble, 1983 World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev also has been inducted. Dev will undoubtedly be remembered for his instrumental role in the 1983 World Cup. Additionally, Dev’s 434 wickets cannot be ignored.
India’s highest-wicket taker in tests, Bishan Singh Bedi, is also a Hall-of-Famer. Bedi bagged 266 wickets and still holds the record for claiming 1,560 wickets in first-class cricket.
One of the best opening batsmen of all time, Sunil Gavaskar, was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 2009. The superlative batsman ended his career with 34 centuries and 10,122 runs in test matches, as per a report in News18.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer for Qrius