Former India opener Gautam Gambhir figures Rahul Dravid the most under-appraised player and pioneer in Indian cricket circle. Dravid, generally viewed as one of the best batsmen to have graced the game, scored more than 24,000 worldwide runs during his celebrated career.
During his time as an expert cricket, Dravid shaped the foundation of the renowned fab five of Indian batting including Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Sourav Ganguly and Virender Sehwag. He donned multiple hats during his 16-year career.
Dravid, for the most part, batted in the middle order and opened the innings, besides came to bat in the lower order. For quite a while, additionally took care of the duty of a wicketkeeper also. And afterwards for a short period, likewise drove Indian team.
Gambhir made his Test Debut Under Dravid’s Captaincy
Gambhir, who made his Test debut under Dravid, claims the former India captain hasn’t been given enough kudos for his authority.
“I made my one-day debut under Sourav Ganguly and my Test debut under Rahul Dravid,” Gambhir said on Star Sports’ Cricket Connected. “It is so unfortunate that we do not give Dravid enough credit for his captaincy. We only talk about Sourav Ganguly, MS Dhoni, now we talk about Virat Kohli, but Dravid has been a fabulous captain for India as well. Even his records, he’s probably the most under-rated cricketer and probably the most under-rated leader as well. We won in England, West Indies, we won some 14 or 15 games on the trot.”
Gambhir said Dravid obliged and exceeded expectations in each job he was approached to perform for the team and is an ideal role model.
“If you look at Dravid as a cricketer, I think if you asked him to open the batting in Test cricket, he did, he batted at No. 3, he kept wickets for India, he batted as a finisher, he did everything what Indian cricket asked him or what a captain asked him to do and that is the kind of role models you want,” he said.
Since retirement, Dravid has trained junior Indian cricket crews and is right now the head of National Cricket Academy.
Gambhir figures Dravid had a similar effect on Indian cricket as the amazing Sachin Tendulkar or likely much greater. “For me, I think he has had a bigger impact. Ganguly has always had a bigger impact in white-ball cricket because of his flamboyance, but Dravid overall, in Indian cricket, had a much bigger impact than probably anyone,” he said.
“You can actually match his impact to someone like Sachin Tendulkar as well because he played under the shadows of Tendulkar all his life, but yes, impact wise, probably the same,” he added.