Fondly called by his admirers as “The Wall”, Rahul Dravid at his best was second to none when it came to batting. The respect fans had for him increased several fold when he decided to don the role of Wicket Keeper as India struggled to find someone who can balance keeping and batting. The epitome of a team man, Dravid also bowled a few overs in his career which is barely remembered. In this article, we will look at his exploits with the ball,
Dravid’s only wicket in Test Cricket came in 2002 on day five of the fourth Test between India and West Indies at the Antigua. This game is best remembered for Kumble bowling with a broken jaw but the injury meant that he could not bowl long spells. Thus India had to use eleven bowlers in a single innings and Dravid contributed with nine overs, conceding just 18 runs and dismissing West Indies wicket keeper Jacobs. Interestingly, VVS Laxman bowled 17 overs and picked up a wicket while Wasim Jaffer picked up two wickets.
2. Shaun Pollock
This wicket came at crucial juncture in the third ODI between India and South Africa at Faridabad in 2000. Chasing 249, South Africa’s hopes hinged upon Pollock who is no mug with the bat. The match was almost over when Dravid castled Pollock to provide renewed interest in the game. However, South Africa won the contest with two overs to spare. Dravid bowled two overs, conceded 16 runs and picked up a wicket.
3. Gary Kirsten
In the first ODI of the bilateral series between India and South Africa on 9th March, 2000 the Proteas batted first and the openers put on a 235 run opening stand. In spite of having experienced bowlers, captain Ganguly persisted with Dravid and he was rewarded for his trust. Kirsten perished while trying to play a cut shot off a wide delivery. Dravid broke a mammoth opening stand and this wicket helped India reduce South Africa to a total of 302 when the proteas were on track to go past 350.
4. Lance Klusener
In the same Kochi ODI, Dravid struck once again after dismissing the centurion Kirsten. Lance Klusener, who was known for his hitting in the death overs came in at number 4 and few would have thought him to get dismissed by a part time off spinner. Dravid was bowling wide of the crease, trying to cramp the batsmen for room and Klusener gave a simple catch back to Dravid to give him his second wicket of the game. Dravid totally bowled nine overs in the game and picked up two crucial wickets for just 43 runs. For context, He outbowled Anil Kumble and Ajit Agarkar, two of India’s premium wicket takers.
5. Saeed Anwar
Anwar is not as fondly remembered as other greats of the 90’s, but he was an elite opener who was a nightmare for Indian bowlers throughout his career. In the 3rd ODI of the 1999 Pepsi Cup, Anwar and Afridi laid a solid foundation for their team. Anwar had raced to 95 when he faced Rahul Dravid’s part time off breaks and everyone expected him to easily register a century. But he misjudged a straight delivery and edged it to the keeper while playing for the turn. This wicket gave India a significantly lower total to chase but the batting unit collapsed to hand Pakistan an easy victory.