Every Sport witnesses players who leave a lasting impression on the fans and the cricketing world with their sheer determination, hard work, and commitment. Cricket also saw the arrival of some great stars in the last so many years who will be remembered as the greatest of all time. One such star is Rahul Dravid, fondly called ‘The Wall” during his playing career due to his rock-solid defense and determined attitude.
As a human being, Dravid is a pure gentleman, even helping the needy, but as a cricketer, he showcased tremendous resolve to bail India out of trouble on many occasions. Whether playing in India or overseas, the former skipper always stepped up when his side required him. The right-hander possessed loads of mental strength to absorb the pressure. Every opposition bowler and captain had plans to get him out, but Dravid stood firm against the challenges thrown at him, even from teams like Australia, who once dominated world cricket.
This list is different from the five best Test innings of Rahul Dravid. These are five such innings in which Rahul Dravid played the vital match-saving role with the strongest of mindset and temperament coming into the act, due to which he is called the Wall of India.
#5 180 vs Australia (Kolkata, 2001)
Steve Waugh’s Australia was on a winning run during that period. After scoring 171 in the first innings, Australia allowed India to follow on. No one gave India a chance, but Dravid, alongside VVS Laxman, frustrated the Australian bowlers. The duo shared a partnership of 376 runs for the fifth wicket as India won the game by 171 runs.
Dravid played some beautiful drives and some elegant square cuts. The right-hander punched the ball well in the gaps and pulled the ball well on a wicket that offered bounce. The former skipper played spin well against the likes of Shane Warne.
#4 233 vs Australia (Adelaide, 2003)
Dravid loved facing Australian bowlers, and this match again highlighted the class of this legendary batsman. The former skipper played a match-winning inning, and this time again, he was supported by VVS Laxman, who scored 148. The duo shared 303 run partnership for the fifth wicket. Dravid played some delicious cover drives and played some excellent late cuts.
The right-hander pulled the ball wonderfully on a wicket that offered seam movement, which made it difficult to judge the length of a bouncer. India won the match by four wickets chasing 230 as Dravid again scored an unbeaten 72 in the second innings.
#3 148 vs England (Leeds, 2002)
This would be remembered as one of the most patient innings played by the former skipper. Dravid showcased solid defense and looked technically cohesive in overcast conditions. His partnerships with Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly helped India score 628/8 in the first innings helping the team win the Test match by innings and 46 runs.
Dravid handled the seaming deliveries with refined technique and played some beautiful drives. The right-hander placed the ball well in the gaps and flicked the ball well with his fine wrist work. Dravid showcased tremendous maturity and calmness in challenging English conditions.
#2 148 vs South Africa (Johannesburg, 1997)
Arguably one of the finest knocks played by any Indian batsman against pacers like Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock, and Brian Mcmillan. Dravid looked technically supreme as compared to the rest of the Indian batters. The right-hander played some fine square cuts over the covers and drove the ball with crisp timing.
South African bowlers repeatedly challenged him with shorter deliveries, but Dravid pulled them off with ease. The match ended in a draw thanks to his fine innings. The former skipper showcased a delicate temperament and tried to play as straight as possible.
#1 270 vs Pakistan (Rawalpindi, 2004)
Dravid handled the pressure of short balls from Pakistani pacers quite well in the earlier part of this particular innings when the wicket was bouncy. Dravid looked more confident in his shot selection as the wicket slowed down.
The right-hander punched the ball well on the front foot and played some classy straight drives when the bowlers bowled full-length deliveries. India won the match by innings and 131 runs and the three-match Test series 2-1.