What is so special about this man? Why are we celebrating him today? What did he do differently? Sports rarely gifts us a perfect role model. Rahul Sharad Dravid was a man everybody could relate to on and off the field.
Without this man, we would still be dreaming and yearning for a fabulous team India. We would still be yearning for that elusive win abroad. Even that dream run in the 2003 World Cup would not have been possible if Rahul Dravid didn’t make an effort to mould himself into a wicketkeeper. Without this man, there wouldn’t have been the record number of wins chasing.
Without this man, there wouldn’t have been that extraordinary turnaround in Kolkata which changed the fortunes of Indian Cricket. Without him, there wouldn’t be a Rahane, Rahul or Pujara. He didn’t make a grand entrance which was reserved for the Prince neither did he ask for a grand finale which was gifted to the Little Master. Yet he fulfilled every Indian Cricket Lover’s dreams. Our eyes saw all that we wanted to see. He gifted us moments which we could cherish for a lifetime. Yet he was always the faithful sidekick who relished his role and played it to perfection. He was the eternal character artist who never wanted the main role but if you take him out the whole episode of the fabulous four of Indian Cricket would become null and void.
He made perseverance look effortless. He made extraordinary on-field battles look like just another routine day’s work. In a day and age where people hype up ordinary achievements here was a man who consistently downplayed all his extraordinary efforts and made it look ordinary. Nobody could make love to defense like Dravid did. He could put all his efforts into that one defensive prod and get back to the crease again.
Maybe the bowlers knew it and that’s why they smiled. They understood the pleasure that this man had in playing that one shot. It wasn’t just an ordinary shot it was the glimpse of hope needed to lift an entire dressing room. A shot which reassured them that they were not going to fall like 9 pins for a warrior was busy guarding their fort with his resilience and grit.
Happy Birthday my RD! You are my love. You are the greatest gift that cricket gave to me.
I love this song.