Former captain and one of India’s most technically sound batsman, Rahul Dravid on Tuesday picked Glenn McGrath and Muttiah Muralitharan as the toughest bowlers he has faced during his illustrious career in international cricket.
Dravid, who earned the sobriquet ‘The Wall’, for his immaculate technique, ended his 16-year career with over 13,000 Test runs and 10889 runs in One-day Internationals.
“As far as fast bowler is concerned, Glenn McGrath was the toughest I have faced, I have played him at the peak of his career and he was truly a great bowler. When he was bowling well it was very difficult to judge your off stump,” the 42-year-old Dravid said during an interaction with fans on the social networking site ‘Facebook’.
He added, “He kept challenging you, kept testing you just around that off stump. He was a very aggressive bowler irrespective of whether he was bowling his first or second over or the 25th over, he was always at you, probing and asking questions,” Dravid, who is coaching the junior India side, said about the Australian pace legend.
Dravid felt Sri Lanka’s legendary spinner Muralitharan was the toughest to counter when it came to slow bowlers.
“Spinners...Muttiah Muralitharan was the best I have played against. Murali was an extremely skillful bowler, he could spin the ball both ways, not by little bit but by a long way. It was very difficult to pick and read. He had great consistency and control,” Dravid said.
Asked about his best moments in the Indian dressing room, Dravid recalled winning the Test series in Pakistan in 2004.
“Best moment in dressing room was winning the Test series in Pakistan, winning the Test in Australia at Adelaide (in 2003-04). It’s always a great feeling to win a Test or a Test series because the boys work so hard for five days, for the whole series to achieve their goal.”
Dravid lavished praise on current India opener Murali Vijay for his good run with bat in recent times.
“I really think Vijay has improved technically as a batsman, a lot over the last couple of years, from the first he came into the team. When he first came into the team there were times when he would get stuck at the crease but lately, over the last couple of years, his technique has been superb.
“His judgement of length and line has been quite exceptional. His performance in very difficult wickets in England and Australia and in some of the turning tracks here has been fantastic.”
Dravid hoped that the combination of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane could better the feat achieved by him and Anil Kumble in close-in catchings.