'How did this guy play for India? He hasn't got any shots': Former England allrounder recalls early impression of Dravid
When the great Rahul Dravid burst onto the scene in the year 1996, despite a handsome 95 on debut, it took him time to become an irreplaceable part of the Indian team. He began with an impressive string of scores, but since Dravid was never the quickest of scorers, he had his fair share of doubters early on.
One such was former England all-rounder Dermott Reave. When Dravid played County cricket in England during maiden stint with Kent, Reave, then the coach of Somerset, came on as a substitute fielder and chirped away at Dravid. Reave revealed that he was able to successfully sledge Dravid, which The Wall himself admitting it had gotten inside his skin.
"He was the Wall of India. He told me, 'You are the only person who has knocked that wall down. You gave me so much stick, I ended up going after one and getting caught. You're the only person who's ever got under my skin'," Reave told The Daily Mail.
Reave revealed he wasn't the most likeable player, but he did not care. His early impression of Dravid weren't great either. By the year 2000, Dravid had pretty much established himself in India's middle order, coming off a successful World Cup in 1999, but it did not matter to Reave.
"How did this guy ever play for India? He must have had family on the selection committee. He hasn't got any shots. He just blocks it. I went on and on. And he got out. Things like that made me very disliked. But I wasn't out there to make friends. We were there to win matches," the former England all-rounder recalled.
Dravid wasn't the only great Reeve did not have the greatest of opinions about. He and former West Indies captain Brian Lara played together for Warwickshire in the year 1994, and Reeve recalled how one season in particular with Lara was not a pleasant one.
"Despite winning three trophies, it was possibly the most unenjoyable season I ever had. The energy between myself and Lara wasn't right for the whole season. I believe his agent told him I didn't want him, so he arrived with a chip on his shoulder," Reave said.
"I believed on the field he was undermining me. Brian and I are OK now when we bump into each other. It's just funny that the most successful season was not really enjoyable."