Rahul Dravid one step ahead of all Indian batsmen in terms of technique: Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif
Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif, who saw Rahul Dravid from close quarters very early in his career, said the former India captain played under the shadows of Sachin Tendulkar.Updated: Jun 06, 2020 11:47 IST
Rahul Dravid would perhaps be one of the very few batsmen whose solid front-foot defence is talked about more than his run-scoring shots. Dravid’s defence, his ability to bunt the rising ball on the ground somehow overshadowed his gorgeous strokes through the covers, his crafty flicks off the pads and booming square cuts past point. He was the ice to the fire of Sachin Tendulkar, the calm after Virender Sehwag’s storm and the ideal foil to Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman in the middle order. Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif lauded Dravid, going to the extent of calling him the best Indian batsman when it came to technique and performing under pressure.
Latif, who saw Dravid from close quarters very early in his career, said the former India captain played under the shadows of Tendulkar. “When it comes to technique and performing under pressure, Rahul Dravid was one step ahead of all those who have represented India. Like I had mentioned in case of Sehwag, Dravid also played under the shadows of Tendulkar,” Latif said in a YouTube show called caught behind.
Latif, who has represented Pakistan in 37 Tests and 166 ODIs, said Dravid was India’s go-to person when they lost early wickets.
“Tendulkar had a lot of confidence in him to attack from the beginning. This is not to suggest that Dravid didn’t have that but he used to play a different role. When India lost a couple of early wickets, he was the main man, that’s why he was called the Wall.
“If you look at the partnerships then you will find Dravid’s name a lot of times with Tendulkar, Sehwag and Ganguly,” Latif said.
The former Pakistan wicket-keeper batsman also lauded Dravid for his ability to score runs against any opposition and on any surface of the world.
“I mean name me a place where he hasn’t scored runs. He scored against Pakistan. He was good in Australia, South Africa, West Indies, England everywhere,” Latif added.
In an illustrious international career spanning 16 years, Dravid played many memorable innings for India like the double century in India’s historic win against Australia at Adelaide in 2002 or his 270 against Pakistan – which is also is highest-score or the 180 against Australia after India had conceded a follow-on at the Eden Gardens in 2001 just to name a few. But Latif picked Dravid maiden century in South Africa in 1997 as his best.
“I remember his innings at Johannesburg in 96-97. He scored a hundred and then an 81 in the second innings if I’m not wrong,” Latif.
Dravid had scored 148 in the first innings and 81 in the second in that Test match which had ended in a draw.
Dravid, who is the second Indian to score more than 10,000 runs in ODIs and Tests after Sachin Tendulkar, retired in 2012 after playing 164 Tests, 344 ODIs and a solitary T20I.
Dravid has 13288 Test runs at an average of 52.31 and 10889 ODI runs at an average of 39.16.