Rahul Dravid is widely regarded as India’s greatest batsman, and his unparalleled skill has earned him the title “The Wall.” He’s done everything from opening the batting to playing in the middle order, wicket-keeping, and even bowling occasionally.
Dravid’s career is recognized for his outstanding batting performance, but a lesser-known element of his time on the field was his delicate off-spin, which was rarely used in international cricket. He played a total of 509 matches in his 16-year long international career and has bowled in just 51 overs, taking five wickets.
On that note, let’s take a look at the five victims of Rahul Dravid in international cricket.
1. Saeed Anwar- India vs Pakistan (1999)
Rahul Dravid’s first wicket in international wicket was of Pakistan’s veteran opener, Saeed Anwar. Dravid couldn’t have had a better way than this to open his account with the bowl. The wicket came in the third ODI against Pakistan in 1999 at Jaipur, when the visitors were looking good on the back of Anwar’s exploits, who was batting on 95.
Anwar was closing on to his century before Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin handed the ball to Dravid, who outsmarted the Pakistan opener with a straight delivery to edge the ball to Mongia. India came back into the match after that, restricting Pakistan to 278, but a collapse in the batting saw them bundled out for 135 runs and handing the visitors a comfortable win.
2. Gary Kirsten- India vs South Africa (2000)
Rahul Dravid played a crucial role with the ball in the first ODI against South Africa in 2000 at Kochi. Batting first, South African openers Gary Kirsten and Herschelle Gibbs got off to a flying start as they both smashed a century and recorded a mammoth 235-run partnership inside 40 overs.
The Proteas were eyeing a total of around 350, but Sourav Ganguly made an intriguing move by giving the ball to Dravid, who got the best of Gary Kirsten in the 43rd over, dismissing him on 115 and providing India a vital breakthrough.
3. Lance Klusener- India vs South Africa (2000)
In the same ODI against South Africa at Kochi in 2000, when Dravid dismissed Gary Kirsten to see India make a comeback in the game, he didn’t stop there. Dravid followed it by taking an important wicket of Lance Klusener on a duck in the last ball of the 43rd over.
The two quick wickets by Dravid brought India back in the game as they restricted South Africa on 301. India went on the chase the target on the back of Ajay Jadeja’s 92 run knock and won the match by three wickets.
4. Shaun Pollock- India vs South Africa (2000)
Rahul Dravid continued his exploits with the ball in the home series against South Africa in 2000. In the third ODI at Faridabad, India posted a decent 248 runs on the board courtesy of Rahul Dravid (73) and Sourav Ganguly (56).
However, the total didn’t seem enough as Gary Kirsten with his 93 run knock put the Proteas in a commanding position. The match was almost on the verge of closure when Ganguly showed trust in Dravid and handed him the ball. Dravid didn’t disappoint as he cleaned the stumps of Shaun Pollock to give India hopes of a comeback, but the visitors eventually went on to win the game by two wickets.
5. Ridley Jacobs- West Indies vs India (2002)
Rahul Dravid’s final wicket in international cricket and his only in Tests came against West Indies in the 4th Test at St John’s in 2002. Batting first, India posted a mammoth total of 513/9 dec. Thanks to centuries from VVS Laxman (130) and Ajay Ratra (115*) backed by Rahul Dravid (91) and Wasim Jaffer (86).
The West Indies batsman too came strong on the Indian bowling line-up as they went on to score 629 runs on the board. Carl Hooper (136), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (136*), and Ridley Jacobs (118) toiled with the Indian bowlers which forced Ganguly to hand the ball to all the eleven players including Rahul Dravid.
Dravid bowled nine overs in the game and also grabbed the wicket of the centurion Ridley Jacobs, which turned out to be his last one in international cricket.