Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid. (TOI Photo)
CHENNAI: Rahul Dravid may be one of the finest batsmen to have graced the game, but his captaincy skills were second to none. Under his captaincy, India sealed a Test series victory against the West Indies in their home soil in 2006.
Dravid led India to a Test win against South Africa in their backyard during the 2006-7 tour. If that wasn’t enough, Dravid became only the third India captain — after Kapil Dev (1986) and Ajit Wadekar (1971) — to clinch a Test series in England during the 2007 tour.
Former India opener Gautam Gambhir, while speaking on Star Sports show Cricket Connected, felt that Dravid’s impact on Indian cricket was immense.
“I made my one-day debut under Sourav Ganguly and my Test debut under Rahul Dravid. It is so unfortunate that we do not give Rahul Dravid enough credit for his captaincy. We only talk about Sourav Ganguly, MS Dhoni, now we talk about Virat Kohli, but Rahul Dravid has been a fabulous captain for India as well. Even with his records, he’s probably the most under-rated cricketer and probably the most under-rated leader as well,” Gambhir assessed.
Gambhir said Dravid did everything that the team wanted him to.
“If you look at Rahul Dravid as a cricketer, I think if you asked him to open the batting in Test cricket, he did, he batted at No. 3, he kept wickets for India, he batted as a finisher, he did everything what Indian cricket asked him or what a captain asked him to do and that is the kind of role models you want. For me, I think he has had a bigger impact. Sourav Ganguly has always had a bigger impact in white-ball cricket because of his flamboyance, but Rahul Dravid overall, in Indian cricket, had a much bigger impact than probably anyone. You can actually match his impact to someone like Sachin Tendulkar as well because he played under the shadows of Sachin Tendulkar all his life, but yes, impact wise, probably the same,” said Gambhir.