Former Australia captain, Steve Waugh heaps rich praises on Rahul Dravid and says that the Indian number 3 was as vital to India’s success as Sachin Tendulkar. Dravid for his entire career remained in the shadow of Tendulkar. With all the eyes and attention on Tendulkar, Dravid did his job and quietly departed.
Waugh, however, believes that Dravid was equally challenging for bowlers as Tendulkar and both the right-handers formed the heart of India’s batting in their era – which Waugh opines is the best India ever had. Dravid retired in 2012 after scoring more than 24,000 international runs with 48 centuries.
Speaking to Cricket Australia, Steve Waugh said, “He (Rahul Dravid) was as important to the Indian side as Sachin Tendulkar. Those guys formed the heart of what was probably India’s best batting lineup. So, he was a world-class player, and equally hard to overcome as Tendulkar was.”
Dravid was the glue who held them all together: Steve Waugh
The 55-year-old lauds Dravid’s concentration skills and focus while batting. He says that the former India captain was the glue holding the Indian batting from a collapse more often than not. Waugh speaks of the faith the Indian team has in the Karnataka batsman, who had always posed a massive challenge for bowlers to overcome.
“He had a fierce concentration. There was no point ruffling his feathers because you couldn’t do it. He was the glue who held them all together and the one banker they had in the side. They knew he was going to score runs and occupy the crease. Rahul Dravid can repel quality bowling, which is not something many players can do,” he added.
‘Tugga’, as Waugh is fondly referred to, admires Dravid’s solid defence and unflinching temperament that made Dravid sometimes seem unbreachable. Waugh also reckons that ‘The Wall’ had the ability to score quick runs when he sensed the opportunity. The former Aussie skipper also feels that the pressure of big games brought out the best in India’s second-highest run-scorer.
“If he stepped up the gears, he could play shots as good as anyone. His concentration and defense were almost impregnable when he wanted it to be. He had that fierce competitive spirit so the big games really excited him. That’s when he used to play his best,” Waugh lauded Dravid.