Dravid’s wall will stand forever in rankings terms

Dubai: India’s Rahul Dravid on Friday signed off on his meritorious 16-year international career in 19th position the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen, but that final position tells just a fraction of the story of his illustrious career in rankings terms.

After all, the 39-year old Indore-born batsman spent a total of 35 Tests and 226 days at the top of those rankings.

Dravid walked off the stage after representing India in 164 Tests, including 25 as captain, 344 ODIs (79 as captain) and one Twenty20 International (T20I). In an international career, which started in Singapore in April 1996, just after the ICC Cricket World Cup of that year, Dravid scored 24,208 international runs with 48 international centuries.

Popularly known as The Wall because of his solid defence and technique, which even the greatest bowlers of his era found difficult to crack, Dravid was the first recipient of the ICC Test Player of the Year and the ICC Cricketer of the Year (the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy) awards, presented in 2004 in London.

After making his Test debut against England at Lord’s in 1996, Dravid broke the 800-point mark barrier – a total which marks out players as outstanding – in March 1998 after scoring half-centuries in each innings of the Chennai Test against Australia.

Nine months later, Dravid topped the batting table after scoring 190 and 103 not out against New Zealand in Hamilton. However, his stay at the top lasted just 26 days when he was overtaken by his long-time team-mate Sachin Tendulkar.

Dravid regained the number-one position after his match-winning double-century against Pakistan in the Rawalpindi Test in March 2004 and then spent six months on top of the world from July 2004 to January 2005.

He achieved top spot once more, in March 2005, although that reign was the shortest of his career, lasting just a week before he was leapfrogged by Jacques Kallis of South Africa.

Dravid’s highest-rating of 892, which he achieved in March 2005, puts him in 30th position on the all-time Test best ratings list. Among India batsmen, only Sunil Gavaskar (916) and Sachin Tendulkar (898) have achieved higher career ratings than Dravid.

In the ODI arena, Dravid achieved a highest ranking of fifth spot in August 2007 and stayed inside the top 25 from May 1999 to October 2007. His highest rating was 749 which he achieved in May 2006.