For displaying a different brand of absolute humility:
Despite his mammoth achievements, Dravid has always been a firmly rooted personality. He has been called a “boring” cricketer innumerable times, but not once have we seen even an outburst. Compare it to the current generation of cricketers who create headlines on the smallest of remarks.
An excerpt after Dravid turned commentator:
Harsha Bhogle to Dravid: You made a very good hundred in Headingly in 2002. Tell us about that.
Dravid: Yeah that was a good innings but Sanjay Bangar played well too. He was asked to open on a tough pitch and fought very well. Its not easy to do that.
Harsha Bhogle: You were brilliant for India in test cricket from 2002 to 2005
Dravid: But we won test matches because of our brilliant spinners.
Harbhajan and Kumble used to take heaps of wickets on Day 4/5 of the test match.
Harsha Bhogle: That is how Rahul Dravid is. You tell him he played well and he will tell you that somebody else played well too!
For being the one India always needed to succeed:
While everyone always wanted Sachin to succeed, we always needed Dravid to come in when we were a wicket down on a difficult pitch and hold the innings together or keep wickets because 6 batsmen were just not proving enough or open the batting. He is analogous to a Scholes of football, who we always need to anchor the midfield and make those passes so that someone else scores that grand goal.
His commitment to perfection in all his endeavors is admirable as well.
For proving aggression and niceness can go together:
In today’s cricket, aggression is equated with sledging. Not for Dravid. He always believed in letting his bat speak for him. Who doesn’t like a character like that?
Mathew Hayden sums it up perfectly:
For always being the perfect gentleman:
In his autobiography, Sachin wrote about how Greg Chappell approached him to take over captaincy from Dravid a few months before the 2007 World Cup. When asked to comment, Dravid had this to say:
“It’s been a long time and it does not make much of a difference to me now. Not looking forward towards reading this [Chappell controversy] but yes anything that Sachin writes on batsmanship and things like what made him the best in the world. I am more interested in reading those parts.”
Assertive but choosing to look at the positive things; that’s Dravid for you!
On seeing Rajasthan Royals at the top of the Fair Play award rankings, Harsha Bhogle had this comment to make:
Whenever they see Rahul, they give 10.
Dravid was called for interrogation during the match fixing scandal which involved some Rajasthan Royals players. This witty response on twitter just sums up the gentleman he is; above all suspicion.
The only sensible reason one can think of behind the police calling Rahul Dravid for interrogation is that they wanted his autograph.
For being the wolf who lived for the pack:
Rahul Dravid has time and again proved that the name on the front of the jersey is more important than the one on the back.
From Harsha Bhogle’s articleafter Dravid retired:
There were two things Dravid didn’t really love in cricket: opening the batting and keeping wicket. He was asked to do both at various times, and I asked him if he ever contemplated saying no. He didn’t enjoy it, he said, but took it as a challenge, to see how good he could be. This acceptance of challenges is what has defined his cricket and made him one of the finest team players there has been. A challenge, he said, allowed him to understand himself better, it gave him a reason to play sport. He kept wickets in about 70 One Day Internationals, never most convincingly, but he allowed himself to look bad for the team to look good. It was always the team for him and in the little piece he wrote for the book that my wife Anita and I did, he quoted Kipling: for the strength of the wolf is the pack and the strength of the pack is the wolf.
From Sambit Bal’s article:
I asked if he regretted not having retired in England. His response was a further revelation of character. He would certainly have retired if he hadn’t had a good series, he said, but after doing so well, retiring would have been selfish. There was a series to be won in Australia, and he owed it to the team to make the trip
All of us worship the likes of Tendulkar knowing we cannot be like him. But Dravid is someone all of us can emulate. Dravid is living proof that nice guys can finish first and that’s what makes him such a loveable character.