Former national team opener Gautam Gambhir feels that the legendary Rahul Dravid is India’s most “under-rated” ex-skipper. Gambhir added that Dravid never got enough recognition for his contribution to Indian cricket despite making an impact comparable to only Sachin Tendulkar.
Dravid led India in 79 ODIs, winning 42 of them, which includes a world record of 14 successive wins while chasing. The 47-year-old also led India’s Test team to some really remarkable results in away series in West Indies, South Africa, Bangladesh and England.
“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,” Gambhir said during Star Sports’ show ‘Cricket Connected’.
“Even his records, he’s probably the most under-rated cricketer and probably the most under-rated leader as well. We won in England, West Indies, we won some 14 or 15 games on the trot.” he added.
Throughout his decorated international career, Dravid notched 13288 runs in 164 Tests and 10889 runs in 344 ODIs. He was the head coach for the India under-19 and A teams from 2016 to 2019 and is currently standing as the Director of Cricket Operations at National Cricket Academy, Bengaluru.
Gambhir, who was a part of both the 2007 and 2011 World Cup-winning Indian teams, feels Dravid’s impact on Indian cricket was more than Ganguly and Tendulkar.
“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,” he said.
“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.” Gambhir added.
Besides being one of the most solid batsmen in cricket history, Dravid also claimed 85 dismissals in 73 matches as a wicketkeeper from 1999 to 2004.
The former Indian ace also holds the world record for taking most catches as a non-wicketkeeper fielder in Test Cricket, having secured 210 catches from 164 games.
“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,” Gambhir concluded.