We witnessed a whole other side of "The Wall" on 15th November 2003 © Getty Images
We witnessed a whole other side of “The Wall” on 15th November 2003 © Getty Images

The Wall of Indian Cricket, Rahul Dravid, is known for his defensive and classical brand of cricket. He is distinguished as more of a elegant player rather than slogging the ball out of the park. He has a record of 10,889 runs in ODIs at an average of 39.16. His strike-rate of 71.24 does not qualify for the reputation of a slogger. He was considered by many as a batsman more suited for Test cricket. He has 13,288 runs under his belt in 164 Tests and was responsible for number of overseas wins for India. Keeping all these facts in mind, can you imagine Dravid scoring the second fastest half-century by an Indian? ALSO READ: The significane of County Cricket should not be overlooked

Dravid did that despite all odds and scored a 22-ball half-century against New Zealand at Hyderabad. India were going great guns in the 9th Match of the TVS Cup, with both the openers scoring centuries: Sachin Tendulkar plundered 102 from 91 balls and Virender Sehwag scored 130 from 134 balls. They stitched up a partnership of 182. India were off to a flyer. Moreover, skipper Sourav Ganguly chipped in with 33. ALSO READ: Sunil Gavaskar backs Rahul Dravid as Team India coach

Yuvraj Singh was sent ahead of Rahul Dravid as India aimed to put on a mammoth total on the board for the Kiwis to chase. Yuvraj walked back to the pavilion shortly as Chris Harris caught him on 7. Dravid came into bat, and as soon as he walked in, there was something different with the way he approached the crease. ALSO READ: The significane of County Cricket should not be overlooked

Dravid joined Yuvraj in the middle. He opened his account with a flick of the wrist towards deep square leg off Scott Styris. He stunned everyone around the world with the attacking approach he took that day. He played an innings out of his usual character. He looked furious while smashing deliveries for fours and sixes. After a few quick fall of wickets, it looked like India will be able score 320 to 330. But, it was Dravid’s day and he stole the thunder of Tendulkar and Sehwag’s staggering centuries.

That day he timed the ball like he never did before, getting right under it and hitting it to over the fence. He coupled five fours with three masterful sixes. Mohammad Kaif, at the other end, rotated strike and provided support to the legendary batsman. He finished his innings with a couple towards deep cover to complete his half-century off just 22 balls and taking India to 353 for 5 at the end of 50 overs.

Only a few know that Dravid used to slog towards the end of his practice session. However, it is a misfortune that we never got to see this side of “The Wall” more frequently. He had a great run in IPL playing for Rajastan Royals, scoring 2,174 runs in 89 matches at an average of 28.23, studded with 7 half centuries.

(Arun Rawal, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a daydreamer, movie buff, and cricket fanatic. He could not play cricket, so did the next best thing, writing for it. He loves to play the flick shot over square leg, and believes Sachin Tendulkar is God. His twitter handle is @ArunRawal93)