Rahul Dravid deserves more respect, feels Sunil Joshi

Sunil Joshi (in picture) feels if young Indian batsmen want to survive for long in Indian cricket, they must look at Rahul Dravid as a role model for his discipline and lifestyle Getty Images

By CricketCountry Staff

Mumbai: Sep 15, 2011

Former India left-arm spinner, Sunil Joshi has heaped praises on batting legend and former Karnataka team mate Rahul Dravid saying he deserves lot more respect for his contribution to Indian cricket.

Sunil Joshi wrote in his column in Mid Day,”Rahul Dravid definitely deserves a lot more credit for his performances in ODI cricket. Not many have scored 10,000 plus runs. If you look back at his career, he performed in tough conditions even in the limited-overs arena. That’s why he was our best batsman during the 1999 World Cup in England.

“Joshi also cited Dravid s contribution to Indian Premier League team, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) praising the high fitness standards set by the veteran batsman.

He said, “The first four seasons of the IPL proved he is still one of the fittest guys going around who can play the big shots. For most of his career, he had to keep proving that he was good enough to play one-day cricket. That was very unfair.”

Joshi feels Indian team has enjoyed overwhelming success in One-Day internationals (ODIs) due to the solidarity provided by Dravid in the middle-order.

“If it wasn’t for him keeping wickets to accommodate an extra batsman, India wouldn’t have enjoyed all its ODI success between the period of 2002 and 2005,” said Joshi.

Joshi also felt Dravid sent out a strong message to selectors by taking a retirement decision as he wasn t recalled for almost two years.

“I think he took the right decision to retire. He’s suggesting that you cannot play around with a career by recalling and dropping him at will,” said the former left-arm spinner.

Initially in his career, he had the tendency of hitting the ball too hard, but he learnt quickly. Later, he started to pierce the gaps with a lot more precision.

Recollecting India s tour to England in 2002, Joshi praised Dravid s commitment for the team, and ability to fit to team s requirements.

Joshi said,” I think his wicket keeping really improved in the early 2000s. I remember when we won in England (in 2002), he took some outstanding catches. More than anything, it was his dedication that is unmatched. Besides, his fitness levels have always been top-notch. Even today, he can still pinch quick singles and take diving catches in the slips.”

Joshi advised young Indian cricketers to emulate Dravid s work ethics to scale similar heights in international cricket.

“If guys like Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli want to survive for so long, they must look at Dravid as a role model for his discipline and lifestyle. I have no doubt that Indian cricket will never see a cricketer like him again,” he added.