Rahul Dravid Made a Much Bigger Impact on Indian Cricket Than Anyone Else: Gautam Gambhir
Rahul Dravid (© IANS)

Former India opener Gautam Gambhir reckons Rahul Dravid the most under-rated player and leader in Indian cricket circle. Dravid, widely regarded as one of the finest batsman to have graced the game, scored over 24,000 international runs during his storied career.

During his time as a professional cricket, Dravid formed the backbone of the famed fab five of Indian batting comprising Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Sourav Ganguly and Virender Sehwag.

He donned multiple hats during his 16-year career.

Dravid mainly batted in the middle order but also opened the innings, came lower down the order and for a long time also handled the responsibility of a wicketkeeper as well.

And then for a brief period, also led Indian team.

Gambhir, who made his Test debut under Dravid, claims the former India skipper hasn’t been given enough credit for his leadership.

“I made my one-day debut under Sourav Ganguly and my Test debut under Rahul Dravid,” Gambhir said on Star Sports’ Cricket Connected. “It is so unfortunate that we do not give Dravid enough credit for his captaincy. We only talk about Sourav Ganguly, MS Dhoni, now we talk about Virat Kohli, but Dravid has been a fabulous captain for India as well. 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.”

Gambhir said Dravid obliged and excelled in every role he was asked to perform for the team and is an ideal role model.

“If you look at Dravid as a cricketer, I think 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,” he said.

Since retirement, Dravid has coached junior Indian cricket teams and is currently the head of National Cricket Academy.

Gambhir reckons Dravid had the same impact on Indian cricket as the legendary Sachin Tendulkar or probably even bigger. “For me, I think he has had a bigger impact. Ganguly has always had a bigger impact in white-ball cricket because of his flamboyance, but Dravid overall, in Indian cricket, had a much bigger impact that probably anyone,” he said.

“You can actually match his impact to someone like Sachin Tendulkar as well because he played under the shadows of Tendulkar all his life, but yes, impact wise, probably the same,” he added.