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THANK YOU, RAHUL

1 You are one of only two Indian batsmen who we would allow to bat for our lives in a Test match. The other? Sunil Manohar Gavaskar.

2 You made us realise the worth of The Wall, for 16 long years, in an ephemeral world.

3 You were always ready to do anything for Team India open the batting, drop down the order, keep wickets, field at slip, stand at short-leg, bowl an over or two, even push the drinks trolley.

4 Yours was the first name on the list when it came to picking a team for overseas Tests.

5 Your front-foot defensive prod won and saved more matches for India than the boundaries many others stroked.

6 You were the eternal bridesmaid but never cribbed about it.

7 Your strokeplay was classical, so what if the T20 generation found that boring.

8 Your jugalbandi with VVS in 2001 remains the high point of our Eden Gardens experience.

9 You epitomised staying power by playing as many 31,258 balls in 286 Test innings. No other batsman has faced more than 29,000.

10 You scored 1,577 runs at 65.70 in the 15 Tests Team India won on foreign soil during your career (excluding Bangladesh and Zimbabwe), higher in both aggregate and average than that of Sachin Tendulkar.

11 You have been called a “colossus” by Gavaskar and “my hero” by Kapil Dev.

12 You have timed your retirement just right.

Dona Ganguly’s tips for Vijeta Dravid!

The first few days after Sourav retired, it was very nice and I was very excited that he was going to be around. But after some time, I felt matha khachhey! I was thinking why did he have to retire?! It was very difficult. My whole schedule went topsy-turvy because he demanded my time, Sana (daughter) demanded my time and I needed some time for myself too. So, it was very difficult for me....

So all I can say is that Vijeta can expect a lot of his time. But I feel she is very experienced and mature and she’ll handle it well. From my personal experience, all I will tell her is to be patient. But then Dravid being a perfectionist may spend his time in a perfect way, so Vijeta may not have to crib!

(As told to Saionee Chakraborty)

We heart

a You were Mr Cute for some, Mr Smart for others, Mr Dependable for us all.

b You were also Jammy (a nickname he earned because his Dad worked for Kissan) yummy enough to drool over and solid enough to take home to mummy.

c You played your cricket hard, but that boyish smile made us go, ‘Sooooooo sweeeeeet’.

d You kept it simple, on the pitch and off it. A neat haircut, a clean-shaven look, formals or cool tees. And that Indian tie while announcing your retirement.

e You bowled us over on February 18, 2011 on a very different pitch: The Telegraph National Debate where you had to face “goody-goody” bouncers from a certain Mamata Banerjee.

f You have been a cricketer and a gentleman.

 

Why will you miss Rahul Dravid? Tell t2@abp.in


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