Rahul Dravid has announced his retirement from international and domestic first-class cricket at a press conference called in Bengaluru, his hometown, today.
BCCI President N Srinivasan, and ex-colleague and KSCA President Anil Kumble, were present at the conference where Dravid broke the widely anticipated news. Following his retirement from ODIs and T20Is during the tour to England last year, Dravid’s exit from Test cricket brings an end to a 16-year-long, and much-decorated, international career.
Although Dravid had a poor run in the recently concluded Test series against Australia (he scored only 194 runs from eight innings at an average of 24.25), the Indian No. 3 batsman finishes his career as the second highest run-getter in Test history with 13,288 runs at an average of 52.31. Only Sachin Tendulkar, with 15,470 Test runs, remains ahead of Dravid.
Dravid made his Test debut for India in June 1996 with an innings of 95 against England in the Lord’s Test of June 1996 while batting at No. 7. However, it was only after his innings of 148 against South Africa at Johannesburg in January 1997 that he cemented his place at No. 3 in the Indian batting line-up.
Some of his memorable knocks in Test cricket include his innings of 180 in a 376-run stand with VVS Laxman in the Kolkata Test of 2001, 148 at Leeds in 2002, 233 at Adelaide in 2003, 270 at Rawalpindi in 2004 and a match aggregate of 149 runs on a difficult Sabina Park wicket in 2006. That all these innings resulted in Test wins for India is a reflection of Dravid’s legacy to Indian cricket.
More recently, on India’s dismal tour of England in 2011, he emerged as the Man-of-the-Series with an aggregate of 461 runs from eight innings.
Nicknamed ‘The Wall’ for his solid defence, Dravid has scored 36 Test centuries and is fourth on the list of leading Test centurions after Sachin Tendulkar (51), Jacques Kallis (42) and Ricky Ponting (41). Dravid, a veteran of 164 matches, has taken more catches (210) than anyone else in Test history.
Dravid also captained Team India in a two-year stint from 2005 to 2007 during which India recorded overseas Test series wins against West Indies and England.
Dravid, who turned 39 on January 11, has played only one T20 international, but is the seventh highest run-getter in ODI cricket with 10,889 runs (344 matches, 318 innings, average of 39.16) against his name.
The legend became the first non-Australian to deliver the prestigious Bradman Oration, before the commencement of India’s recent tour of Australia.
Dravid will continue to play in Indian Premier League (IPL 2012) Twenty20 tournament, where he will lead the Rajasthan Royals, replacing the retired Shane Warne as captain of the franchise.