India’s former number three Rahul Dravid has been voted the country’s greatest test batsman in the last 50 years in an online poll. Dravid pipped Sachin Tendulkar in the final round to win the contest.
The social media poll, conducted by Wisden India, featured 16 Indian batting stalwarts from the last five decades. Pairs of two players were pitted against each other, with the loser being eliminated and the winner progressing to the next round. Apart from Dravid and Tendulkar, former opening batsman Sunil Gavaskar and the present Indian captain Virat Kohli made it to the top four. Among other players to feature in the poll were Gundappa Viswanath, Dilip Vengsarkar, VVS Laxman and Cheteshwar Pujara.
Dravid beat the current test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and flamboyant opener Virender Sehwag, before going past Gavaskar in the semifinal round. Interestingly, in the other semifinal match-up, Tendulkar defeated Virat Kohli by a landslide margin. The final round clash between Dravid and Tendulkar saw over 11,000 voters, in which Dravid emerged victorious with 52% votes. Gavaskar narrowly beat Kohli in the battle for the third spot.
In a career comprising 164 test matches, Rahul Dravid amassed 13,288 runs at an average of 52.31, with 36 test centuries. He stands fourth among the highest run-scorers in test cricket, a list that is headed by Tendulkar. Dravid holds the record for facing the most number of deliveries (31,258) in test history. Known for his solid defensive technique and great powers of concentration, Dravid made himself a reputation for weathering the toughest of batting conditions and standing tall against the finest of bowlers, which earned him the moniker “The Wall”. Dravid’s exploits have given India some of its most memorable victories in test cricket.
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