The Wall, the gentleman, the one and the only: Rahul Dravid. Famous for frustrating opposing bowlers with his patience to bat for hours, Dravid was popularly known as The Wall. While we all knew that his nickname was a result of his batting style, Rahul revealed, in an interview, that being The Wall was a tactical move. As he turns 46 today, let’s take you back to how India’s number three batsman earned his nickname.
Speaking to Vikram Sathaye on the sets of What the Duck, Rahul said that he didn’t remember the exact time when the nickname debuted. “I can’t remember exactly the first time but I know where it sort of came out from, where it originated. I think, it probably came out after my long, typically maybe boring innings; when I saw the headline, (it read) ‘The Wall’.”
To give you an idea, Rahul was possibly one of the best number three batsmen to have played for India. In a Test career that spanned over 16 years, The Wall faced as many as 31,258 deliveries. He even has a world record of staying at the crease for close to 736 hours. In comparison, Sachin Tendulkar has faced 29,437 deliveries. That is the sort of innings that can win you matches – and also make you the first cricketer to score centuries in all the ten Test-playing nations (during his time).
Rahul added that his nickname was a clever tactic used by some clever journalist. “I think, later on, a reflection after going through my career, I really thought that it was a really clever boy or girl sitting on a desk in some newspaper office somewhere. Actually, looking into the future and sort of decided, okay, let’s name ‘The Wall’ today in a positive sense,” he had said.
Though Dravid has long retired from professional cricket, he’s still not far from the game. He’s currently the head coach of India’s Under-19 and ‘A’ teams. Under his mentoring, the lads won the U-19 World Cup in 2018. He’s never won a Cup himself, but to coach a team who lifted the trophy under him? That has to count for something. On his birthday, we think the best gift Rahul could ever receive, is to see young cricketers learning his technique.