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~The Left Hand Guard And The 19 Number Jersey~

I don’t even want to think of the day when it will be the last time that I the see left hand with it’s guard going up with the bat in a salute to the crowd and the trademark smile.Yes,I don’t want to think of the day when I’ll be watching the last match in which my favourite cricketer will play.RAHUL DRAVID a.k.a The Wall also The Jammy,the best cricketer I have ever seen in my whole life.And ofcourse my favourite.Even if that day comes soon,I’ll always remember the 19 number jersey with Dravid written under it and the sole left hand guard that he wears to protect his hand from the ball.The amazing smile given to the crowd when he reaches yet another milestone and his fearless fielding making him the best fielder in the Indian side.

Rahul Dravid has been my favorite player and always will be.Born on 11 Jan 1973,I have been lucky to have a chance to celebrate another birthday a few days before mine.I am surely the biggest fan of this legend.Rahul Dravid started his career in 1996 with an ODI debut against Australia.He scored a brilliant hundred and took two catches.In 2004,he was awarded the Padma Shri.As I said before,the best cricketer born on Indian soil,Dravid has the record for the most number of catches by a fielder in Test cricket-200.No one has ever reached this milestone.To reach this wonderful milestone Dravid had taken a beautiful catch off Harbhajan’s bowling to dismiss Dale Steyn in Jan,2010 in a test match against South Africa.His brilliant fielding in the slip and gully made sure that the world looked on to him as ‘the safest pair of hands’ Rarely has he let a ball escape his hands.Dravid’s consitent batting soon earned him the nickname ‘The Wall’.Being brought up in Karnataka,he is often reffered to as ‘The Jammy’.Rahul Dravid had captained the Indian team in 2007 for a short period of time.Not impressed by his captaincy,the BCCI had taken a cruel decision of giving the job to some one else.Dhoni was the answer.Though stepping down from captaincy,this run machine has never stopped ever since.And I hope that I get to see him play for a very long time.

*Wisden cricketer of 2000.
*Member of the 10,000 run club.
*Only batsmen to score a century against every test playing nation.
*Only Indian to score five double hundred in tests.
*Only Indian to score three test double hundreds on foreign soil.
*Only Indian to score four cosecutive test hundreds.

One of the main batsmen in the top order of the Indian batting line-up in Test cricket,Dravid bats at no.3.And once he starts,all the bowler can do his watch helplessly as the ball races across the ground with fielders falling to stop it.In the IPL(Indian Premier League) Rahul Dravid was bought by Royal Challengers Banglaore owned by Vijay Mallya for a three years contract starting from the first season in 2008.The first season of IPL was very dissapointing for the RCB finishing second last in the points table.But the second season,RCB led by Anil Kumble shocked everyone as they reached the finals but unfortunately lost to Decan Chargers and that was all to make me cry.Yes,whenever RCB lost much to my parents shock I would always start crying.The sad look on Dravid’s face was unforgettable.In the third season,RCB entered as favourites.They reached the semis but had a sad loss to Mumbai Indians.In the first season Rahul Dravid was my sole reason for supporting RCB.But,as IPL progressed I started liking the whole ream.Every loss would come to me as a personal loss.I thank Rahul Dravid for making me fall in love with Royal Challengers Bangalore.On 20 March,2010 I had gone to watch the match between Rcb and Mumbai Indians.As far as I could see,in Mumbai city,I was the one and only supporter of Bangalore.My cries and shouts were died down by the huge Mumbai crowd.But that surely did’nt stop RCB,as Kumble led then to a 8 wicket victory.I was rejoiced!The best was yet to come,a interview by Dravid! But,there was one thing I knew.Come 2011 and the contract would be over.New teams,new captains and new jerseys.I could’nt hide my dissapointment as the players were bought by other teams,all of them going in different directions.Only Virat Kohli staying put.So as the fourth season arrived,I found myself confused.But,my heart always followed Dravid.And so there I was changing my supporting team to Rajasthan Royals only because they bought Rahul Dravid.

Rahul Dravid has been a role model for me.The way whole of India is behind worshiping Sacin,Dravid is my God.Every year I celebrate his birthday as if he were my own brother.Loyalty is something many people should learn from me.Ever since I have been five,I have tried and watched each and every match that Rahul Dravid has played in.Every injury that has come to him has made me cry.I remember the time when I was at school and a test match between India and Australia was going on.Dravid was playing superbly on 175 when I had left for school.But when I returned home,Rahul Dravid had had a serious injury.I remember bursting out into tears on hearing this.Rahul Dravid according to me,is the best Indian player that I have ever seen.I consider myself lucky to have seen such a great player in making.As I have said before,Dravid has the record for the most number of catches by a fielder in test cricket.50 of his catches have come off the bowling of Harbhajan Singh and 55 have come off Anil Kumble’s bowling.25 catches have come off Zaheer Khan’s bowling.He has caught Ricky Ponting 5 times,Graeme Smith 2 times,Adam Gilchirst 4 times and Mathew Hayden 3 times.He has been the most exceptional fielder in the Indian side.Rahul Dravid is a very calm cricketer.He always keeps his cool and the only time he loses his temper is when he gets out while trying to play a very useless shot.Dravid is not known for on-field celebrations.But when he reached his 200 milestone,he lept straight up into the arms of Harbhajan.His effort was applauded.Batting on no.3,no pair has never put up as many hundreds as the Dravid-Sachin pair.Tons of experience is what makes him a legend

Rahul Dravid gets lots of respect from me.Whatever happens,he wil always be my favourite player.No matter how many come and how many go.Dravid gets a special cake from me every year on his birthday.I have made a special scrapbook dedicated only to him.Every year I patiently await a test match as I know that I will watch Dravid at play.Every match I pray for his good innings.

Every day I just keep my fingers crossed and hope that the day does’nt come soon when I have to watch the last of the number 19 jersey telecasting on the big screen as the legend would depart with a wave and his trademark smile calling it an end to his wonderful career.
But I,will always remember the number 19 with Dravid written under it and the left hand guard to protect his hand from the ball.