"Rahul Dravid Had Much Bigger Impact Than Anyone" On Indian Cricket, Says Gautam Gambhir

ISLAMABADFormer opener Gautam Gambhir feels that batting great Rahul Dravid is the country's most "under-rated" ex-captain, who never got enough credit for his contribution to the game in India despite making an impact comparable to only Sachin Tendulkar. Dravid captained India in 79 ODIs, winning 42 of them, which includes the world record of 14 successive wins while chasing. The 47-year-old also led India's Test team to some impressive results in away series in West Indies, South Africa, Bangladesh and England.

"It is so unfortunate that we do not give Rahul Dravid enough credit for his captaincy. We only talk about Sourav Ganguly, MS Dhoni, now we talk about Virat Kohli, but Rahul Dravid has been a fabulous captain for India as well," Gambhir said during Star Sports' show 'Cricket Connected'.

"Even his records, he's probably the most under-rated cricketer and probably the most under-rated leader as well. We won in England, West Indies, we won some 14 or 15 games on the trot."

In his illustrious international career, Dravid amassed 13288 runs in 164 Tests and 10889 runs in 344 ODIs. He was the head coach for the India under-19 and A teams from 2016 to 2019 and is currently the Director of Cricket Operations at National Cricket Academy, Bengaluru.

Gambhir, who was a part of both the 2007 and 2011 World Cup-winning Indian teams, said Dravid's impact on Indian cricket was more than Ganguly and Tendulkar.

"For me, I think he has had a bigger impact. Sourav Ganguly has always had a bigger impact in white-ball cricket because of his flamboyance, but Rahul Dravid overall, in Indian cricket, had a much bigger impact than probably anyone," he said.

"You can actually match his impact to someone like Sachin Tendulkar as well because he played under the shadows of Sachin Tendulkar all his life, but yes, impact wise, probably the same."

Besides being a prolific batsman, Dravid also effected 85 dismissals in 73 matches as a wicketkeeper from 1999 to 2004.

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He also holds the world record for taking most catches as a non-wicketkeeper fielder in Test Cricket, having taken 210 catches from 164 matches.

"If you asked him to open the batting in Test cricket, he did, he batted at No. 3, he kept wickets for India, he batted as a finisher, he did everything what Indian cricket asked him or what a captain asked him to do and that is the kind of role models you want," Gambhir said.