Dravid climbs Mount 13K

Dravid climbs Mount 13K

An already brilliant year became even better for Rahul Dravid on Thursday when he became the first batsman in2011 to complete 1,000 Test runs.

Dravid, who will turn 39 in a month and a half’s time, brought up the milestone on his way to a sparkling 82 against the West Indies, during the course of which he became onlythe second batsman in Test history to complete 13,000 Test runs. It was thethird time in a calendar year that Dravid had crossed 1000 Test runs, after 2002 and 2006.

Dravid put down making 13,000 runs to longevity. But surely, not everyone is good enough or committed enough to play 15 years of competitive sport at the highest level?
“The longevity gives me a lot of satisfaction,”Dravid told Deccan Herald. “A lot of hard work and effort goes into making you what you are. I have constantly wanted to keep improving, and I am continuing to enjoy the game, which is what has made it possible for me to play this long. It’s nice to see that for all the work you have put in, you are getting the fruits of your labour. I still enjoy the buzz of batting, especially in a year like this when I have made as many runs as I have.”

Thousand runs in a calendar year, especially at this stage in his career, Dravid acknowledged, was a pleasing accomplishment. “That feels nice,” he said. “Setting aside this series, a lot of the rest of those thousand runs, I have really had to earn them. From that point of view, to get a 1000 runs this year is pleasing. “Quite a few of those runs have been what you call ‘tough runs’, made on difficult pitches in the West Indies and in England. That gives you plenty of satisfaction and pleasure, especially at 38. At this age, when you play the game, you feel that you must contribute to the team.”

The supremely fit Dravid has amalgamated technical wherewithal and proficiency, a single-minded devotion, the propensity to work hard and the hunger and desire to keep learning and improving to play international cricket for more than 15 years quite beautifully. Along the way, he has also earned the respect and the admiration of not just his team-mates but his opponents too.

Dravid came into this game needing 21 runsto reach 13,000 – only Sachin Tendulkar has scored more in Test history – and reached there in grand style, with a cover-driven boundary off Darren Sammy. Beginning the Test on 952 runs for the year, he brought up 1000 for 2011 with a single to short square-leg off Devendra Bishoo. His 2011 tally now stands at 1,034 runs in 11 Tests and 20 innings at 60.82, including five hundreds and three half-centuries.

“He’s a genius,” gushed Gautam Gambhir, Dravid’s partner when he conquered Mt 13K. “He’s a legend. The way he has handled the pressure of batting at number three, the most important position in the batting line-up, has been brilliant.”

West Indian skipper Sammy chipped in,“Rahul is an exceptional player. Getting to 13,000 runs with an average of 50 plus is a great achievement. Not for nothing is he known as The Wall.”

Journey to 13000

year    m    ings    no    runs    hig    ave    100    50
1996    7    12    1    436    95    39.63    0    3
1997    12    18    2     984    148    61.50    1    9
1998    5    9    0    413    118    45.88    1    3
1999    10    19    1    865    190    48.05    4    1
2000    6    11    3    624    200*    78.00    2    1
2001    13    23    3    935    180    46.75    1    6
2002    16    26    3     1357    217    59.00    5    5
2003    5    10    2     803    233    100.37    2    3
2004    12    18    3    946    270    63.06    2    4
2005    8    12    0    640    135    53.33    2    4
2006    12    22    4    1095    146    60.83    3    7
2007    10    19    2    606    129    35.64    1    3
2008    15    28    2    805    136    30.96    2    4
2009    6    10    1    747    177    83.00    2    5
2010    12    20    2    771    191    42.83    3    1
2011    11    20    3    1034    146*    60.82    5    3
Total    160    277    32    13061    270    53.31    36    62

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