Rahul Dravid was probably one of the last classical Test match batsmen. His progress into the national side may have been steady and methodical rather than meteoric, but once there, Dravid established himself at the vanguard of a new, defiant generation that were no longer easybeats away from home. Armed with an orthodox technique drilled into him by Keki Tarapore, he became the cement that held the foundations firm while the flair players expressed themselves. Yet, for a man quickly stereotyped as one-paced and one-dimensional, he too could stroke the ball around when the mood struck him.
Never a natural athlete, he compensated with sheer hard work and powers of concentration that were almost yogic. At Adelaide in 2003, when India won a Test in Australia for the first time in a generation, he batted 835 minutes over two innings. A few months later, he was at the crease more than 12 hours for the 270 that clinched India’s first series win in Pakistan.