Dravid gears up for his ODI swan song at Cardiff

September 15th, 2011 - 8:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Sachin Tendulkar Cardiff, Sep 15 (IANS) Former captain Rahul Dravid is all set to bid adieu to One-Day Internationals and India hope to end their nightmarish English summer on a winning note at the final match here Friday.

The Indian team will be looking to give a fitting farewell to Dravid and this perhaps is the only motivation for the crest-fallen team, which suffered a whitewash in the Test series and have already lost the five-match ODI 3-0.

“The Wall”, the nickname Dravid does not like, was in great form in the Tests but after selectors picked him up after a gap of two years he decided to end his ODI career after the England series.

Before the England series, Dravid last played in the tri-series at Sri Lanka and the ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa in 2009. He was earlier dropped from the squad in 2007.

In his last Twenty20 match last month, Dravid made a 33-ball 23 but still couldn’t see India win. In the ODI series, he has averaged 55 runs in the first four games and now surely wants to go out with a bang.

It is a coincidence that Dravid will be ending his ODI career in England, from where he started his legendary career spanning 15 years.

In 343 matches, Dravid has scored 10,820 runs, averaging 39.06 and at a strike-rate of 71.16. He also has 196 catches and 14 stumpings that made him a true selfless player. Only Sachin Tendulkar (18,111) and Sourav Ganguly (11,363) are ahead of him as leading run scorers in one-dayers.

But it has not been an easy ride for the former India captain. He made his maiden hundred (107) at Chennai’s M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in the Independence Cup match against Pakistan in 1997 but it was completely overshadowed by Saeed Anwar’s 194.

He emerged a strong player after the 1999 World Cup. He smashed 145 against Sri Lanka in the 1999 World Cup game at Taunton and along with Ganguly (183), was involved in a 318-run second-wicket partnership.

As skipper, he had to see the humiliation of India being knocked out of the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies. Though he gave up his captaincy, he never lost his dignity.

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