Who is the best team player in cricket?

“Adelaide Test 2003. India versus Australia. Australia 556. India, through a mammoth partnership of 303 between Dravid and Laxman, recover from 85 for 4 to 477 for 7. Dravid is on strike on 199. The first ball of the last and 90th over of Day three is being bowled. Dravid hits the ball to deep cover. He has two choices: a) take a single, complete his double century but expose the tailender Anil Kumble to five deliveries before the end of the day's play b) refuse to take the easy single, defend the next five balls or risk taking a single off the last ball of the day thereby protecting Anil Kumble, Dravid refuses the single that would take him to 200, and cannot force the last ball of the day for a single. Stranded on 199 not out overnight and have to endure a sleepless night. Never mind; team interests come first, ahead of personal milestones. That's Dravid for you !!!”

In a very heat warming article* written by Harsha Bhogle, titled “The wolf who lived for the pack” – Harsha beautifully put in in context. I quote him:

“There were two things Dravid didn't really love in cricket: opening the batting and keeping wicket. He was asked to do both at various times, and I asked him if he ever contemplated saying no. He didn't enjoy it, he said, but took it as a challenge, to see how good he could be. This acceptance of challenges is what has defined his cricket and made him one of the finest team players there has been. A challenge, he said, allowed him to understand himself better, it gave him a reason to play sport. If he shied away, he would never know how good he could be. He kept wicket in about 70 odi international, never most convincingly, but he allowed himself to look bad for the team to look good."

Most cricket fans in India are aware of the fact that whenever the team needed something which no one was willing to do, invariably, the team looked upto only one person – Dravid! Need examples?

Team Needs someone to keep wickets to play one more batsman, whom do you turn to? – Dravid

Team Needs someone to open batting, whom do you turn to? – Dravid

We don’t know who can bat in these conditions, and we have a T20 match in England. What to do? – Announce Dravid’s name!

We don’t have good coach for India A and under 19 – Whom to look upto? - Dravid! (Who, by the way was uninterested for higher paying and more visible team India coach position, for family commitments!)

…… the list goes on!

Navjot Singh Sidhu was right when he said this: Rahul Dravid is a player who would walk on broken glass if his team asks him to.

Rajesh Kumar

Source - Quora