New Delhi: Former India captain Rahul Dravid on Saturday turned 47 and the cricket fraternity took to social media to extended wishes to one of the most decorated cricketers of all times.
Dravid, popularly known as 'The Wall', is still regarded as one of the best No.3 batsmen that India ever produced in Test cricket. The right-handed batsman, who made his debut for India in 1996 at Lord's, went on to play 164 Tests, 334 ODIs and 1 T20I in an illustrious career which spanned for over 16 years.
"From my understanding, I thought grinding only happens in the kitchen in the mixer grinder, but Dravid taught one can grind on the cricket pitch as well. We had it all when we had the Wall !#HappyBirthdayRahulDravid," Virender Sehwag bought his witty side to extend birthday greetings.
Dravid is still the only Indian cricketer apart from Sachin Tendulkar to have scored more than 10,000 runs in both Tests and ODIs. Widely regarded for his batting prowess in the Test format where he scored 13,288 runs at a staggering average of 52.31 including 36 hundreds, Dravid was also an impeccable white-ball player as he scored 10,889 runs in 334 ODIs at an average of 39.16, including 12 centuries.
BCCI decided to wish Dravid by highlighting his ODI credentials and shared the video of his 153-run knock against New Zealand in 1999 in Hyderabad.
"Wishing The Wall -- Rahul Dravid a very Happy Birthday. His exploits in Test cricket are well known but we thought we would relive one of his knocks in ODIs against New Zealand. #HappyBirthdayRahulDravid," the tweet read.
V.V.S. Laxman also wished Dravid and tweeted: "Wishing my good friend Rahul Dravid a very special birthday and a wonderful year filled with love, happiness, and prosperity."
"Inspiration. Role Model. Legend. Wishing the great man, Rahul Dravid a very happy birthday #HappyBirthdayRahulDravid," tweeted Mohammad Kaif.
Dravid also holds the record for facing the maximum deliveries in Test cricket. In 164 Tests, he faced a total of 31,258 balls, almost 3,000 deliveries more than Tendulkar. He has also spent 44,152 minutes at the crease in Tests which equals to almost 736 hours, the most by any Test cricketer.
With 210 catches, the former Indian captain also holds the record for the most number of catches by a non-wicketkeeper in Tests. After drawing curtains on his cricketing career in 2012, Dravid has continued to serve Indian cricket. He first became the coach of India 'A' and the U-19 team and is now working as the director of the National Cricket Academy (NCA).