Rahul Dravid calls time on international career

Zeenews Sports Bureau

Bangalore: The ‘Wall’ of Indian cricket, Rahul Dravid, has announced his retirement from international cricket and the first class cricket on Friday.

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Announcing his retirement in Bangalore, Rahul Dravid said: “I have played for 16 years but it’s time to leave now for the new generation to come up and take responsibilities.”

“I have many people to thank for supporting me and teaching me. My coaches, trainers… and selectors, who are hardly thanked in India. Thanks to the captains I have played under, the media, the KCA, BCCI, all the teams that I have played with," he said at a press conference which was also attended by his former teammate Anil Kumble and BCCI president N Srinivasan.

With his retirement, India has lost the third cricketer (Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble being the first two) to have retired from a team which has had several achievements under its belt.

Dravid, along with Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, formed an impeccable middle-order batting line-up for India in the late nineties and first decade of this century, which, for the first time helped Team India perform well on the overseas tours.

The 39-year-old Dravid had announced his retirement from ODI cricket in England last year after been surprisingly recalled in the ODI team due to his stupendous performance during the Test series against England in which he scored three centuries.

Dravid has played in 164 Test matches since making his debut against England at the Lord`s in 1996. He has scored 13,288 runs for an impressive average of 52.31 and aggregates second only to Sachin Tendulkar who has 15470 runs in 188 Test matches.

Dravid, nicknamed the `Wall` for his dour defence, is also a world record holder in the number of Test catches. He took 210 catches, mostly in the slip cordon.

The Karnataka batsman had a wonderful tour of England but his performance in the recent tour of Australia was below par, prompting calls that it was time for him and Laxman to hang their boots.

Dravid had a disastrous tour of Australia where he scored only 194 runs in eight innings at an average of 24.25. Even more disappointing was that Dravid, known for his solid technique, was clean bowled in six out of the eight innings with Australian pacer Ben Hilfenhaus repeatedly breaching his defence with ease.

In an illustrious Test career, Dravid hit 36 centuries and 63 half centuries with 270 against Pakistan being his highest score. In ODIs, he has compiled 10,889 runs in 344 matches for an average of 39.16. He also slammed 12 ODI centuries and 83 half centuries.

Under his capataincy, India won away Test series in the West Indies as well as England but had a disastrous 2007 World Cup where they were out in the first round.

There has been intense speculation about Dravid`s impending retirement ever since he failed with the bat during the Australian tour.

However, Dravid will be seen leading Rajasthan Royals in the upcoming fifth edition of Indian Premier League.

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