How do you rate Rahul Dravid, the cricketer -- both as a captain and as a player? This is one of the most intriguing questions in world cricket. (More Cricket News)
When pundits speak of some of the greatest leaders Indian cricket has seen, the names that immediately come to mind are Kapil Dev, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Sourav Ganguly.
But former India opener Gautam Gambhir believes that it is unfortunate that someone like Rahul Dravid isn't given the due he deserves as a captain.
Speaking on Star Sports show Cricket Connected, former India Gambhir threw light on Dravid's impact on Indian cricket.
"I made my one-day debut under Sourav Ganguly and my Test debut under Rahul Dravid. It is so unfortunate that we do not give Rahul Dravid enough credit for his captaincy," Gambhir said.
Indeed, for many, Dravid's soft-spoken nature belies his impact in Indian cricket. The fact is, it's hard to ignore the flambouyant captains, the outspoken leaders, while at the same time its tough to notice the one who goes on doing their work quietly.
"We only talk about Sourav Ganguly, M.S. Dhoni, now we talk about Virat Kohli, but Rahul Dravid has been a fabulous captain for India as well. Even his records, he's probably the most under-rated cricketer and probably the most under-rated leader as well. We won in England, West Indies, we won some 14 or 15 games on the trot," the cricketer-turned-politician added.
Even as a cricketer, Gambhir feels that Dravid was like the go-to-man for captains, be it opening the batting in Test matches or keeping wickets in limited-overs cricket.
"If you look at Dravid as a cricketer, I think if you asked him to open the batting in Test cricket, he did, he batted at No. 3, he kept wickets for India, he batted as a finisher, he did everything what Indian cricket asked him or what a captain asked him to do and that is the kind of role models you want. For me, I think he has had a bigger impact.
"Sourav Ganguly has always had a bigger impact in white-ball cricket because of his flamboyance, but Rahul Dravid overall, in Indian cricket, had a much bigger impact than probably anyone," Gambhir explained.
In fact, Gambhir went on to say that Dravid can be compared to even the legendary Sachin Tendulkar when it comes to his contribution to Indian cricket.
"You can actually match his impact to someone like Sachin Tendulkar as well because he played under the shadows of Sachin Tendulkar all his life, but yes, impact wise, probably the same," he said.
(With IANS inputs)