Former England cricketer Dermot Reeve has said he had doubts about the former batsman’s caliber during Rahul Dravid’s tenure at Kent in 2000. Reeve added that he believed that someone from Dravid’s family was on the selection committee and that he represents India at the highest level.
Rahul Dravid made an impressive debut in Test cricket against England in 1996. Despite his 95-run knock, he took his time to become an irreplaceable figure in Indian cricket. He had a contrasting range of fortunes in the Test and ODI format. As he became a big name in the longest format, he struggled to make his mark in the shorter format. The 1999 World Cup proved to be the turning point in his career as he was the tournament’s highest points scorer with 461 runs from eight games with a stunning 65.85 average and 85.52 strike rate.
However, these performances were not convincing enough for former England all-rounder Dermot Reeve, who doubted Dravid when he arrived in England in 2000 for his first stint with Kent. Reave, then Somerset’s coach, came on as a substitute fielder and had a bull’s eye on Dravid. Reave revealed that he could penetrate through ‘The Wall of India’.
“How did this man ever play for India? He must have had family on the selection committee. He has no shots. He just blocks it. I went on and on. And he got out. Things like that made me really disliked. But I wasn’t there to make friends, we were there to win games,” the former England all-rounder recalls.
“He was the Wall of India. He told me, ‘You’re the only person who knocked down that wall. You gave me so much stick, I ended up chasing one and got caught. You’re the only person who ever crawled. under my skin,” Reave told The Daily Mail.
Dravid wasn’t the only legend not highly regarded by Reeve. He played with Brian Lara for Warwickshire in the year 1994 and Reeve remembered how one season in particular with Lara was not pleasant.
“Despite winning three trophies, it was perhaps the most unpleasant season I’ve ever had. The energy between me and Lara was not good for the whole season. I believe his agent told him I didn’t want him, so he arrived with a chip on his shoulder,” Reave said.
“I believed he was undermining me on the pitch. Brian and I are okay now when we bump into each other. It’s just funny that the most successful season wasn’t much fun.”
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