Dravid - Indian cricket's latest star  Anant Gaundalkar 

If the legendary Sunil Gavaskar first heralded his genius with a monumental performance of over 700 runs in his debut series in the Caribbean islands way back in 1970-71 and talented southpaw Vinod Kambli got off to fabulous back to back double centuries in his very first season in 1992-93 while former skipper Mohammad Azharuddin kicked off with a record breaking run of three hundreds in each of his first three Tests in 1984-85, then India's latest batting sensation, Rahul Dravid, has for his part made consistency his hallmark ever since debuting in England last year. 
Since he walked out to play his first Test innings, Dravid with his impeccable technique and unflappable temperament has been the pivot around which the Indian batting lineup revolves. As the table given here shows, Dravid is now batting with an impressive average of 47.89. 
Dravid has been very consistent in each series he has played in - the sole exception being the home series late in 1996 against South Africa, when the national selectors bounced him up and down the batting order like a yo-yo. Since then, he has returned to steady run accumulation, time and again coming in when the team is a wicket down for very little, and holding his end up with his obdurate batting and calm run accumulation. 
An interesting feature of Dravid's progress is that his obduracy sometimes makes people forget his stroke-making abilities. Dravid has been asked by the team management to play the anchor, and he has filled the role admirably, even though doing so has meant that he has had to curb his natural inclination to play strokes. In fact, Dravid was rapidly making a name, among the more impatient of cricket fans, for "boring" batsmanship, and it was being said that while his temperament was unflappable, he did not have too many scoring strokes in his repertoire. That assessment, Dravid proved wrong at his first opportunity - in South Africa earlier this year, in the final of the ODI triangular series, with India chasing a huge 251 runs to win in 40 overs, Dravid was asked by his captain to play his natural game. And he responded with a magnificent assault on the South African quicks that had the world's most feared fast bowler, Allan Donald, losing his cool totally and mouthing abuse at the Indian batsman - to which he promptly responded by clipping Donald for yet another boundary. 
 

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