June 20:Historical Day of an Era..
Exactly 15 years ago, on June 20th 1996 - two young Indian cricketers were handed over the Indian Test cap for the very first time. Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid replaced Navjot Sidhu and Sanjay Manjrekar in the XI at Lord's against England. Indian cricket would never be the same.
Ganguly made a century on debut. His 131 was the first of 16 Test hundreds and 7212 Test runs. In the 50 over format, he made a staggering 11363 runs and formed an explosive opening partnership with Sachin Tendulkar.
Dravid fell five runs short of a ton in his debut at the home of cricket. His 95 however did stand testament to his technique and class that soon saw him transform into an all time batting legend.
The Ganguly and Dravid combination helped the Indian cricket team turn a new page and laid the foundation for their current No 1 status. As batsmen and skippers they helped India achieve Test wins in England, West Indies, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia - aside from the sub-continent. They emerged from the shadow of Tendulkar to convert the Indian team from pushovers to world beaters.
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Dravid is at present the third highest scorer in Tests with 12063 runs and 31 Test centuries under his belt, while his ODI career saw him rack up 10765 ODI runs. Some of his other records include - the most number of Test catches (200) and centuries in all Test playing nations.
15 years on, Dravid continues to represent India in the longer format of the game. The first match vs West Indies in Jamaica is his 151st appearance in Test cricket.