Rahul Dravid is many things to Indian cricket and its fans – Jammy, 'The Wall', the dependable No 3 batsman, the hero of the 1999 World Cup, the captain who won a Test series in England, the mentor and coach of the junior teams, and above all, a role model for everyone who has watched his conduct on and off the field.
Ever since his debut in 1996 – where he scored a memorable 95 at Lord's – he has gone on to make and break several records in international cricket. He is the fourth-highest run scorer in Test cricket, with over 10,000 runs both in Tests and in ODIs, and holds the distinction of having scored a Test century in all ten Test-playing nations. Apart from the statistics, Dravid was instrumental in several of India's biggest victories – be it Kolkata in 2001 or England in 2002, Australia in 2003 or Pakistan in 2004. Even after his retirement, Dravid has continued giving it back to the game and is currently the coach of the India A and Under-19 sides, both of which have given India some stellar players such as Jayant Yadav or Karun Nair.
As the Indian cricket great celebrates his 44th birthday, social media was flooded with wishes and messages for Dravid. The cricket community on Twitter posted photos and tributes to the player fondly known as 'The Wall', with ICC even calling him one of cricket's greatest batsmen.
He was one of cricket's greatest batsmen, with 24,208 international runs, the 6th highest of all time. Happy 44th Birthday to Rahul Dravid! pic.twitter.com/Ea3yvN1Qav
— ICC (@ICC) January 11, 2017
The man who dedicated his life to Indian cricket first as a player and now as a shepherd to the Indian youngsters!
— Delhi Daredevils (@DelhiDaredevils) January 11, 2017
Here's wishing #RahulDravid a very Happy Birthday! Share with us you favorite memory of 'The Wall' #HappyBirthdayDravid pic.twitter.com/q6uRfuaVVf — Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) January 11, 2017
India's captain Virat Kohli was all praise for Dravid, the mentor
Happy Birthday Rahul Bhai. Thank you for your encouragement & for being a great role model for all the budding cricketers out there 😇
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) January 11, 2017
Several other Indian cricketers also took to Twitter to wish the former captain
Happy Birthday #RahulDravid . One of the most selfless, likeable human being ever and the biggest reason to love the name "Rahul" pic.twitter.com/QrS6D8JVxk — Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) January 11, 2017
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) January 11, 2017
A very happy birthday to a special teammate and a legend of the game! Happy Birthday #RahulDravid , wish you all the best in the year ahead. pic.twitter.com/FLHgLthbCV — Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) January 11, 2017
Of course, there is the mandatory Virender Sehwag birthday wish
He played in the V. But was the biggest C. Commitment, Class,Consistency,Care. Proud to have played together. Happy Birthday #RahulDravid . pic.twitter.com/eflnb49V6v — Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) January 11, 2017
Sports Minister Vijay Goel had a fairly unique way of conveying his wishes – by posting a video of Dravid, the bowler
— Vijay Goel (@VijayGoelBJP) January 11, 2017
And then there were the Twitter stars who were at their tongue-in-cheek best, with the usual jokes about the 'Rahul' and 'The Wall'
Happy birthday to a wall that paid for itself and actually brought people joy! Happy birthday Rahul Dravid! — Rohan (@mojorojo) January 11, 2017
Happy Birthday Rahul Dravid. You are one of the reasons why people are still naming their kids Rahul. 😂 — Keh Ke Peheno (@coolfunnytshirt) January 11, 2017
The year starts. Rahul Dravid comes in pretty early. And then, things are good.
Like in most test matches.
Happy Birthday #RahulDravid
— Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats) January 11, 2017
Updated Date: Jan 11, 2017 12:55 PM