By his own admission, Rahul Dravid was not a gifted player unlike contemporaries Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman.
However, the Karnataka batsman went on to be regarded as one of the best cricketers the world has seen. One can hardly see an all-time Test XI without his name in it.
Some even rate him above Tendulkar, who rewrote history books during his illustrious international career, considering the impact he had on the team and the game.
Even before the internet and social media came into prominence, Dravid was known for his multi-tasking abilities.
If the team needed a makeshift opener, he was there; if the team was looking for balance and could not afford a specialist wicket-keeper, he gladly sported a pair of gloves and kept wickets.
Not to forget, the man from Bengaluru was one of the finest slip fielders to have emerged from the country.
Dravid had to face a lot of ups and downs throughout his 16-year-long cricket career. However, he always kept finding ways to overcome his weaknesses with his never-say-die attitude.
While he relentlessly kept churning out crucial knocks on the field, the way he carried himself on and off the field earned him more respect. Known for his no-nonsense attitude, Dravid hardly lost his cool or engaged in on-field banters.
As Dravid turned 45 on Thursday, January 11, members of the batting great-coached U-19 team celebrated the occasion by smearing cake on his face. The India colts, who are currently in New Zealand for the U-19 World Cup, seem to have followed a trend set by the Virat Kohli-led senior team.
Wishes from across the cricket fraternity also poured in for Dravid. Members of the Indian cricket team and former players wished him luck for his assignment with the U-19 team.
Watch the video here and Tweets compiled by IBTimes, India:
There might be many strong walls around us but the greatest yet is the one and only, #RahulDravid. Happy birthday, Jammy! My best wishes for the U-19 World Cup. #HappyBirthdayDravid pic.twitter.com/RICNJXzIWM— sachin tendulkar (@sachin_rt) January 11, 2018
Happy birthday, Rahul Bhai. A thorough gentleman who taught us the meaning of commitment and sacrifices. Getting my ODI and Test caps from you will always hold a special place in my heart.— Suresh Raina (@ImRaina) January 11, 2018
Hope the boys make you proud in the upcoming U-19 World Cup. #HappyBirthdayDravid pic.twitter.com/f9JqYvhn82
Birthday wishes Rahul Bhai hope you have a terrific year & best wishes for the under -19 World Cup, boys couldn’t ask for a better man at the helm #HappyBirthdayDravid— Rohit Sharma (@ImRo45) January 11, 2018
Many happy returns of the day Rahul. Good luck with the U 19 World Cup pic.twitter.com/yToojJFWNN— Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) January 11, 2018
Friendship isn’t about being inseparable but knowing and realising that inspite of not meeting regularly nothing will change. Wishing the very best to a dear friend, Rahul with whom I have shared some great memories #HappyBirthdayDravid pic.twitter.com/9BcLlN7wFF— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) January 11, 2018
Wishing a very happy birthday to the Great Wall of India.. #RahulDravid what a player..a song from Bollywood I wanna dedicate to u is NA KOI HAI NA KOI THA.....CRICKET MAI TUMHARE JAISA.. Class apart? outstanding batting skills and slip catcher?????? pic.twitter.com/QW2qCfl8hR— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) January 11, 2018
First as a player, then as a coach and mentor.— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) January 11, 2018
Your contribution to the game is simply unmatched.
You truly are a gentleman amongst gentlemen.
A true Royal legend!
? Happy Birthday Rahul Dravid ?#HappyBirthdayDravid #DravidTurns45 #HallaBol #Cricket pic.twitter.com/sV666qjiCG
Wishing one of our nation's greatest sporting icons @Im_Dravid a very happy birthday !! Good luck to you & the rest of the U-19 ?? cricket team in the upcoming World Cup ??— Devendra Jhajharia (@DevJhajharia) January 11, 2018
In today's age where people refuse to respect discipline, Rahul Dravid is an inspiration to many. He showed how aggression is intent with the bat, not mouth.— Srijan : Kalam way (@srijanpalsingh) January 11, 2018
He has been honored with both the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan award.#HappyBirthdayDravid pic.twitter.com/Eb4coxCxlH
13,288 Test runs— ICC (@ICC) January 11, 2018
10,889 ODI runs
48 international centuries
1 legendary career
Happy Birthday Rahul Dravid! pic.twitter.com/R1kdkFQH5w
If humbleness & simplicity were measured in bricks, Rahul Dravid would have made his own 'Great Wall' of China by now. Wishing him a very Happy Birthday and good luck for the #U19CWC ? pic.twitter.com/e7eSp5SiAU— Hemang Badani (@hemangkbadani) January 11, 2018