Former England cricketer Dermot Reeve has said that during Rahul Dravid's stint with Kent in 2000, he used to doubt the calibre of the former batsman. Reeve added that he thought someone from Dravid’s family was in the selection committee and that is how 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 time to become an irreplaceable figure in Indian cricket. He had a contrasting set of fortunes in the Test and ODI format. While 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 of his career as he was the highest run-scorer in the tournament with 461 runs from eight matches at an astonishing average of 65.85 and a strike-rate of 85.52.
However, these acheivements were not convincing enough former England all-rounder Dermot Reeve, who doubted Dravid when he arrived in England in 2000 for his maiden stint with kent. Reave, then the coach of Somerset, came on as a substitute fielder and had a got at Dravid. Reave revealed that he was able to penetarte through 'The Wall of India'.
"How did this guy ever play for India? He must have had family on the selection committee. He hasn't got any shots. He just blocks it. I went on and on. And he got out. Things like that made me very disliked. But I wasn't out there to make friends. We were there to win matches," the former England all-rounder recalled.
"He was the Wall of India. He told me, 'You are the only person who has knocked that wall down. You gave me so much stick, I ended up going after one and getting caught. You're the only person who's ever got under my skin'," Reave told The Daily Mail.
Dravid wasn't the only legend who was not rated highly by Reeve. He played alongside Brian Lara for Warwickshire in the year 1994 and Reeve recalled how one season in particular with Lara was not a pleasant one.
"Despite winning three trophies, it was possibly the most unenjoyable season I ever had. The energy between myself and Lara wasn't right 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 on the field he was undermining me. Brian and I are OK now when we bump into each other. It's just funny that the most successful season was not really enjoyable."