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Rahul Dravid to quit ODIs after England series

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Rahul Dravid has announced his retirement from international limited-overs cricket following the England series. In his announcement, which came hours after he was handed a shock recall to the one-day side for that tour, he said he wanted to retire from the shorter forms and concentrate on Test cricket.

Dravid, 38, is the seventh highest run-getter in ODIs, with 10,765 runs in 339 matches, averaging just under 40. He hasn’t been a regular in the Indian one-day side since late 2007 – a couple of months after he reached his career-high ICC ranking of No. 5 – though he made a brief comeback during the 2009 Champions Trophy in South Africa. He admitted he hadn’t expected a recall for the upcoming England series.

“Since I had not been picked for one-day cricket for the last two years, I was obviously a little surprised,” he said after India’s tour match against Northamptonshire. “To be honest, because I had not been picked, I had not informed the selectors or the board of my desire to solely focus on Test cricket.

“At the end of this one-day series, I would like to announce my retirement from one-day and Twenty20 cricket and concentrate only on Test cricket. I am committed, as always to give my best to India in this one-day series and obviously the Test series that follows.

 

“In the short term I am committed because now I have been picked for the series, but in the long term I think it is best for me and Indian cricket that I focus on Test cricket.”

Dravid recently became the second highest run-getter in Tests, and has had a resurgence in form over the past couple of months, scoring three centuries in five Tests to end a relatively lean run in the last few years.

When he started his international career in 1996, he was seen as a batsman more suited to the longer form but he soon adapted to the challenges of one-day cricket. Among the highlights of his ODI career was the 1999 World Cup, where he was the top scorer and put on the then largest partnership in a one-dayer, 318 with Sourav Ganguly. Six months later he bettered that with a 331-run stand with Sachin Tendulkar that is still the biggest in the format.

As in his Test career, he routinely fitted into roles the team needed him to, notably in the 2003 World Cup, where in order to accommodate an extra batsman in the side, he took over the wicketkeeping duties. One of the lows of his career was the 2007 World Cup, when under his leadership, India crashed out in the first round.

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