The independent voice of cricket


Watch: Rahul Dravid’s 22-ball 50 – the day The Wall became a battering ram

Rahul Dravid 22-ball 50
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Watch: In Hyderabad in 2003, Rahul Dravid unleashed an uncharacteristically brutal onslaught on the hapless New Zealand ODI attack.

World champions Australia had already qualified for the final of the 2003/04 TVS Cup. The last league match, between hosts India and New Zealand at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium, was a virtual semi-final.

After Sourav Ganguly opted to bat, Virender Sehwag (130 in 134 balls) and Sachin Tendulkar (102 in 91) got India off to a rollicking start, adding 182 at a shade over a run a ball. Ganguly himself made 33 in 31 balls, and when Dravid walked out to bat, India were 283-3 in 43.4 overs.


The batters had crossed over. Yuvraj Singh retained strike, but Kyle Mills snared him with the first ball of the next over. Dravid got his first four with a flick off Scott Styris. Two balls later, he lofted one over extra-cover for six.

Daryl Tuffey took out VVS Laxman, and after 47 overs, India were 309-5, but now Dravid cut loose. When Jacob Oram bowled a high full-toss, Dravid hit one that disappeared goodness-knows-where over mid-wicket. Then came an improvised paddle semi-flick for four and two fours, and in the next over, Tuffey for four.

There was a violent six over wide long-on in the last over as well, off Oram. To the last ball, overpitched well outside off, Dravid went down on his front knee and square drove in the air to pick up two. Dravid’s celebrations were uncharacteristically exuberant by his standards, and even the perennially stony-faced John Wright could not suppress a smile – and why not? This was, after all, the joint second-fastest ODI fifty by an Indian… from a man a reputation for playing long innings.

At 22 balls, this still remains the joint-fastest, after Ajit Agarkar’s 21-ball effort against Zimbabwe in 2000/01. Dravid is tied with Kapil Dev (1982/83), Sehwag (2001/02), and Yuvraj (2004/05).

India finished with 353-5 and bowled out New Zealand for 208 to qualify for the final. There, they lost to Australia.

Watch Rahul Dravid’s 22-ball fifty here:

Have Your Say

Become a Wisden member

  • Exclusive offers and competitions
  • Money-can’t-buy experiences
  • Join the Wisden community
  • Sign up for free
Latest magazine

Get the magazine

12 Issues for just £39.99