The Rajasthan captain has proved his worth tenfold in the sixth edition of the tournament.
Rahul Dravid is staking is claim as the most undervalued player in the 2013 IPL as his performances for Rajasthan Royals have propelled the franchise up the table.
Without the spending power of richer teams such as Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore, Dravid has led Rajasthan to the top of the table with shrewd tactics and sound batting.
There is no doubting the former Indian skipper’s credentials as a cricketer, playing 164 Tests for his country with a batting average of 52.31 and earning the nickname ‘the Wall’ due to the difficulty in getting him out.
Yet at 40-years-old and in a completely different format of the game in Twenty20, many wondered if Dravid would be able to adapt.
However, those doubters must surely now have changed their minds as on a modest budget and a starting XI based around unknown youngsters, one of the most respected figures in the game has led the side to second in the IPL table with just three games left until the play-offs.
With 18 points the Royals look almost certain to make it to the last four, a position not many would have predicted before the start of the tournament.
Dravid’s decision to promote 24-year-old Ajinkya Rahane to the top of the order has paid dividends as the batsman has scored 424 runs at an average of 47.11.
Likewise, 17-year-old Sanju Samson has been a revelation during his six matches for the side as a wicket-keeper batsman.
As for the man himself, Dravid has rolled back the years with some solid performances with the bat and has scored 365 runs – with only Rahane and Shane Watson ahead of the captain in the Orange Cap standings for Rajasthan.