When you are trying to search which Indian wicketkeeper scored the fastest half-century for India, you would perhaps expect it to be Mahendra Singh Dhoni or maybe even Rishabh Pant. A certain Dinesh Karthik may also cross your thoughts.

But when you eventually find out, you are bound to be surprised, to an extent shocked.

The record for the fastest fifty by an Indian wicket-keeper belongs to Rahul Dravid. Yes, Rahul Dravid, the great Indian batsman known for everything else apart from power-hitting at the death.

Dravid smashed a half-century off just 22 deliveries against New Zealand in a one-day international at Hyderabad during the 2003 TVS Cup.

It is also the joint second-fastest fifty by an Indian ever.

Fasest fifty by Indian batsmen in ODIs

Position Batsman Deliveries taken to reach 50 Opponent and Year
1 Ajit Agarkar 21 Zimbabwe, 2000
2 Rahul Dravid 22 New Zealand, 2003
3 Kapil Dev 22 West Indies, 1983
4 Virender Sehwag 22 Kenya, 2001
5 Yuvraj Singh 22 Bangladesh, 2004

The knock gains even more significance considering it was played before the T20 era that changed the landscape of ODI cricket. For Dravid though, it wasn’t a case of bread and butter while it was.

The Indian batsman had a career strike rate of 71.24 in ODIs but on that day it was 227.27, an impressive figure even for the T20 era.

It was normal for Dravid considering he had done exactly what the team needed at the time. Over the years, few players were more dependable than right-handed batsman from Bengaluru.

Read: How Rahul Dravid, the consummate team man, ‘kept’ his place in India’s ODI side

Walking into bat with India just having lost Virender Sehwag who had scored 130 runs to get India to 283/2 in the 44th over. India were eyeing a huge total in a game that had turned into a virtual semi-final for the hosts and New Zealand with Australia already booking a place in the final.

India’s hopes of a really big total appeared to have suffered another blow when Yuvraj Singh was dismissed in the next over. Mohammad Kaif who too wasn’t exactly known for his big-hitting walked out to bat. With two new batsmen at the crease, none of whom had the reputation of clearing the boundaries at will, the Kiwis hopes to restrict India to a chasable total on the pitch.

But Dravid had something up his sleeve that nobody expected.

The Indian vice-captain targetted Scott Styris. After flicking a full-toss to the square leg boundary for a four, Dravid ended the over by heaving the Kiwi medium-pacer for a six over cover as India went past the 300-run mark. Dravid though was just getting started.

in the 48th over of the game, he took Jacob Oram to the cleaners. Starting the over with a six over square-leg, he followed it up with a boundary through the covers. However, the sort of standing sweep shot that Dravid played off the fifth ball of that over, took the cake.

Premeditating to scoop Oram behind the wicketkeeper, the Indian batsman made an adjustment and swept him for a boundary, making the full use of his wrists. That was by no means a shot from Dravid’s book, but perhaps one he had added right on the spot. With 17 runs from that over it was the inning’s most potent over for India. Quite surprising on a day when Sachin Tendulkar and Sehwag had stitched together a 182-run opening stand.

Dravid then started the next over with a boundary as India scored 16 runs off it before he finished off in style with a huge six over mid-wicket in Oram’s final over. A couple on the last ball of the innings helped Dravid cross the 50-run mark and get himself in the record books.

Dravid sported a devilish smile as he walked off the pitch to a standing ovation. Perhaps, he had surprised himself with a knock of such destruction.


India finished at 353/5 in their 50 overs before bowling out New Zealand for just 208 to record an emphatic 145-run victory and reach the final against Australia.

The game is remembered mostly for the centuries scored by Tendulkar and Sehwag as Dravid’s uncharacteristic yet incredible knock went under the radar.

For those who ever thought, Dravid was not meant for ODI or T20 cricket, that was a reminder that nothing is quite beyond ‘The Wall’.

Also Read: Rahul Dravid asked Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly to not play 2007 World T20: Lalchand Rajput