Rahul Dravid has faced most deliveries in test cricket’s history. A staggering 29,125, before he resumes the self-flagellation in England.
It goes with the 15,124 in ODIs and 1303 in T20s. None of these, however, are likely to improve unless Ramalinga Raju does the computation for ICC. Put them together and Dravid has faced 45,552 deliveries.
For argument’s sake, let’s assume every delivery took two minutes.
After all the sightscreen has to be moved, the batsman has to make sure the rival skipper has not sneaked in an extra fielder, the non-striker has to conclude his chit-chat with the mid-on fielder wherein both inquire about the female members in each other’s family and so on.
Also, the ball has to be licked, rubbed, roughened, scratched and its seam assaulted – with nail, both human and iron, bottle-openers and even Afridi’s teeth – before the bowler starts his run up.
And if Shoaib Akhtar is the bowler, a batsman can afford a quick power nap without risking oversleeping as the Pakistani’s grunt would wake him up just in time to face the ball.
You can safely say Dravid has spent an estimated 91,104 minutes – quite a Lalit Modiesque number -- for the deliveries he faced in international cricket.
Any stout calculator will tell you that is slightly more than 1518 hours, which is nearly 64 days.
To give you an idea, it’s exactly the time a brow hair takes to grow back after it has been plucked.
Now it takes a lot of patience to do that and Dravid has been patient. In fact so patient that was promptly drawn to a doctor who became his better half. Three-quarters, if you fuss.
Returning to the point, if Dravid looks like cricket’s Methuselah, you know why.
He faced 45,552 deliveries, mind you. And that excludes his wife’s two.