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Mar 09, 2012 at 10:44am IST

'Dravid is the nicest guy in cricket'

Melbourne: Stand-in Australian captain Shane Watson has paid glowing tributes to Rahul Dravid, describing the retiring Indian batting stalwart as a "phenomenal man" and the "nicest guy" he has ever met in cricket.

Dravid, the second most prolific batsman in Test history, is expected to draw curtains to his 15-year-old marathon Test career at a press conference in Bangalore later on Friday.

And Watson said Dravid, the skipper of his Indian Premier League side Rajasthan Royals, will be sorely missed by the game.

Dravid is the nicest guy in cricket: Watson

Shane Watson paid glowing tributes to Rahul Dravid, describing him as a "phenomenal man."

"I've been very lucky to have a really good association with Rahul. He's probably the nicest guy - no, he is the nicest guy - that I've met in cricket. He's a phenomenal man," the Aussie said.

"He loves the game with so much passion, it's in his blood and in his heart. He is certainly going to be sorely missed by the Indian public and the cricket loving public as well," Watson was quoted as saying by the 'Sydney Morning Herald'.

"I suppose I'm lucky that he's my captain for Rajasthan so I'll continue to talk cricket as much as I possibly can because I do love talking to him. He's got a lot of knowledge to be able to give."

Watson, who himself was sidelined due to injury during the rubber, believes Dravid still is in pretty good shape and his below-par average of just 29 in India's 0-4 rout in the Test series Down Under was a result of some brilliant bowling by the Australians.

"I was actually talking to Rahul during the IPL last year and he was contemplating whether he was actually going to come out to Australia," he said.

"But after having such an amazing England series he obviously felt it would be a great option to come out to Australia.

"I suppose in the end it showed the dominance of our bowlers because Rahul was still in pretty good touch but our bowlers just bowled so well to him," said Watson.

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