Understanding Dravid: the cricketer and the man

A collection of interesting snippets about the cricketing great — and the feelings he evokes in cricket writers.



Rohit Brijnath on BBC [A cricketer and a role model — September 20, 2004]

Sure there's wicket-keeping to talk about and his form to discuss, but what I really want to know from the ICC's Cricketer of the Year is whether his cupboard at home is sloppy. He laughs. "Umm, yeah, a little," he says embarrassedly.

It's nice to know that something in the life of Rahul Dravid is not ordered. In matters of cricket, most everything else is. His shirt is usually tucked in, hair parted, life neatly organised. Even his quotes are mostly precise, as if he's subconsciously measuring syllables. He's a man of purpose, of immaculate timing, meticulous and disciplined. It sounds a lot like his batting.

In a sporting world of much superficiality Dravid stands as something real; in a time of obscene monies and flashy modernity there is something elegantly old-fashioned to him.

He has been hero for some, yet is uncomfortable with the word; he can hit a cricket ball with aching sweetness yet does not overestimate his place in the world. Once I asked about his involvement in campaigns to fight AIDS and polio, and he replied: "That's no big deal...We're not doing the work. The people who do, don't get the credit".

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan [Dravid and the mastery of the struggle — June 23, 2011]

When I see Dravid bat, I think of our daily lives, the frustrations we endure. I think of how we struggle through the mundane: paying bills, shopping for groceries, standing in long queues, cleaning utensils, vacuuming. I think of how we go through days at work, bogged down by clerical chores, stuck in pointless meetings, often accomplishing tasks that we least enjoy. I think of our silly struggles and how we’re often overpowered by them.

And then I think of Dravid. Of course I admire him for his technical expertise, his equanimity, his ability to rescue a side. Of course I marvel at the way he bats and bats and bats. Of course I enjoy how he battles a crisis.

But most of all, I’m constantly in awe of his mastery of something we all try and run away from: the struggle.

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