Understanding Dravid: the cricketer and the man

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




Peter Roebuck in The Hindu [Never underestimate great sportsmen [June 25, 2011]

Rahul Dravid has struck a mighty blow for the old-timers. His hundred in the Caribbean served two purposes, putting his team in a powerful position and reminding all and sundry that batsmen are better judged from their performances than from their birth certificates.

Apparently his place had been in jeopardy. All sorts of gilded youngsters had emerged in the recent T20 campaign. One or two of them had even passed 50 a couple of times. In some eyes the veteran had become surplus to requirements. Never mind that T20 is a trifling matter besides Test cricket.

Dravid responded by constructing a resourceful and decisive hundred. With every deft shot thrust and every crafty parry he confirmed that there is life in this aged canine.

Significantly he has not put on any weight, looks as fit as the proverbial fiddle. Bulging bellies slow down the feet and brain, and suggest that motivation is lacking. Yuvraj's prospects can be gleaned from his girth.

Beba Prasad Dhar in DNA [Rahul Dravid among goliaths — December 31, 2011]

As Dravid walks the last lap of his international career, we yearn to know more about the man. Is it a myth that he’s a closed book, difficult to understand, never outspoken as Ganguly was? That he never gives himself fully?

His Karnataka colleagues disagree.

There’s a lovely story about the Karnataka-Hyderabad Ranji semifinal in 1998. Karnataka, needing only 157 to win, were down nine wickets. They had put aside their lunch unable to come to terms with an impending defeat. Any captain would’ve chastised the side, but not Dravid who spurred them on with a moving, 10-minute motivational speech.

His then-roomie confides, “Doda Ganesh (the last man in) was so taken by what he heard that he vowed to win the match on his own. And he actually managed to do that.”

Yet he has remained the most understated man in Indian cricket. He’d probably exit as one. As fans, let’s savour the best of him while it lasts.

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