Rahul Dravid seems to have become an eternal optimist. Hi is absolutely happy with how his career has panned out, and feels all is well with the cricketing world. The former India skipper shared his thoughts with Hindustan Times over a range of issues.
What are you looking forward to now? Any specific goals you have set for yourself before calling it a day?
I have never set any goals, at least not in terms of numbers of runs or matches. I just go out to enjoy the game and play to the best of my abilities and that’s what I intend doing till the last day of my career.
You smile with satisfaction when you look back at your career or do you wish certain things could have panned out slightly differently?
I am pretty happy with how my career has unfolded. There are obviously going to be some high and lows when you have been around for so long at the First Class and international level. But all that has been a part of the learning curve and I have enjoyed the journey.
There’s lot of talk doing the round about the future of Test cricket. Where do you Test cricket heading from here?
I am very positive about the future of Test cricket. A lot of youngsters I know want to play Test cricket. Obviously, there are some challenges, like that of scheduling. If we can find time to play enough Tests, the format will hold its own.
The concern becomes more pronounced for the Tests being played in the Indian sub-continent? What needs to be done to make it as exciting and competitive as in counties like Australia, South Africa and England?
I think Tests are as exciting and competitive in India, but in a different way. Here the conditions are different and hence challenges too are diverse. One needs to adapt to different conditions, and that’s the beauty of this format.
But far more Tests end in drab draws or one-sided contests in India than in countries like Australia, England and South Africa?
The one-sided contests are perhaps also a reflection of how well we play at home. We dominate the proceedings through and through, and don’t give opposition a chance to stage a come back. Having said that, I am all for playing on wickets that allows an even contest between bat and ball. That will make Tests a great challenge for players and a fine spectacle for the spectators.
Pakistan skipper Mohammad Yousuf blamed T20 for their surprise defeat in Sydney. Where do you stand in this T20 versus Test debate?
I can’t speak for Pakistan or Yousuf, but what I can say with certainty is that young Indian cricketers want to play Tests. Moreover, I believe that it’s possible to acquire the required skills to excel in all three formats without compromise on the other. So, I don’t see any conflict between T20 and Test cricket.
What significance does being the top Test ranking hold for you?
It’s a great achievement, the culmination of the effort we have put in over the years. We don’t go into the match thinking about our rankings. The idea is to play good cricket, and the rankings will take care of itself.
A youngster benefits a lot if he walks into a side that’s doing well. The success rubs off on him as well, giving huge boost to his confidence.