Breaking his silence over his surprise resignation as India's cricket captain, Rahul Dravid said on Monday that he was not enjoying the job after two years because "there is a shelf life to captaincy in India".
The 34-year-old batsman, who has not said a word in public since his resignation was announced by the BCCI on Friday, said that captaincy "takes a lot out of you".
The thought of stepping down had crossed his mind after India's early exit from the World Cup in the West Indies for which he felt responsible, Dravid added, "But I still felt that I had the strength and energy to do it then" in the hope that things could be turned around."
However, towards the end of the ODI series against England which ended this month, he had begun considering resigning.
"But I did not want to take any decision there without first speaking to my family and wanted to give it a few days back home to see if I felt differently before taking a final call", he said.
The decision, he said was "personal and based on my observation of whether I would be able to give it my very best like I have always tried to."
The former Indian skipper was of the view that "there is a shelf life to captaincy in India in which you can give it your best". "May be the shelf life are becoming shorter as time goes by", he commented.
Dravid, who characteristically chose his words with great caution, refused to comment on the issue of his successor when asked if Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, whose names were being mentioned, would be able to handle the job.
"I obviously will not like to comment on it and it is a decision best left to the selectors", he said a day ahead of the meeting of the selection committee in Mumbai to choose his successor.
Following are the excerpts from the interview:
Is it true that the feeling of quitting from the captain's job started with the World Cup debacle?
No. But definitely after the World Cup I felt responsible for our early exit and I had also said so then and the thought did cross my mind. But I still felt that I had the strength and energy to do it then and though the World Cup was disappointing we were not that bad a team and things could be turned around.
The suddenness of your resignation has surprised everyone. When did you first think in terms of resigning?
Towards the end of the England ODI series I began to consider it. But I didn't want to take any decision there without first speaking to my family and wanted to give it a few days back home to see if I felt differently before taking a final call. This was the reason I couldn't tell even the players because it was a decision I did not want to take lightly or without being sure.