‘I realised, I was never going to be like Virender Sehwag or Sachin Tendulkar’: Rahul Dravid on need of patience
- Rahul Dravid, the former India captain and the current head coach said he was never to go score freely like a Virender Sehwag or Sachin Tendulkar but he found his way to combating pressure and battling against some of the best fast bowlers of his time.
There was a time in Indian cricket when patience was synonymous with Rahul Dravid. He was the flesh and bone replica of textbook Test match batting. In arguably one of India's golden eras as far as collective batting strength is concerned, Dravid was that glue that kept the flamboyance of Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman together. In many interviews during and after his illustrious career, Dravid has time and again revealed the kind of energy he had to exert while batting those long hours in the middle. Even opposition bowlers agreed that despite not much of action at times on the scoreboard, the most intense battle they have had against all Indian batters was against Dravid.
How did he manage to channelise that energy to remain so intense and yet so calm? Dravid said it had a lot to do with the kind of person he is and also the fact that very early in his career, he realised the need of switching off at the correct time.
"If I look back at my career, that (channelising the engery) was a game-changer. I was really able to channel my mental energy. I used to spend a lot of energy even when I was not playing thinking about my game, worrying about it, and reflecting on it. In time I learned that was not necessarily helping my batting. I needed to refresh and almost find a life outside of cricket," Dravid told India's first individual Olympic gold medalist Abhinav Bindra in his podcast 'In the Zone'.
The former India captain and the current head coach said he was never to go score freely like a Virender Sehwag or Sachin Tendulkar but he found his way to combating pressure and battling against some of the best fast bowlers of his time.
"Honestly, I was never going to be like Viru (Virender Sehwag). He found it much easier to switch off because of his personality. I was never going to get to that level. But I started recognising the red flags, I realised when I was getting too intense. I knew I needed to find a way to switch it off but it was the mental side of the thing that you need to help yourself. It came down to you recognising that this was as important to you as those extra hours in the gym and practice sessions. If you did all of that but were unable to switch off mentally, you are not gonna have enough energy to play the game. Once I start recognising that three or four years in my career, I started to make an effort to switch off a lot more and it helped me a lot.
"As my career progressed, I realised, I was never gonna be someone who will be scoring quickly like a Sehwag did or maybe to an extent as Sachin did. I was always going to need patience. I loved that contest between me and the bowler, sort of tried to make it a one-on-one contest. I found that help me concentrate a bit more," Dravid, who is among only two Indians - the other one being Sachin Tendulkar - to have scored more than 10000 runs in both Test and ODI cricket said.