‘It’s bad we lost but you and Dhoni will play lot of cricket for India,’ How Rahul Dravid lifted Irfan Pathan’s spirits after India’s World Cup exit
Irfan Pathan, the former India left-arm quick, has narrated an incident from right after the time India were eliminated from the 2007 World Cup. India lost two of their first three league matches, with a defeat against Sri Lanka ending their dismal campaign in the West Indies. Understandably, it was a grim-looking dressing room and the effect of India’s elimination was so severe that Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag even admitted contemplating retirement.
Ever since their exit, Dravid’s captaincy hasn’t been spoken of in the best light, the fact that he led India to their first Test series win in England in 21 years and under him, the team won its first ever Test match in South Africa – in 2006. Under Dravid, at one time, India won 17 straight matches while chasing.
Keeping those accomplishments in mind, Irfan lauded Dravid and named the former batsman his favourite India captain, above MS Dhoni, Anil Kumble and even Sourav Ganguly, the man Irfan made his debut under.
“Many know that Dada was my first captain and he backed me a lot. Anil Kumble could’ve captained a lot more games for India. MS Dhoni has achieved everything. But I loved playing under Dravid, because there was proper communication under him,” Irfan told Sports Tak on Instagram Live. “Many don’t speak about Dravid’s captaincy, we created a world record while chasing targets under him.”
Irfan stated how Dravid – who captained India in 25 Tests and 79 ODIs - lifted his and MS Dhoni’s spirits following the team’s embarrassing 2007 World Cup exit. “Three days after we were out of the 2007 WC, we all were sitting in a room deeply dejected. That’s when Dravid called us and we went to watch ‘300’ movie,” he said.
“After some time, he said to me ‘Irfan, this is not end of the world, you played a lot of cricket and will play more in future as well. It was bad that we lost, you and Dhoni will go on and play a lot of cricket for India’. His words made us feel like we are not dead but still alive.”