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Rahul Dravid reveals how he withstood Steve Waugh’s sledging in 2001 Kolkata Test

Rahul Dravid, who produced a dogged 180, batted without getting dismissed for the entire duration of fourth day against Australia in 200. Dravid has now revealed as to how he withstood a nasty barrage of sledging from Steve Waugh

cricket Updated: Dec 16, 2017 19:49 IST
Rahul Dravid,Steve Waugh,Indian Cricket team
Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman shared a 374-run stand against Australia in the historic 2001 Kolkata Test.(AFP)

Nobody can forget the memorable 374-run stand between Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman against Australia in the historic 2001 Kolkata Test. Down 0-1 in the series, the pair came together when India were staring in the face of another defeat in the second Test after being asked to follow-on.

However, what happened from there on is still etched in every Indian cricket lover’s memory. Laxman, who scored 281, and Dravid, who produced a dogged 180, batted without getting dismissed for the entire duration of fourth day. On the fifth day, Harbhajan Singh made visitors dance on his turning deliveries as India scripted a memorable come-from-behind win to halt Steve Waugh-led Australia’s 16-match winning streak in Tests.

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Dravid has now revealed as to how he withstood a nasty barrage of sledging from Steve Waugh and overcame his poor form to create history.

“In the first three days of the Test match, we were sort of completely beaten. Personally as well, my form was not good. I hadn’t scored runs in Bombay. I hadn’t hit runs in the first innings. In fact, I was demoted to No. 6 in the batting order. In the second innings, when I walked in, Steve Waugh said ‘Rahul No. 6 in this innings, what is it in the next innings? No. 12?” Dravid said while addressing a gathering of sportspersons at the Go Sports Athletes’ Conclave in Bangalore on Friday.

The verbal blows from Aussie skipper, though, did little to shake the Wall’s determination and he spoke on how he decided to do simple things right and keep his mind focused in the present to turn his fortune around.

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“It was quite funny because I had reached the depths, I felt so low. I was not in a position to think about the past or about the future. I told myself: ‘I am struggling so much. So there is no point about worrying about what’s going to happen in the future. I said: ‘I am going to just focus on the simplest thing’. And in cricket, it is just about focusing on one ball at a time. I thought ‘let me see how many one balls I can play at a time.’ I was thinking ‘one more, one more’,” he said.

The former Indian captain also urged the young sportspersons to not fear failures during his speech. Learning from one’s failures is a very important aspect of character building, he said.

“I played 604 matches for India. I didn’t cross fifty 410 out of those 604 times. If you just do the math, I was more a failure than actually, I was a success.”

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Explaining as to how failures provide an individual with an opportunity to overcome his/her shortcomings, the Karnataka legend stressed on the importance to fail well, “When we fail, we often tend to brush things under the carpet. We blame someone; we always tend to find an excuse. When you do things like that, you lose an opportunity to fail well. When you fail, you have an opportunity to understand yourself,” he said.

“As sportsmen, we always knew we are bound to fail unless we are a privileged few. We all knew that we have felt the pain of that. But the great people, I have seen have always have found a way to use that positively,” the current coach of India Under-19 team concluded.

First Published: Dec 16, 2017 17:10 IST