5 Lessons to learn from Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid is one of those Indian cricketers whose legacy goes beyond the number of runs he scored with the Britannia bat. The gentleman, or rather the ambassador of the gentleman’s game, Dravid is adored by thousands for his humility and integrity, two traits that are becoming increasingly uncommon among the current crop of cricketers. On the Wall’s 47th birthday today here’s listing five life lessons we can all learn from him.
Never Give Up
Rahul Dravid was the kind of cricketer who never gave up irrespective of the situation. Let’s go back to 2001 when India were playing the second game of the three-match Test series against Australia at the Eden Gardens.
VVS Laxman and Dravid paved the way for arguably India's greatest ever victory in Test cricket. The duo hauled India out of the pits with a 376-run partnership. At the start of Day 4, India were 254 for 4. While Laxman was unbeaten on 109, Dravid was batting on the overnight score of 7.
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Australia were the clear cut favourites in the game but Dravid and Laxman had some other plans. The two added 335 runs through the day and ended their innings on an unbeaten 275 and 155 respectively. On Day 5, Dravid went on to score 180 and Harbhajan Singh picked up a six-wicket haul as India won the game by 171 runs.
This is not the only instance from Dravid’s career when he rescued India with the ‘never-give-up’ attitude. There have been various such innings that prove that in the face of adversity, standing tall is the best choice.
It is an obvious fact that to be a great Test batsman, you need to master the art of being patient. And who better than Rahul Dravid to master that? Over the course of his 16-year career, he was often the glue that held the batting together. He’d patiently wait for the poor deliveries instead of going for the big shots.
Talk about humility and the first cricketer, from across the world, to come to mind is Dravid. Be it speaking to reporters with the utmost respect, or taking an auto-rickshaw in Bangalore to get home, or patiently waiting in the queue with commoners to enter a kid’s science exhibition, Dravid has been as humble as ever. His wife Vijeyta had once famously said:
"If I packed only two sets of informal clothes, he would rotate them through an entire tour if he had to and not think about it. He doesn’t care for gadgets, and barely registers brands -- of watches, cologne or cars. But if the weight of his bat was off by a gram, he would notice it in an instant and get the problem fixed."
A few years ago he was also offered an honorary doctorate degree but declined it saying he had done nothing to earn it. Dravid liked to obtain one through research
Always Stay Calm
Dravid rarely ever lost his cool on the field.
"I have also not seen him lose his temper. He has that uncanny skill of keeping his frustrations to himself. He hates to get out though and you can see the restlessness in him till he gets his act together in the next outing. He is the most hard-working guy in the side," Javagal Srinath had once said.
Not even an unfair decision by the umpire could lead to emotions of anger on Dravid’s face.
Be graceful in whatever you do
In the case of Dravid, he was graceful at both the start and end of his career, which is not the case with all cricketers, some of whom extend their careers to eye personal milestones. Dravid called it a day when he realised that he wasn’t performing as he did at his peak and that the team would do just fine without his services.
On India’s 2011 tour to England, he scored 3 centuries. But when he could not perform on the tour of Australia the next year, he decided to gracefully walk away.