March 29, 2012

'When you've played at the top, it's hard to settle for second-best'

Rahul Dravid looks ahead to life after retirement, back at his career and captaincy, and at the changing status of Test cricket
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It has been a fortnight since Rahul Dravid retired and already the world has turned upside down. First, he couldn't grab a helicopter to beat the Bangalore morning traffic to get to the interview on time. Then he couldn't take his eyes off a large glass jar of what looked like multi-coloured sweets (jelly beans? M&Ms?), grabbing a few on his way out of the coffee shop at the Leela Palace. (Ya-boo to you, skinfold tests.) And finally, this otherwise studious, decorous and meticulous man is completely relaxed about the fact that the last leg of his playing career will pan out in front of an adoring, singing, dancing IPL audience, for whom "dot ball" might as well belong to children's activity books and "well left" is a Google Maps instruction.

Just before setting out for his stint with the Rajasthan Royals, Dravid gave his first interview after retiring from international cricket, where he looked back on his career, the way ahead for the Indian team, and taking the hard road to retirement.

How does a player pick the right time to retire? How did you? What's the different between a slump and a sign that your time is up? What separates doubt from foresight?
It's actually very hard to tell if there is such a thing as a right time. All your career, you're taught to never never give up. You're fighting, you keep improving, you always think you can sort out problems. I never thought about going out on a high or going out on a slump. A lot of people told me: "You will just know, Rahul, when the time is right." Obviously there are other things that come into consideration. Where you are in your life, where the team is at that point of time, what the future challenges are, how you fit into that. Even if someone doesn't tell you, you've been around long enough to know where you stand. There are the immediate challenges of tours like Australia and England, which you think are tough, and you want to try go there and make a difference.

In the end it just comes down to knowing and being comfortable with it. And I just think, while I had been thinking about it, I was most comfortable doing it at this stage. If things had not gone well in England, maybe I would have been comfortable doing it then. Obviously after England, I felt I was in good form and that I needed to go to Australia, and I felt that it was going to be a tough tour and that it wouldn't be right to walk away after doing well in England… it may sound silly, but just wanting to finish on a high - that hadn't occurred to me, in the sense that I wanted to go when I was comfortable.

There was a period in 2008, the end of 2008, when I was really struggling and not getting runs, and there was a lot of talk of me being dropped. If I had been dropped at that stage, I would've still continued to play first-class cricket. Not in the intention of trying to make a comeback - I know that if I had got dropped at 36 or 37, the likelihood of me making a comeback would have been very slim. I wouldn't have played for wanting to make comeback, but because I still wanted to just play the game. It was a game I loved and I still loved enjoying playing it. I probably would have continued playing Ranji Trophy at that stage. And how long that would have lasted, who knows.

But to end a career with the IPL?
In some ways it's like a weaning-off period. Playing cricket has been such a big part of my life, so to just walk away might have been hard. Some of the senior guys who've retired and played the IPL say the IPL's a good way, in some ways, to slowly wean yourself off the drug that is cricket.

What do you assess when making a decision to retire?
It's a combination of things. The important thing to remember is how much are you contributing. That's a major factor. As you get older these things do come in, and that's why I said that England for me… it was important for me to keep contributing.

After actually retiring, did you ever think: what if this is a mistake?
I think the best question someone asked me about this retirement thing is Eric Simons. I called him up and said, "Eric, I'm retiring." And Eric said, "When you made that decision, Rahul, did you feel relief or did you feel disappointment?" And I had never thought about it that way. It was a feeling of relief and I did feel it. I've not regretted it.

I've lived this life for 20 years. I haven't regretted it and I hope it won't regret it, and I still can have a Twenty20 bash. I guess it's only in June, when I'll sit down and the Indian team will play another Test match again - I don't know, I might miss it. We miss a lot of things. We miss college, everyone wants to go back to Uni and live that life again, but you know that's not possible. Hopefully you move on. You will know that there are other things to do and other challenges.

What about international cricket won't you miss it, apart from the travel and being away from family?
In a cricket career your life is in some ways controlled for you. You have no control over schedules, you have no control about where you want to play, you don't have control over that as a cricketer. I think while I'll miss the routine and knowing what to strive for, I think I'll enjoy the flexibility of being able to make some choices about things I want to do. I'll enjoy the luxury of now having that choice.

What is it about life after cricket that you think a player fears the most?
Each one has his own fears, when it's something you've done all your life. And when it's the only thing that you've known, it's almost like starting out fresh again. It's almost like going back to college, like going back to what you felt like when making a decision about whether you want to do commerce or engineering. The only problem is, you are doing it at 40 rather than at 17 or 18 and with skills you've worked on for 20 years at the exclusion of other skills. You have to start all over again. That, I think, in a lot of ways can be daunting to people, and it's not easy, especially, if I may say so, because you are used to competing and playing at an extremely high level. You pride yourself on a certain level of competence and a certain level of ability.

Very rarely people can, I think, step out of something they've done for 23 years and attain the same standards in whatever they do. When you are used to playing at that top level, it's hard to accept that sometimes you have to settle for being second-best. I guess that's the way it's going to be. You can't expect a guy at 40-41 to become "world class" at something else.

"Mentally sometimes you are fresher when you are younger. You've not been worn down so much. So your response to defeat, failure, success, pressure is better. As you get older, the freshness gets lost, the sense of excitement"

What do retired players tell you about coping?
I have spoken to people who retire, and specially coaches. Whether it's been conversations with Kapil Dev or through the years with John [Wright], Greg [Chappell], Gary [Kirsten], and even Duncan [Fletcher] now. All of them have gone through that and they say it takes a bit of time to get used to. You get used to it and then there are new things to challenge you and you must move on. Each one is different, I guess.

Before you actually retired, was there a time in your career that you were so totally fed up that you actually wanted to throw it all away?
Obviously the period just after the World Cup when we lost, in 2007, was difficult. It was the first phase in my career other than the first couple of years when I was establishing myself, that I got dropped from the one-day side. Other than that I had a pretty smooth run for a long time. That was tough in terms of some of my performances, that whole period, 2007-08, getting knocked out of the World Cup and not performing so well after I gave up the captaincy for a while. I think that was a really hard period, when I questioned myself a lot and wondered whether it had all just disappeared and gone away.

I thought I'd really had a good run and I could have walked away in 2008 and felt pretty comfortable with what I had done and achieved, and I wouldn't have regretted it at all. Because I've always tried to do my best - you've always got to try to be the best you can be and hope that the results fall your way. If it hadn't worked out, it hadn't worked out. But I was lucky to get a chance to play a couple of years of cricket.

How much was working on your fitness a part of pushing yourself through the last four or five years from then on?
I spent two-three years working with Paul Chapman, who was the strength and conditioning coach at the NCA and the NCA's physios and trainers, on raising the bar of my fitness. I was lucky that we had all those people there here. I saw in those physios and trainers and in Paul, a resource, really good professional people who could help me. And I sort of decided to utilise that completely. I did make a conscious effort to try and raise the bar of my fitness, because if I wanted to keep playing at this age, I didn't want any of the younger guys or people in the field to feel that I wasn't fit enough to be there.

Sometimes performances you can or can't control, but fitness I think to a large extent you can control. I'm not saying you can control everything in fitness - there are a lot of guys who have injuries, who, whatever they do and whatever they try, sadly they can't do much about. But in most things, fitness and diet and stuff like that, you have responsibility over it.

Performance… sometimes you practise and work hard and still things don't pan out. But fitness is a lot simpler. I said, "Look, I'll make an effort to be as fit as I've been. While I did try, it was hard to say I've been at my fittest. In some areas I was fitter than I was at 24-25 and in some areas I was not. But I'd like to believe that till I finished my career, I set a pretty high standard of fitness for myself and I didn't let anybody down in terms of the effort I put in in terms of my physical fitness.

Did it have a direct impact on your game in the last few years, you think?
It's hard to co-relate the two. You do perform better when you're fit, you do feel better about yourself, but it's hard to say. Even when I was doing badly in 2007-08, I was pretty fit. Was I really fitter in England last year than I was in 2007 when I was doing badly? Really, no. Probably I was fitter back then when I was in England, so no. Sometimes fitness is a good thing to have but you have to recognise that fitness takes you only so far, and skills are the most important thing.

Fitness just helps you execute those cricketing skills for longer and more consistently maybe. If someone thinks, "I'll spend the off season working on my fitness and I'll come back a better cricketer," I don't think that's enough. You need to spend a lot of time working on your skills and honing your skills.

When cricketers go into their late 30s do they sense what the outside world observes as a fading of their skills? Slowing down of reflexes, eyesight etc?
I didn't sense it like that personally… but maybe we are trained not to sense it, who knows? Maybe sometimes these things are better judged from outside. As a player you will never admit to weakness, to a slowing down of skills. You're not trained to admit these things. You have bad patches when you are 24-25, and it's only when you have bad patches after 35-36 that people say your skills are down, the eyesight is gone. Maybe it has not, maybe it has nothing to do with age and you're just going through bad form and you happen to be 35. After 35, I felt as fit in terms of physical fitness - if you judge fitness in terms of sprinting a distance, running a distance, whatever yo-yo tests we have and weights you lift - as I was when I was playing my best cricket, at 28-29. I was probably doing more in terms of some things now than I was when I was young.

How do you judge eyesight? If you go to a doctor and ask him, he will you've still got 20-20 vision. Maybe [time] just wears you down - the travelling, the pressure, the dealing with expectations, those things slowly start chipping away, chipping away. It's hard to put a date to it and say, "Now it's started decreasing and now it has decreased."

The best explanation I've heard for this is that mentally sometimes you are fresher when you are younger. You've not been worn down so much. So your response to defeat, failure, success, pressure is better. As you get older, the freshness gets lost, the sense of excitement. Like what you experience the first time you walk into Lord's. After you've been there three or four times, maybe that sense of wonder goes. That's the best explanation of why after a period of dealing with some of the same things, they become more difficult, rather than a fading of skill.

In that way Australia must have been the tour from hell? You went there with the best intentions, the best preparation, and it all went badly. What went wrong?
I think Australia was disappointing. In England I felt we had quite a few injuries and I just felt we weren't necessarily as well prepared as we were in Australia. Australia, I thought we went there with the best of intentions, the guys cared. They played better, they pitched the ball up, we had some opportunities in the first Test, we didn't grab them. We had them at some 210 for 6 and then they got 320 and we were about 220 for 2, and Sachin got out that evening and I got out next morning. Having said that, you have got to give them credit. They bowled well, pitched the ball up, they swung the ball.

From a personal point of view? All the bowleds?
It was disappointing. You set high standards for yourself. I felt that getting out is getting out and obviously constantly getting out…

So it really doesn't matter whether you were out caught, lbw, stumped, bowled, whatever?
I don't like getting out, period. How it happens is almost irrelevant. But yeah, obviously it happened a few times more than I would have liked, no doubt about it. The beauty of it is that now I don't have to worry about it.

But those are challenges you face all your life. I think that is what differentiates people who play for long periods of time from others, because they keep getting asked questions. Top bowlers and top bowling attacks keep asking you different questions. For some, it is getting out in a particular way, for some it is the ability to play spin, for some to play pace. For some it is a different bowler, a unique angle, on a different wicket. These questions keep getting asked and you have to constantly keep coming up with answers. Most of the guys that I know who have played over a period of time have constantly been able to find answers to the questions that keep getting asked. You become a problem solver, a solution finder. I'd like to believe that if I had continued, I would hopefully have worked on this area [getting bowled] and got better at it.

Much is said about body language and neither you or the Indian team was big on body language. In your experience, how much did that count in a competitor?
I feel now that now good body language is sometimes equated to being abusive or aggressive, and I think that that's not true. Each of us is different, and I think there's people who show more of their body language in a particular manner and that's what works for them, and fair enough, I'm not saying that that's wrong.

Body language can mean different things. Just because someone is not over-the-top competitive doesn't mean he's not a good competitor. Or it doesn't mean he's not in for a fight. There are external people and internal people. It doesn't mean that people who are more internal are less aggressive. They can be as aggressive.

Sometimes the toughest bowlers, I found, were always the guys who gave away nothing in terms of the way they thought - what got them angry, what got them frustrated. They were very, very hard guys, because you knew they were just focused on bowling and doing the best they could. Someone like McGrath, someone like Ambrose. When I played Ambrose, it was a great education for me. He never said a thing. I've never heard him speak; I don't know what he sounded like and I was on tour for four months. He gave you nothing. He pitched every ball on the spot, he was proud of his skill and his craft; he wanted to take wickets and he ran in with intensity.

You knew that intensity, you could sense that intensity with them. They did it throughout the day without showing you much. There were a lot of guys who would shout, stare at you, swear. But you knew they did not have the stamina or the fitness to survive till the end of the day. You could tell that they were emotionally violent but that they would fade.

Then there were people like Warne or Murali. Warne was dramatic but he was also incredibly aggressive. You knew that when he got the ball in the hand, he was going to come at you. I judge aggression on the way people perform.

The bowlers I respected or feared or rated were not the ones who gave me lip or stared at me or abused me. More the ones who, at any stage of the game, when had they had the ball in hand, they were going to be at me and they were going to have the skill and the fitness and the ability to be aggressive.

"There were times then I could have done things differently with the captaincy. Being probably a little less intense. Maybe I was so keen to do a good job that I got too caught up in it"

And that was easily picked up.
You could tell that very quickly. You can see the spell of a guy who's just raved and ranted, and after tea you can see he's just not the same bowler. He's not doing the discipline thing. The team might require him to be bowling one line and blocking up the game because there's a big partnership developing. And they are more interested in trying to be aggressive, to do their thing and trying to be the hero. It becomes about them, not about what the team is trying to do.

Coming from a country like India, with a technique attuned to playing spin, what was it like tackling Murali and Warne. What were the methods you used to face them?
No matter how much practice you have, these guys were great bowlers. They had variation, consistency, control. There were some great spinners during that time - Murali, Warne, and I was lucky to play with Anil and Harbhajan, two guys who bowled well for us. You had Saqlain, who bowled well against us in a couple of series. Daniel Vettori was extremely consistent; bowled good tight lines. So these guys were good. I like to believe we played some of the world's greatest spinners better than some of the other teams did.

One of the things is that because we had so much practice, maybe we read some of these guys better. One of the things we did better was that whenever a bad ball was bowled, we were able to punish it, and we had the guys who had that skill. There was a certain amount of pressure on the spinners bowling at us, that they had to be at their A game all the time. And when they were at their A game, they knocked us over a few times, no doubt about it. But you had to be at your A game to do well against us, and you can't be at your A game all the time.

What do you make of the general notion that struggling against fast bowling is worse than struggling against spin?
I think that sort of thing is a throwback to the days when there was no helmet, so there was a fear of injury when facing fast bowling. People were scared, and everyone would have been scared, but I guess those who showed it were considered weaker and that was not considered good to be. Also, I think subcontinent tours in the old days were not considered the No. 1 tours - people didn't necessarily value their tours to the subcontinent as much as they valued tours to England, Australia or South Africa. That has changed now and it's pretty obvious that, with the kind of audience and support that cricket generates in this part of the world, a tour to this part of the world is extremely important now.

Honestly, if you want to be a good batsman you have to prove yourself in all conditions. To say that it is okay to do badly in the subcontinent, to do badly against spin, is not acceptable anymore. It's slowly changing. When I look at the media in England, Australia, South Africa, in the past sometimes they would almost have a casual attitude to performances on subcontinent tours. They are also putting a lot more focus and emphasis on it now. When some of their players don't do well on the subcontinental tours, they get criticised and it gets pointed out and questioned, which is a good thing.

Your captaincy had some good results and at the same time many dramas. What, firstly, did you like about job?
I enjoyed the decision-making process in the middle. The actual captaincy side of things was good. I enjoyed being part of the process of trying to build a team, trying to be creative, to see how we could get the best out of players, see how we could win and compete with the resources we have. Those are sides of captaincy you enjoy.

There were some good results. In the end you have to accept that you are judged a lot by the World Cup in India, whether you like it not. Obviously that World Cup didn't go well and didn't pan out the way I had hoped it would. So I guess it clouds a lot of what happened. But I think there were some good results and there were some tough times, like with a lot of captains, but the overriding impression that tends to stay is that World Cup. I'm not here to justify anything. I recognise that I always knew that was going to happen. That's the way it is.

Was captaincy something you were actually looking forward to doing?
I was vice-captain for a long time and I was part of the process, so yes, I knew that if there was an injury or something that happened, I would be the next guy in charge. You're part of the management and decision-making process, you're contributing, you're ticking all the time, so you know you have to be ready. I also knew that me and Sourav were also of the same age and it might not happen. When it did happen, I was extremely keen and excited about trying to do a good job of it.

Did the Chappell drama weigh you down as a captain? When you look at it now, should you have done something differently? Maybe behaved out of personality and been confrontational with him? Or did you believe you and Chappell were on the same page but the environment soured very quickly?
I think when you look back at any stage of your career, there are things you could have done differently, and that captaincy period is no different. In terms of intention, of what we were trying to achieve, I have no doubt in my mind that you know it was on the right path. Sure, we made mistakes, sure, there were things that we did right, and maybe some of the results didn't show up right away, they did show up later on, but that's just the way it is.

I'll be the first one to admit - and my whole career is based on looking to improve and try to do better - that there were times then I could have done things differently, in the way that I approached it and handled it. Being probably a little less intense. Maybe it came to me that I was so keen to do a good job that I got too caught up in it. I got too tense, too anxious or too keen about it in some ways.

Do you think that captains can actually lose teams and that at one point you lost the team?
Maybe it is. I don't know if you lose the team. You can lose players in your team and you have to try and fight and get them back sometimes. Or sometimes it's phases that players are themselves going through in their own careers that pushes them away from the team. In some ways so you can lose players. I don't think you can lose a team. Then there are times when you are making tough decisions about doing certain things that not everybody in the team likes. Then you need results to go your way. At a time like that, if results don't go your way then sometimes it becomes easy for people in and around the system to sometimes, I guess, pull in different directions. Eventually it does become about results. It's not all about results but results are incredibly important. And I think, specially as we've seen in India, results in big tournaments.

Why did you stand down from the captaincy after the England tour in 2007 that had gone well?
Maybe I just lost the enjoyment of the job. I got a certain joy out of captaincy, and maybe there was a period on that Engand trip where I just lost the joy of the job. I'd been playing and captaining non-stop for three years and I also had a young family. I lost a certain enjoyment, and I generally felt that the captain of India should be someone who is extremely eager and excited and wakes up every morning wanting to captain the team. Maybe in that time there were days that I didn't feel like that.

When you retired, you called your team-mates and spoke to them before making the announcement. When you quit the captaincy, you just vanished. What was that about?
When I look at it in hindsight, I could have handled it better. I didn't want to make a fuss about it at that stage, and I think a lot of people got upset with me more about how I handled it rather than the decision in itself. So you learn from that, you learn from the mistakes. Maybe I could have handled it a bit better and done it in a better way than I did.

Now that you're about to go into the IPL as one final hurrah, what is your response to the impact of Twenty20 cricket on Indian cricket?
The reality is that when I grew up, playing Test cricket was the ultimate. It mattered professionally also in terms of making a living from this game, which does become important at some point. You had to play Test cricket consistently for a long time to do that. But now you don't need to play Test cricket. The advent of Twenty 20 and the IPL has meant that it is possible to make an extremely good living from the game without having to play Test cricket. In the past you had only the cream at the top who were making a good living, but now it's spread a lot more and you have a lot more people who make a very good living. It is one of the great positives of the T20 and the IPL.

But there is obviously the danger that players might sell themselves short. If they face early stumbles or hurdles early on in their Test career or in first-class cricket, there might be a few who may choose to stick to T20 because they are better at it and they are making better money from it and they don't want to risk losing that.

India will face this challenge a lot more because a lot more Indian players play in the IPL. So how we address that challenge and go out and make people and players value Test cricket - that will come down to scheduling. We have to schedule more Test matches per year. It will come down to compensation. You've got to compensate Test cricketers adequately now. It'll come down to marketing, how you market Test cricket, glorify its history. It'll come down to coaches at junior levels, how they talk to their wards, how they inspire them about Test cricket. It'll be about stories, it'll be about media. Everyone will have to play their part.

There have been some good examples recently of people who have been good players in Twenty20 and have come out and done well in Test cricket. It's a good thing for kids to see that you can succeed in all three forms of the game. That's important. I have no doubt that a lot of the kids playing today in the one-day and Test side have grown up having Test cricketers to admire. But it's kids who are my children's age or a little older, who are now getting interested in the game for the first time and are seeing the IPL, it's those kind of children that we need to educate and talk to about Test cricket.

The responsibility lies with the ICC and the boards to schedule enough Test matches. They might have to make a few sacrifices in terms of money. I have no doubt that if you play enough Test matches, kids will want to play it. People might not come to the grounds that easily, and that's why it's important to explore other avenues - whether it is day-night cricket, or venues where we play it, and the context of Test matches. We have to accept that people don't have the time, but there is still huge interest for Test cricket. People follow Test cricket, whether it's on television or the internet, in India as much as elsewhere.

In the last few years in as much as there have been fears, the number of the articles that get written about Test cricket, the number of people who follow it passionately, who talk to me about Test cricket - that hasn't changed.

"It was important for me how the team was projected. We were going through a rough patch, we had come out of this match-fixing thing. We were always known as poor travellers. Each team has its own image; that's what you want to change"

In this Twenty20 age, how must India handle the passing of a great generation of its Test players? After 8-0, how can the transition be made smooth?
At some stage there is going to be a whole new generation of players. I know there are always links between one generation of players and the others; there is always a middle-level of management - players who have been around and are still going to be around for a few years. Two or three guys might retire in the next couple of years, whenever that is, who knows? But after that there are going to be guys who are going to be around, and the responsibility is going to lie on these guys to step it up. Guys like Sehwag, Gambhir, Harbhajan, Zaheer, Dhoni himself. Not only as players but also as spokesmen. As people who decide the culture of the team, the way the team is run, the image they want to project of the team, regarding which form of the game is important to this team. It will be a group of players, who I think are already seniors, who will set the tone for the next generation coming through.

That cycle goes on, that cycle will go on. It's got to move on from being the team that was led by my generation, which is already happening slowly and will continue to do so over the next few years. I'm not saying the seniors need to be replaced, they will be the sounding boards. But the direction and the culture of the team over the next ten years will have to be decided by this capable group of young players.

Virat Kohli is now seen as the leader of a younger generation - do you see him as your successor in the No. 3 slot?
He's got the talent - that was obvious from the time he was an Under-19 kid. He didn't have a really good [first] year at Royal Challengers Bangalore but you could see that there was talent. That's not going to change. He's got the talent to succeed at this level and it's great to see the evolution of this kid, from what we saw at 19 to what he's becoming now. His consistency of performance and his ability to play in different conditions and score runs in different conditions - that's great.

And he's got to keep doing that. As with any career and anything that you play for a long time, questions are going to be asked of him. On the technical front, on the physical front, on the mental front. On how he deals with failure, with success, with all that happens around him in Indian cricket. Questions are going to be asked about him, and how he comes up with solutions or answers is going to decide how long or how successful a career he is going to have.

Indian cricket can hope that someone like Virat, who has seemingly made that transition from a precocious talent to a performer at the international level, is able to have a long and successful career. The strength of your team is finally built around people who can have long and successful careers. You can then build a team around him and some of the other young guys.

Do you worry about where Indian cricket is at the moment - that we are going to be a very good, competitive team in ODI cricket rather than a successful Test team? Or that all of this depends on ensuring that your fast bowlers conveyor belt doesn't go around so quickly?
I wouldn't say I'm worried. I would say there are challenges that Indian cricket faces today. Some of these are challenges that have always been there in the history of our game - whether it is finding good quality fast bowling allrounders or finding opening batsmen, or finding real fast bowlers. These challenges have to be addressed, and it's no point worrying. There are lots of positives about Indian cricket.

It's going to be a whole new level of thinking, a whole new level of leadership, of thought, that is required. Like I said, of how the team is going to project itself. You can't just let things flow. If we just let things happen, they will happen. You might get lucky, you might suddenly find a brilliant player or a brilliant fast-bowling allrounder from somewhere, but there needs to be serious thought put into the way the team is and what is the way forward and how we want to see the Indian team, not today but ten years ahead.

When we got together as a group of guys in 2000, it was important for me how the team was projected. We were going through a rough patch, we had come out of this match-fixing thing. We were always known as poor travellers. It was said we were scared of fast bowling, we were arrogant, rude, or that because of match-fixing you can't trust anyone. These were the things that you wanted to change. Ten years later, now there is another challenge. Each team has its own image; that's what you want to change. Maybe this team now has the image where it's said they are very good one-day players, they are not that good as Test players. You keep hearing talk around the place about what impact the IPL might have, how everyone will only want to play IPL and how it might affect our Test cricket. Hopefully these guys will go on challenge that notion, to show us that it is not the case.

The day before the next Test that India plays, if the team called you into the dressing room to make a speech, what would you say to them?
I wouldn't go in! I don't know what my future might be. Somewhere along the line I'm sure I'll bump into the guys. I'll catch up with them. But I don't know if I'd be really comfortable walking into an Indian dressing room now. In some ways I just think that when you move on from there, you move on.

I don't think I was good at speeches, even as captain. The people who inspired me and mattered most to me and whom I looked up to were people who actually walked the talk. Who didn't necessarily speak a lot but you knew that they put in 100% - what they did was an example more than what they said. I did say a few things but I don't think I was the guy who gave a lot of speeches. So, well, if I did go into the dressing room again, I would just tell them that it's their time now, my time has passed.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

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  • POSTED BY jay57870 on | March 31, 2012, 13:32 GMT

    In his stirring speech, Rahul acknowledged his longtime teammate Sachin a few times. He referred particularly to Bradman's chat with Tendulkar as "more than mere approval ... it was as if the great Don had finally, passed on his torch. Not to an Aussie or an Englishman or a West Indian. But to one of our own"! This should dispel any notion of a divisive Rahul versus Sachin debate. Rather it should be about Rahul AND Sachin. After all (per S. Rajesh), the two have "more partnership runs and century stands than any other pair ... 6920 runs in 143 partnerships at 50.51, with 20 century stands." More importantly, they did the heavy lifting - along with Ganguly, Kumble & Co - in leading Team India from the depths of the 2000 match-fixing scandal to great heights later in the decade. They did it with dignity, courage & integrity. As Sachin put it: "There was and is only one Rahul Dravid. There can be no other. I will miss Rahul in the dressing-room and out in the middle." That says it all!!

  • POSTED BY jay57870 on | March 31, 2012, 13:27 GMT

    Sharda - This interview reaffirms Dravid's preeminence as a great cricketer respected around the world. That's why he was the first non-Australian invited to deliver the 2011 Bradman Oration last year. According to journalist Daniel Brettig, it was a "meticulous, wide-ranging and fascinating speech ... perhaps the most significant delivered since the Oration began." His erudite insights covered a wide range of salient topics impacting the game today. His views are open-minded, refreshingly different (from many comments posted below). He called Indian cricket a "microcosm" of India itself: It stands not "just for sport, but possibility, hope, opportunities" & rejected the "cliched image" of it being only about money & power. Yes, he credited BCCI for spreading revenues & opening doors for aspiring cricketers - Zaheer, Munaf, Yadav, Sehwag, Dhoni - from all corners of the nation, especially small towns. And IPL for bringing foreign & local players together in the dressing-room! (TBC)

  • POSTED BY D.Sharma on | March 31, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    20 days on and there are still articles about Dravid. He is finally getting the overdue recognition he deserves!

  • POSTED BY on | March 31, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    Truly vintage Dravid. Good piece of work, Sharda Ugra and Cricinfo Editorial Team

  • POSTED BY McGorium on | March 31, 2012, 2:04 GMT

    @S.Jagernath: Averages difference of under 3-4 runs per innings is not statistically significant, IMHO. Kallis is not better than SRT because his average is 0.75 runs higher (or the other way around). As you mention, Dravid was India's de facto opener for much of his career, and on occasion, the de jure opener as well. He has often protected INdia's strokemakers from the new ball. He is certainly not the greatest overall batsman India ever produced (that would have to be SRT), but he is certainly the best modern test batsman India ever produced, behind SM Gavaskar. SRT's 50 100's and aggregate run are largely an artifact of his early debut at the age of 16; Dravid was 22-23 when he made his debut, and their averages are largely comparable. Even Ponting or Kallis might've equalled or surpassed SRT in aggregate runs had they made their debut at 18-19 instead of 22-24. SRT isn't head and shoulders above his peers, IMHO. Marginally better maybe when you consider his longevity, but no more.

  • POSTED BY on | March 30, 2012, 20:17 GMT

    Rahul is one of the great player in the era of cricket.he is quite a decent player,whose luck or faith was not with him.when he was captain, all is not well in indian dressing room and bcoz of coach,india lost to bangladesh in world cup.and he has to pay the price. he is a class player who plays for team not for individual milestone. and again ahen team is not performing well in last 8 tests, bcoz of captain rude character , he has to loose his place. i really really want to see him play test cricket for another 3-4 yrs bcoz he has the potential to perform.not like others who play for records.

  • POSTED BY S.Jagernath on | March 30, 2012, 14:55 GMT

    Rahul Dravid is the most difficult batsman to rate,he had the best technique of any batsmen of his generation but unfortunately was not the player with the highest average or most runs.His average not being higher than 55 is mainly due to the fact that he had to open & was often at the crease very early due to Virender Sehwag's foolishness.His main competitor is Ricky Ponting,who often struggled against swing & quality spin.Ponting also benefitted from a carbon-fibre reinforced bat for a period.Dravid should then be regarded a little more highly than him.

  • POSTED BY on | March 30, 2012, 14:21 GMT

    He failed only in the last three tests. In 2011 he top scored in world cricket with 1145 @57 plus. People who do not deserve to tie his shoe laces called for his retirement. He won a test match for India against windies in June 2011 and scored 3 outstanding centuries against England thereafter. He did drop a few catches and would thought hard about it. He also said that he would not have had any qualms if he was dropped in 2008. This cricketer should have been born in a different era. He is a realised soul and no man made evaluation can judge him.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | March 30, 2012, 13:47 GMT

    @AbAdvani, take a bow! I couldn't have said it any better. "Selfless cricketers put the nation ahead of individual milestones"; "We would have won the Asia cup too had Sachin not robbed India off victory by slowing down in the slog overs to score his century - Rahul would never have done that - that's the difference between Rahul and Sachin". You kept it so simple yet so powerful. And yes, Rahul would never have done that - that's no clairvoyance. That's a simple fact we all have arrived at by seeing how Dravid went about, in the wake of team needs vs his own personal milestones.

  • POSTED BY Johnny_129 on | March 30, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    How come WI don't keep comparing Lara to Viv...Aust don't keep comparing Hayden to Ponting - it may have got an occasional mention. Yet Dravid fans keep comparing him to SRT and creating a rift amongst Indian fans and possibly the team! THEY ARE BOTH GREAT SERVANTS OF INDIAN CRICKET. Dravid was excellent and for a large part of his career batted better than SRT BUT SRT will always remain the greatest in the hearts and minds of MOST CRICKET FANS. Lest we forget, SRT was batting for India when he was 16 - when most so called modern day great were barely off their mothers milk! Selfish cricketers do not win World Cups!

  • POSTED BY jay57870 on | March 31, 2012, 13:32 GMT

    In his stirring speech, Rahul acknowledged his longtime teammate Sachin a few times. He referred particularly to Bradman's chat with Tendulkar as "more than mere approval ... it was as if the great Don had finally, passed on his torch. Not to an Aussie or an Englishman or a West Indian. But to one of our own"! This should dispel any notion of a divisive Rahul versus Sachin debate. Rather it should be about Rahul AND Sachin. After all (per S. Rajesh), the two have "more partnership runs and century stands than any other pair ... 6920 runs in 143 partnerships at 50.51, with 20 century stands." More importantly, they did the heavy lifting - along with Ganguly, Kumble & Co - in leading Team India from the depths of the 2000 match-fixing scandal to great heights later in the decade. They did it with dignity, courage & integrity. As Sachin put it: "There was and is only one Rahul Dravid. There can be no other. I will miss Rahul in the dressing-room and out in the middle." That says it all!!

  • POSTED BY jay57870 on | March 31, 2012, 13:27 GMT

    Sharda - This interview reaffirms Dravid's preeminence as a great cricketer respected around the world. That's why he was the first non-Australian invited to deliver the 2011 Bradman Oration last year. According to journalist Daniel Brettig, it was a "meticulous, wide-ranging and fascinating speech ... perhaps the most significant delivered since the Oration began." His erudite insights covered a wide range of salient topics impacting the game today. His views are open-minded, refreshingly different (from many comments posted below). He called Indian cricket a "microcosm" of India itself: It stands not "just for sport, but possibility, hope, opportunities" & rejected the "cliched image" of it being only about money & power. Yes, he credited BCCI for spreading revenues & opening doors for aspiring cricketers - Zaheer, Munaf, Yadav, Sehwag, Dhoni - from all corners of the nation, especially small towns. And IPL for bringing foreign & local players together in the dressing-room! (TBC)

  • POSTED BY D.Sharma on | March 31, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    20 days on and there are still articles about Dravid. He is finally getting the overdue recognition he deserves!

  • POSTED BY on | March 31, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    Truly vintage Dravid. Good piece of work, Sharda Ugra and Cricinfo Editorial Team

  • POSTED BY McGorium on | March 31, 2012, 2:04 GMT

    @S.Jagernath: Averages difference of under 3-4 runs per innings is not statistically significant, IMHO. Kallis is not better than SRT because his average is 0.75 runs higher (or the other way around). As you mention, Dravid was India's de facto opener for much of his career, and on occasion, the de jure opener as well. He has often protected INdia's strokemakers from the new ball. He is certainly not the greatest overall batsman India ever produced (that would have to be SRT), but he is certainly the best modern test batsman India ever produced, behind SM Gavaskar. SRT's 50 100's and aggregate run are largely an artifact of his early debut at the age of 16; Dravid was 22-23 when he made his debut, and their averages are largely comparable. Even Ponting or Kallis might've equalled or surpassed SRT in aggregate runs had they made their debut at 18-19 instead of 22-24. SRT isn't head and shoulders above his peers, IMHO. Marginally better maybe when you consider his longevity, but no more.

  • POSTED BY on | March 30, 2012, 20:17 GMT

    Rahul is one of the great player in the era of cricket.he is quite a decent player,whose luck or faith was not with him.when he was captain, all is not well in indian dressing room and bcoz of coach,india lost to bangladesh in world cup.and he has to pay the price. he is a class player who plays for team not for individual milestone. and again ahen team is not performing well in last 8 tests, bcoz of captain rude character , he has to loose his place. i really really want to see him play test cricket for another 3-4 yrs bcoz he has the potential to perform.not like others who play for records.

  • POSTED BY S.Jagernath on | March 30, 2012, 14:55 GMT

    Rahul Dravid is the most difficult batsman to rate,he had the best technique of any batsmen of his generation but unfortunately was not the player with the highest average or most runs.His average not being higher than 55 is mainly due to the fact that he had to open & was often at the crease very early due to Virender Sehwag's foolishness.His main competitor is Ricky Ponting,who often struggled against swing & quality spin.Ponting also benefitted from a carbon-fibre reinforced bat for a period.Dravid should then be regarded a little more highly than him.

  • POSTED BY on | March 30, 2012, 14:21 GMT

    He failed only in the last three tests. In 2011 he top scored in world cricket with 1145 @57 plus. People who do not deserve to tie his shoe laces called for his retirement. He won a test match for India against windies in June 2011 and scored 3 outstanding centuries against England thereafter. He did drop a few catches and would thought hard about it. He also said that he would not have had any qualms if he was dropped in 2008. This cricketer should have been born in a different era. He is a realised soul and no man made evaluation can judge him.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | March 30, 2012, 13:47 GMT

    @AbAdvani, take a bow! I couldn't have said it any better. "Selfless cricketers put the nation ahead of individual milestones"; "We would have won the Asia cup too had Sachin not robbed India off victory by slowing down in the slog overs to score his century - Rahul would never have done that - that's the difference between Rahul and Sachin". You kept it so simple yet so powerful. And yes, Rahul would never have done that - that's no clairvoyance. That's a simple fact we all have arrived at by seeing how Dravid went about, in the wake of team needs vs his own personal milestones.

  • POSTED BY Johnny_129 on | March 30, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    How come WI don't keep comparing Lara to Viv...Aust don't keep comparing Hayden to Ponting - it may have got an occasional mention. Yet Dravid fans keep comparing him to SRT and creating a rift amongst Indian fans and possibly the team! THEY ARE BOTH GREAT SERVANTS OF INDIAN CRICKET. Dravid was excellent and for a large part of his career batted better than SRT BUT SRT will always remain the greatest in the hearts and minds of MOST CRICKET FANS. Lest we forget, SRT was batting for India when he was 16 - when most so called modern day great were barely off their mothers milk! Selfish cricketers do not win World Cups!

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | March 30, 2012, 13:20 GMT

    @Gmale, I'm least surprised that there is not a word, I repeat, NOT A WORD from Rahul or his proud admirers when Dada declared in Australia and Rahul was going berserk on 91*. I was proud of Dada for declaring and pressing for a victory and proud of Rahul for not making noise in the media. I'm also least surprised that not many even took notice of Rahul getting stranded on 91*. I can completely believe that inspite of being reminded to play fast, Sachin keeps crawling, and then puts up a face when Rahul declared the inning, cries in the media and his fanatic fans to date are whining. There in lies the difference between Rahul and his proud admirers at one end, and Sachin and his whining fanatics at the other end. Rahul will be the last one to put his personal milestone above the team goals and, by extension, as a Captain, he would not allow his team-mates to put their personal milestones above the team goals. I'm least surprised that Rahul declared when Sachin was hurting the team.

  • POSTED BY Vilander on | March 30, 2012, 12:24 GMT

    When an Indian fan compares any player to God, i feel ashamed of being Indian. I am very sure Sachin and Dravid feel the same way. Words have to be used precisely, hyperbole should be used as a surprise not as a norm.

  • POSTED BY on | March 30, 2012, 10:38 GMT

    Kind attention GMALE... he is not one of those fame-addicted cricketer, this will be his last edition of IPL cos he was already committed to the franchise. If he wanted he could well still be in the team but he is not one of those people.

    all your anger towards him is cos he robbed sachin of his double century, ppl lik u dont care for the sport but only SRT.. Sachin robbed India of the Asia cup cos of his century but i am sure u were more than happy about it!!

  • POSTED BY Mani_CricketFan on | March 30, 2012, 10:24 GMT

    Great speech by Dravid. He took retirement when he wasn't performing well for team's good. Sachin didn't performed well after World Cup. He should also take retirement for the team's good. He just plays for himself and not for the team.

  • POSTED BY RakeshRawat on | March 30, 2012, 10:03 GMT

    The best thing about Rahul was that he was as honest cricketer who played for team and the one who always tried to give his 100% to team. Though I don't think he was the best Indian batsman. Because the reason that he struggled to rotate strikes in earlier part of his carrier and was some time frustrating for viewers. Later he became a lot more aggressive and good in rotating the strikes. But one regret I would always have that, in spite of having Sachin, Rahul, VVS, Sehwag, Ghambir, Kohli ,Dhoni, Kumble, Srinath, Zaheer and harbhajan in our team, we could never register any series victory In Australia and South Africa. Most of the times it was our batsman who disappointed us in the away series to these 2 countries. Alas! We missed a very Golden apportunity in last series in Oz. And a big Alas! The names which I have written earlier were not good anough to beat Oz Oz and Porteas in their own den. Hope the new generation.. .Any How Rahul thanks for whatever you could do for team India.

  • POSTED BY AhmedZeb on | March 30, 2012, 9:53 GMT

    Truly the wall, an outstanding cricketer and legend of cricket, a tireless individual who used to fight for hours in the middle, Aussies can't really forget him for the marvellous innings he played them. Pakistan will remember him always and England and west Indies are unable to forget the wall. great Dravid, though will no longer be a part of the blues, but his examples are there to make a way for others.

  • POSTED BY on | March 30, 2012, 8:17 GMT

    Loved when he robbed SRT of double century against Pak as the media would have spoken only about the double ton and the India;s victory would have taken a backseat...

  • POSTED BY on | March 30, 2012, 8:06 GMT

    We challenged the aussies when they were the best... but we never crushed any opponents even when they were minnows... we made all the matches interesting even from positions where we could win... we dont need to look for 1:1 replacement... we need a team, team which is not a team of stars but a star team...

  • POSTED BY on | March 30, 2012, 7:24 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas....can see you are a religious follower of Dravid...unfortunately we are so few in number in india..but make no mistake outside India Dravid is the most respected Indian batsman especially outside the subcontinent...

  • POSTED BY on | March 30, 2012, 6:52 GMT

    Rahul, you once said there was God and then Saurav on the offside, and we now know that you are most godly person to have played cricket. Thank you for you - I aspire to be you in my profession and life. You are my hero and role model.

  • POSTED BY AjaySridharan on | March 30, 2012, 2:36 GMT

    Thai is getting ridiculous now. Can we move on? The guy did a good job, had a good career, and he is now retired! big deal...everyone goes through this phase. Far greater players have retired in the past, and will in the future too.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | March 30, 2012, 1:42 GMT

    TBH, when Lara walks to the crease, I just couldn't help but get a cup of coffee or may be some beers and stuff like that; watching in anticipation; something or the other; going to happen. But when Dravid comes to the crease, I get so mesmerised and hypnotised with the intensity he brings with him, that I look for somebody to get me that cup of coffee or beers; too precious, to miss, is each delivery he negotiates, that I can't afford to leave my TV. Absolute bliss. Simply mind-numbing, boggling and unreal. Blessed to have watched him. Blessed to hear him talk so much in such a short period of time. Rahul, please don't stop talking. Hopefully there are some ears somewhere in the powers that be, that aren't deaf. The thing about Ambrose is so true. How can anybody forget that Legend's high fives and that easy run-up and bowling at such pace and control, as though those are the easiest things to do.

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | March 30, 2012, 0:08 GMT

    A champion and a gentleman. I always feel test cricket is boring BUT Rahul Dravid made me sit for hours to watch his art in motion. You sir are a prototype as to what every young test cricketer ought to be. India will miss you, world cricket will miss you. We love you and best wishes for whatever you choose to do here on. I also request some people to please STOP bashing the Little Master. Sachin loves what he's doing, that is playing cricket. Retirement is purely a personal decision and I hope people refrain from personal hurtful remarks and abuses towards Sachin.

  • POSTED BY Gmale on | March 29, 2012, 23:21 GMT

    Cant believe Dravid is so attention hungry. His retirement from all cricket except the IPL madness shows how fame-addicted he is. He is the master politician who pretends all polite and humbe in public. Still shocked he robbed SRT of a double century by declaring early in Pakistan.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | March 29, 2012, 22:45 GMT

    @Ravi Darira, the thing about IPL - so you mean to say that both Anil Kumble and Sourav Ganguly also lied to Rahul by saying that IPL is a nice weaning off period and that all these three guys are actually madly in love with money and weaning off and all is just a hog-wash? And all these implications just because you hate Dravid. lol..thanks for the chuckles mate. You might want to think that Dravid is such a shameless money hungry fellow. But that doesn't make him one. Your wishful thinking is built in the imaginary castles in your head. BTW, I heard an Indian Cricketer applied for tax-waver on a car and then sold it to somebody at regular used ferrari price? Do you know who that Indian Cricketer is? Cricinfo please publish. You have published a comment from Ravi Darira that says Dravid is shamelessly money hungry. So, I hope you won't stop my post which is actually mentioning facts.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | March 29, 2012, 22:26 GMT

    @Al_Bundy1, though I agree with you that Sachin may not understand certain things because he is not well educated or didn't go to college, I also think that the reason for Sachin not being able to understand certain things could just be that he isn't a person with high enough IQ. I also noticed that two of the most eloquent speakers and thinkers from India are Kumble and Dravid. Steve Waugh and the one and only Imran Khan also come across as very shrewd. Imran bhai has taken a bigger responsibility of putting his country on the right track. I always wonder how nice it would be if all these guys come out of their regional cricket and play bigger roles in ICC. But again serving regional cricket is a very big challenge and may be they should put their energies at the grass-root level. Seriously, these amazing persons from these different countries can do a lot for cricket and also their countries. Hope Akram also thinks about serving Pakistan Cricket. Well, dreaming about an ideal world!!

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | March 29, 2012, 22:11 GMT

    @InnocentGuy, lol..that's a good one - 'The Wall' of Cricinfo. But mate, let him speak now. TBH, we can't afford not to milk him. He's been silent for nearly two decades. Let loose the erudite on ICC and other boards. I'm really proud that I belong to the same country that Dravid hails from. I'm sure there is lot of acceptance of Dravid from the rest of the world. Just the way I love Lara and Kallis, there will be lots of people from other countries who might be admiring Dravid. That will make him a very good ambassador for this game. Let him think and ask questions of ICC and other boards. The perspective he gives about a problem might just be the solution that test cricket needs. Who knows oneday when all these guys - Rahul, Ricky, Kallis, Sachin, Steve Waugh, VVS, Warne, Kumble, Murali, Sanga, Lara, Mahela and such Legends - all these guys can come together as allies/comrades and make wonders to test cricket by forming the core group off the field.

  • POSTED BY Sal76 on | March 29, 2012, 21:52 GMT

    There are test players and there are test players, but none with the grace and class of Dravid, on and off the field. Hats off Sir!!! Wish you all the very best in your future endeavours! Test cricket will never be the same.

    One request for all who are commenting about Sachin - this is Dravid's moment, let it be his moment. Dravid has lived in Sachin's shadow throughout is career. Sachin is and will always be a legend, but this is Dravid's moment, so show some respect.

  • POSTED BY montys_muse on | March 29, 2012, 21:34 GMT

    Lol! feels like the titans are dying one by one...and are being given lots of respect and farewell....and being received at the gates of heaven by the other retired titans....some of the tributes i saw on tv were made to look like rd had died! but the fact is he only retired from active cricket...hopefully we will see him in some other role in international cricket in near or far future...

  • POSTED BY RohanMarkJay on | March 29, 2012, 21:32 GMT

    Great player one of the best of the last 20 years even though Tendulkar and others steal his thunder. A proper Test Match Cricketer. Also he gives great interviews indeed all the Indian cricketers give highly intelligent fair and balanced interviews and they have deep knowledge of the game a big contrast however to some indian fans on cricinfo. LOL!

  • POSTED BY madapr on | March 29, 2012, 20:29 GMT

    The thing about Drvaid is, even thought he is day in and out on cricket field and having such broader understanding of things around him/cricket shows his greatness.

    Coming to This interview, I didn't like the title "second-best" this sounds more like a cheap tactics by interviewer to get audience interest by sounding it controversial (something like Saching is No.1 and he is second best)

    Secondly, All these questions are put in a way expecting certain answers. and like few other commented out, they didn't put in much thought preparing questions. The interviewer sounds more like a India cricket fan but not someone who understands cricket. May be thats what the goal of the interview is, Other wise I would want to see someone like Harsha to do this interview.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 20:22 GMT

    Truly a great batsman but more than that a great gentleman. Wish the younger generation of Indians were like him and sachin,kumble etc.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 19:35 GMT

    GRACE and STYLE in ADVERSITY- This is Rahul Dravid- The Great Wall of India. CLIVE LLOYD: "You retire when people ask why; before they start asking when". Only Great Hearts retire like you. Such great hearts are rare in Indian cricket today. Whatever you- wherever you remain- Good Health and Happiness Forever- Greetings from Bangladesh!

  • POSTED BY intcamd on | March 29, 2012, 19:10 GMT

    I think the best question someone asked me about this retirement thing is Eric Simons. I called him up and said, "Eric, I'm retiring." And Eric said, "When you made that decision, Rahul, did you feel relief or did you feel disappointment?

    If someone had watched Kill Bill Vol 2, that is the question Madsden asked Darryl Hannah, "how did you feel when you leaned your biggest rival died - disappointment or relief"? Sounds like Eric Simons is a Tarantino fan, like myself.

  • POSTED BY Al_Bundy1 on | March 29, 2012, 18:34 GMT

    What a gentleman! I agree - Taking retirement is like starting over, like going back to College. No wonder 10dulkar does not believe in retirement - he never went to College! He still thinks he's a school boy...with maturity to match.

  • POSTED BY Sanjeevakki on | March 29, 2012, 18:31 GMT

    @ Ravi Darira... Read Your Comment again and Just say Sorry to the Real Saviour of INDIAN CRICKET!!!!

  • POSTED BY InnocentGuy on | March 29, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    It seems like post-retirement, Dravid is Cricinfo's 'The Wall'. Just how many more interviews and articles are you guys going to milk out of him? Leave the man in peace, for God's sake!

  • POSTED BY ht.shajib on | March 29, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    I am going to miss watching Rahul Dravid playing in test matches with great authority. I hope you are going to write about cricket a lot. Cricket will be benefited. So please do it for the sake of cricket.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | March 29, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    Looks like Dravid can't stop talking. Years of silence is all of a sudden coming out like a flood. I'm liking this...How badly I wanted to hear Rahul talking. Thank you Rahul for giving us a piece of your mind...BCCI, ICC, ECB, CA, PCB, South Africa, Srilanka, Bangladesh, West Indies - are you guys listening? You got any plans to save test cricket? One of the solutions that I too proposed before - compensate the test players better. How about giving more pay for a test match player? Can't BCCI give some money to other boards that can't pay lot of money to their test match players? Can there be something like a central fund through which the players of all the nations get paid? And the more a board generates, the more the board should contribute to that central fund? That way when test players from across the countries get equally compensated, those poor country players will feel the security to play test cricket. All you boards and ICC think.....think....think......

  • POSTED BY Srini9 on | March 29, 2012, 17:50 GMT

    Mr. Rahul The Wall Dravid (Mr. Jam boy), what a honorable career your's indeed, I put it as a "You are an excellent landmark, that is what you set - You are an example for younger generations what it takes to be an achiever, we proud you are an Indian a simple honest, hardworking and one of the stars and purists of the game of cricket. Whatever responsibilities were in you always came forward and fulfilled them. My salute to you what a committed individual and a sportsman of highest level you are". I hope and wish you will always be part the game in some or other form, we will happy to see you.

    All poster's I am happy to your further postings as well....Cheers as Always

  • POSTED BY nachiketajoshi on | March 29, 2012, 17:08 GMT

    Great questions, Sharda - well done!

  • POSTED BY pitch_it_up on | March 29, 2012, 17:07 GMT

    Dravid is my hero outside cricket as well. Like 'Sanjam Suri' mentioned above, I too wanted to emulate Dravid...they way carried himself, like a well read, learned person who not only had great knowledge and skill for his craft, but as an overall well-rounded person.

    Will miss you Dravid...cricket is no longer the same. With you retiring, my romancing of cricket is definitely tapering.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 16:45 GMT

    hats off to the champion... really loved the pics with alternate paragraphs.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 16:32 GMT

    @SnowSnake: You got to be kidding mate! You are the first and only person i'm hearing having problems with the attention Dravid's retirement has gained. He was always in the hindsight of Sachin throughout his career and deserved all the attention that Sachin got. He is getting his due respect and admiration at long last!

  • POSTED BY jayray999 on | March 29, 2012, 16:25 GMT

    @Raja and @randyoz: Dravid is not saying he was second best as a batsman. Rather he is referring to the road that lies ahead of him. He even spells it out for you: 'You can't expect a guy at 40-41 to become "world class" at something else' implying that he was "world class" at something i.e. cricket. This confusion stems from the unfortunate titling of the article by Cricinfo's editors who chose to quote poor Dravid out of context. Only the editorial staff at Cricinfo know whether this was done on purpose (to make people read the article) or is an inadvertent slip. Either way it is needlessly provocative when the guy has just given you an exclusive interview. Thank god Cricinfo won't be writing my eulogy.

  • POSTED BY Al_Bundy1 on | March 29, 2012, 16:19 GMT

    What a player! He's not just a great player, but a great thinker of the game. Sachin has a lot to learn from him. After a certain point - money becomes secondary - so stop chasing money.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 16:09 GMT

    The Wall, mightier than the great China Wall, better fortified than the Red Fort. I personally feel Dravid had one more year left in him to play at least Test Criket. For past 17 yrs, it has become a 2nd nature for Cricketing fans around the globe to read what Dravid, Ponting, Tendulkar, Kallis, Warne or Murali have done special today. Gradually that generation is retiring. It truly has been a remrkable golden age. As a cricket fan, you could not have asked for anything more. Kudos to Dravid. The World salutes you.

  • POSTED BY anandbv on | March 29, 2012, 15:39 GMT

    Rahul, you are a liar when you say you are not good at speeches or at 'talking' to someone. Your passion, thought process and everything else shows in the way you speak. If not anything else, Rahul can contribute to the team by being part of the mental conditioning camp and he can just make people better by talking to them of his experiences. Love you as a person Rahul...cant wait for you to be back (commentator, selector, or some role)

  • POSTED BY ToTellUTheTruth on | March 29, 2012, 15:35 GMT

    "I think Australia was disappointing"....hmph!! Understatement of the century?

  • POSTED BY ZakSink on | March 29, 2012, 14:33 GMT

    @Kavindeven what are you on about?

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 14:24 GMT

    A.Ak isn't interview about asking questions .doh.

  • POSTED BY tigers_eye on | March 29, 2012, 14:20 GMT

    Class!! Nothing but Class. Humble. Have followed him from day one. He makes our generation (his previous generation) proud.

  • POSTED BY InnocentGuy on | March 29, 2012, 14:16 GMT

    It looks like post-retirement, Dravid is The Wall for Cricinfo. Just how many more interviews and articles are you guys going to milk out of his retirement? Just let the man live in peace for heavens sake!

  • POSTED BY Divinetouch on | March 29, 2012, 14:12 GMT

    Fellow Bloggers,

    Please do not dilute the tributes to Rahulji. Leave your thoughts on other cricketers for another forum.

    Rahulji, u r a class act wish u well in your future endeavours.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 14:12 GMT

    @snowsnake... its not that just dravid has retired,, its test cricket too , retired and hurt. actually i think its very nice of the cric info that they are focusing on dravid. u wont get a test batsman ever. i still think why the hell he retired, rahul "the superman "dravid could have played for eternity and we would have enjoyed it. alas

  • POSTED BY K.A.K on | March 29, 2012, 14:05 GMT

    I am hoping Dravid will consider batting coach role for Pakistan, Bangladesh or Afghanistan or Netherlands

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 13:30 GMT

    Rahul Dravid is like many briliiant employees world over. They are good as the second best (or also know as right hand man). Without them their boss cannot accomplish what they accomplish. But the credit always goes to the boss. On other hand despite their brilliance they can never be great bosses themselves. They are more adapt at bieng the right hand man for other. Dravid was same. Without Dravid...Gangluy would never be same captain he was with same results....Sachin would probably have got some few centuries less if it was not Dravid who soaked up pressure. Kudos to Rahul. The wall or backbone of Indian batting since 1997

  • POSTED BY sasidharbiet on | March 29, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    Dravid all time TRUE LEGEND. INDIANS NEVER FORGET U. Dravid is like BRADMANN in TEAM INDIA.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    A dependable performance, down-to-earth; A solid motivation, that had no dearth; His manners, that earned a permanent berth; His endurance, born out of steely faith; His placement, fit as first, third or eighth; Venue? - be it Lord's, Leeds or perth; All this proved his long lasting worth. ADIEU RAHUL ! WE WILL MISS YOUR GUTS........K Lakshmanan

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 13:15 GMT

    all the best rahul!! hope to see you as a commentator soon!!! and create a twitter account!!!

  • POSTED BY Romenevans on | March 29, 2012, 12:50 GMT

    Sachin......You there? Are you listening mate? Enough said!

  • POSTED BY SnowSnake on | March 29, 2012, 12:49 GMT

    While I admire Dravid as a batsman, I think Cricinfo is giving too much attention on this subject. Dravid, too me, retired 2 years later than when he should have retired. What do you expect as a sports person. It is early success and early retirement.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 12:48 GMT

    Rahul Dravid The Greate "Wall" in the World....

  • POSTED BY cricket_wins on | March 29, 2012, 12:41 GMT

    Spoken like the true gentleman he always is. His gameplay is like one of the chapters in the cricketing manual for budding players. His speeches and interviews are always a pleasure to read - without controversy, with focus on the results as much as on the means in achieving the results. After so many years of tireless service to Indian and world cricket, the bloke deserves his space. He would be a complete asset in commentary - I believe his views would always be grounded, simple, precise yet profound. Good luck to you, RSD!

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 12:37 GMT

    Very nice piece, Dravid was a great player and seems to be one of the more intelligent and thoughtful international players of the recent past. Hope that the MCC/ICC will take on some of his suggestions or offer him a job in the running of the international game, although I'm still very sceptical about day/night test cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    The more I hear from him, the more I admire him...

  • POSTED BY Ashwinye on | March 29, 2012, 12:19 GMT

    Well said "The Wall".. Most expected answers from a most respected and one of the most balanced cricketers.

    Dravid mentioned he can't deliver speeches but I completely disagree especially after reading this interview. I believe young chunk of cricketers should really read such articles on a regular basis which can guide them in right direction rather than going for a quick money which is good to have but can not earn the respect and satisfaction which Current and previous generation have achieved.

    We admire you Jam. A great player and a great human being. Hats Offff!!!!

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 12:07 GMT

    Never has India reacted so much on retirement! These cricketers of last decade are loved so much!

    Dravid is making so many speeches of late! Of course Rahul was good enough for 1-2 years more but then that's life - you can't keep on playing till 50-60 as it involves physical fitness (not just gym fitness but reflex, coordination, etc etc). And you also earn enough to retire by 30 - 35 as opposed to many other office jobs. He has done his job well. So something should have triggered the thought of retirement. Good that he recognized it and started moving on. Sportspeople work so hard - when they are at their peak and make it count - as they know their careers are short. Maybe Rahul will do something else - like wrting books, doing expert commentary, starting a cricket equipment store...or maybe he will disappear of the radar and do something else. Look at all the gym trainers/footballers/boxers - what do they do in life? So some Cricketers are a luckier bunch. Thanks for the joy Rahul.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 12:07 GMT

    Never has India reacted so much on retirement! These cricketers of last decade are loved so much!

    Dravid is making so many speeches of late! Of course Rahul was good enough for 1-2 years more but then that's life - you can't keep on playing till 50-60 as it involves physical fitness (not just gym fitness but reflex, coordination, etc etc). And you also earn enough to retire by 30 - 35 as opposed to many other office jobs. He has done his job well. So something should have triggered the thought of retirement. Good that he recognized it and started moving on. Sportspeople work so hard - when they are at their peak and make it count - as they know their careers are short. Maybe Rahul will do something else - like wrting books, doing expert commentary, starting a cricket equipment store...or maybe he will disappear of the radar and do something else. Look at all the gym trainers/footballers/boxers - what do they do in life? So some Cricketers are a luckier bunch. Thanks for the joy Rahul.

  • POSTED BY VictorFernandes on | March 29, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    Rahul......I had enjoyed your batting for twenty years and all the ingredients in your batting have that "Stamp" of Keki Sir. We who were taught by Keki Sir easily identify that "Stamp". I cannot imagine some one else coming in at the fall of first wicket in a Test for India. 0-1 or 200-1 and there you were with that majestic walk to the middle to take guard....Oh those days...............All the best Rahul...so far we have enjoyed your batting and now it is your time to enjoy your life with Family. God bless the "True Gentleman of Cricket".

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 11:57 GMT

    Well answered ! But boring set of question !!! Question were composed to Screw the great man !

  • POSTED BY Karanps on | March 29, 2012, 11:19 GMT

    I have been following cricket since 1978 and no other player can take the first position form Dravid. Dravid is the best and the dedication shown during his career is unmatched. I salute you

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 10:57 GMT

    His excuse for playing the IPL is hilarious. He just wants to play for the money. He is not fit for IPL or T20 and deep down he knows it, but ofcourse he will shamelessly play. If he was really so great, he would hv let some new youngster play in his place. I wonder how many Kohlis are sitting ideal because of players like dravid playing for ever just to make more money.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | March 29, 2012, 10:35 GMT

    Dravid you are not second best, you are the greatest Indian batsman of all time.

  • POSTED BY FRRR on | March 29, 2012, 10:27 GMT

    A selfless cricketer (Dravid) among selfish crickets like Tendulkar and Shewag

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 10:17 GMT

    "Rahul" = "Great Man" ---- Imran

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 10:09 GMT

    Best Wishes for your Post-Retirement Career............. Chamila Waduge

  • POSTED BY smalishah84 on | March 29, 2012, 10:08 GMT

    such an awesome awesome gentleman and cricketer. We won't see the likes of Dravid any time soon on the cricket field. best Wishes from Pakistan

  • POSTED BY sarathy_m2 on | March 29, 2012, 9:58 GMT

    Dravid is a self-actualized Cricketer. Earlier he played like that and now he speaks like that. Happy about seeing him again as a player - in IPL.

  • POSTED BY vaidyar on | March 29, 2012, 9:51 GMT

    Loved it! The one about Ambrose was spot-on, although McGrath isn't the right example. We all know how he loses it when things are not going his way (and even if they are!). Its mostly the WI bowlers from the 90s who stand up to the aggression is in the bowling and not the bowler's mouths philosophy.

  • POSTED BY Vivek78 on | March 29, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    Best Wishes for your Post-Retirement Career...!! :)

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 9:42 GMT

    Salute to a selfless Cricketer of this ERA.

  • POSTED BY Tejas_Joshi on | March 29, 2012, 9:19 GMT

    I always find a contradictory relationship here.. Most of the SRT-critics here (commenting public on espncricinfo) are Dravid fans and speak highly of Dravid. In the process, most of you may recognise that Dravid's way of analysing cricket will be exponentially better than your own's. So when Dravid, an extra-ordinary gentleman of the game, himself has showered praises on Tendulkar innumerable times, I really don't see any point in your efforts to establish the inferiority of the magnificent Tendulkar. It fascinates me really : What are you trying to do? Are you trying to contradict the high opinion of the very player you idealise (Dravid) on Tendulkar (which is highly idiotic)? I hope you all spend a fair share of your time in this thought.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 9:02 GMT

    Pakistani LOVE and so much best wishes For you Dravid dear...you will be missed :'(

  • POSTED BY Tejas_Joshi on | March 29, 2012, 8:58 GMT

    It is really dispiriting to see such stupidity among the commenting public on espncricinfo, especially on Dravid-Tendulkar related matters, pointlessly criticising Tendulkar. I highly doubt if these guys even know how to hold a cricket bat properly and they talk about the best who has ever held a cricket bat! (of course that is unrelated to analysing cricket properly, but it does help people to comprehend how difficult international cricket is) These douches need to understand that during the lowest ebb of Dravid's career in the pre-2011 era, There were many Tendulkar architectured ivictories that masked Dravid's failure, allowing him to escape from being victimised by the public to a LARGE extent. I don't need to use examples, search the archives here. Let me continue............

  • POSTED BY A.Ak on | March 29, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    Sharda Ugra you are asking questions to a player who achieved so much and had the ability to play more deliveries than anyone else in test cricket, has 10k runs in both format, had perfect technique to congure the cricket world anywhere and these are the best questions you came up with? I cant believe it.

  • POSTED BY ste13 on | March 29, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    On top of a cricket skills, he is a great character. In this stupid world an exaple for the youth. Pls do not let his wisdom to be buried, give him a position, in which he can support transforming young cricketers into mature ones and preserve the beauty of the game.

  • POSTED BY thianavi on | March 29, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    Lovely interview! Many thanks for the lovely memories, Jammy...! :) Best wishes on the next leg! Champion once, champion always!

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 8:43 GMT

    We have Sachin.. who is not ready ro retire... i think he want's to create a record for the oldest person ever played... currently it is Sanath... sad... he doesnt want an youngster to play for India :(

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 7:53 GMT

    3 things thats still not really discussed yet about dravid.(1).What really happened during that England series where dravid declared his resignation soon after(2). Dravid scores huge mammoth partnerships with many legends including tendulkar(world record),ganguly(esp onedayers),sehwag(almost 1st wkt world record),laxman(best test partnership in memory) etc..wt is it about this man wow.( 3). Have you noticed with Dravid's attitude, he cud be what he is now(the nice n good Dravid) but if his attitude was evil, he could have been the best assassin in the world....he is ice cold, perfection defined, meticulous in planning!,determined like a rock for days in a test!! and shows absolutely no emotion mostly in losing tight situations,also merciless when bowlers are ground down for hours!!!(one end of that spectrum is dravid...the other end is a heart chilling perfect assassin!) heh,just felt like sharing these :)

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 7:36 GMT

    RAHUL DRAVID : MY FAVOURITE INDIAN CRICKETER !!! THE BULWARK AROUND WHICH THE INDIAN TEAM REVOLVED , ESPECIALLY IN TESTS OVERSEAS !!! ALSO , WHAT A GOOD AMBASSADOR YOU HAVE BEEN RIGHT THROUGH YOUR CAREER , SHUNNING ALL CONTROVERSIES !!!DRAVID , INDIAN CRICKET WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN !!!HAT' s OFF TO YOU , ON A WONDERFUL CAREER , THE RECORDS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES !!!

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 7:11 GMT

    Great interview from a great gentleman. What attitude and what perspective? Just reflects and reinforces that this guy is a thinking man's cricketer.

  • POSTED BY mudd on | March 29, 2012, 6:55 GMT

    SIR RAHUL DRAVI, A true Gentleman, A GEM of cricket world, will fall short of words to describe RD. Salute to the Great Great RD for his contribution to Indian team. Always keept teams interest ahead of anything, true Team Player. Long Live SIR Rahul Dravid

  • POSTED BY caarun on | March 29, 2012, 6:48 GMT

    Dravid is a true class Player and a kind human being.. we all will going to miss him at No. 3. Hope kolhi fits in his shoes well, he has shown that he has the talent at shorter version of game if he can do well in long version it will be good. But as far as sachin tendulkar is concerned i think we all must wait and watch his performance in recent time in order to judge that whether his comment that he is at best of him form is justified or not...... Be HAPPY

  • POSTED BY Sulli001 on | March 29, 2012, 6:43 GMT

    Can someone please explain to me why Dravid is retiring, his recent form in England and Australia was not grounds for being dropped or retirement, in fact if anyone should be shown the door its VVS Laxman! Dravid has two more years of test cricket in him at least.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 6:41 GMT

    well when we look at players like Dravid and Ambrose, it becomes clear that aggression is not just being half nude while waving a t-shirt and mouthing obscenities .

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 6:37 GMT

    A Postive Man,Knows Nothing More Except Cricket,Good Interview.

    Thank You :)

  • POSTED BY RajitD on | March 29, 2012, 6:19 GMT

    One of the few gentlemen in the gentleman's game!

  • POSTED BY kurups on | March 29, 2012, 6:19 GMT

    What a gentleman!!The more I read anything about Rahul the greater I understand how far above this man is from the rest of the crowd. Now after his retirement we get to know a lot more on the inner side of Rahul and his measured, disciplined and intense character all of which was translated so wonderfully into his cricket. Lot to learn for all of us!

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 6:15 GMT

    "Obviously there are other things that come into consideration. Where you are in your life, where the team is at that point of time, what the future challenges are, how you fit into that. Even if someone doesn't tell you, you've been around long enough to know where you stand" :- to me the best part of interview. great that dravid looked at things more from team's perspective. its something you generally dont expect from indian players . hats off to the great man.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 5:59 GMT

    Dravid has rightly said about Ambrose. Ambrose is a calm personality who focus totally on the job at hand. Almost the same attitude Dravid has inheriteted which led him for his success in cricket. You will be remembered for your kind hmble nature. The runs you have scored and the catches you have taken will be the Legacy... Best wishes mate.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 5:50 GMT

    Wall Thats Always there For Cricket.................

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 5:41 GMT

    It is an accepted norm in sports that "Form is temporary but class is permanent". Rahul retired as a first class cricketer. He kept on playing for the country in the true spirit and conforming to very high standards of the game of cricket. That is why India had faith in him and the world acknowledged him. Any senior player who realizes that competent youngsters are knocking at the door with proven track records and decides to call it a day is an excellent sportsman. Class, professionalism and sportsmanship are rarely found in one person. Rahul is one such rare person.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 5:09 GMT

    The man who played only for the country..Was a slave to the indian team..Did all the work but no recognition..

  • POSTED BY sameer997 on | March 29, 2012, 4:47 GMT

    Salute to the legend, the wall

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 4:40 GMT

    Sachin is as much a sportsman and professional as Dravid. They have both been great players and great ambassadors of the game, in the way the present themselves on and off the field. I really don't think there is a need for comparison here.

  • POSTED BY SouthPaw on | March 29, 2012, 4:27 GMT

    Good, honest responses to a lot of interesting questions!

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 4:27 GMT

    can u keep one comment regarding dravid and not involve Sachin?

  • POSTED BY Vineeth59 on | March 29, 2012, 4:25 GMT

    @Sultan ..yup sachin shud learn from him.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 4:10 GMT

    Frank replies from the heart by Rahul Dravid. _/\_

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 4:04 GMT

    its going to be hard for to witness this indian without dravid, i was six when dravid made his debut, and now i am 21. I still feel that kid inside of me who got excited when dravid scored that 190 in new zealand, that 148 in south africa, the double hundred in adelaide and in rawalpindi, i dont know why the heck am i getting emotional, but dravid was much more than a cricketer for me, i wanted to conduct myself the way he used to, his personality, body language, the way he conducted himself, i just wanted to idolize him off the field and on the field, its gonna be hard for me to come to terms with the fact that there won't be dravid walking out to bat at number 3 for the indian test team.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 3:34 GMT

    dravid a true sportsmen a true professional . sachin should learn from him

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 3:34 GMT

    dravid a true sportsmen a true professional . sachin should learn from him

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 4:04 GMT

    its going to be hard for to witness this indian without dravid, i was six when dravid made his debut, and now i am 21. I still feel that kid inside of me who got excited when dravid scored that 190 in new zealand, that 148 in south africa, the double hundred in adelaide and in rawalpindi, i dont know why the heck am i getting emotional, but dravid was much more than a cricketer for me, i wanted to conduct myself the way he used to, his personality, body language, the way he conducted himself, i just wanted to idolize him off the field and on the field, its gonna be hard for me to come to terms with the fact that there won't be dravid walking out to bat at number 3 for the indian test team.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 4:10 GMT

    Frank replies from the heart by Rahul Dravid. _/\_

  • POSTED BY Vineeth59 on | March 29, 2012, 4:25 GMT

    @Sultan ..yup sachin shud learn from him.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 4:27 GMT

    can u keep one comment regarding dravid and not involve Sachin?

  • POSTED BY SouthPaw on | March 29, 2012, 4:27 GMT

    Good, honest responses to a lot of interesting questions!

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 4:40 GMT

    Sachin is as much a sportsman and professional as Dravid. They have both been great players and great ambassadors of the game, in the way the present themselves on and off the field. I really don't think there is a need for comparison here.

  • POSTED BY sameer997 on | March 29, 2012, 4:47 GMT

    Salute to the legend, the wall

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 5:09 GMT

    The man who played only for the country..Was a slave to the indian team..Did all the work but no recognition..

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2012, 5:41 GMT

    It is an accepted norm in sports that "Form is temporary but class is permanent". Rahul retired as a first class cricketer. He kept on playing for the country in the true spirit and conforming to very high standards of the game of cricket. That is why India had faith in him and the world acknowledged him. Any senior player who realizes that competent youngsters are knocking at the door with proven track records and decides to call it a day is an excellent sportsman. Class, professionalism and sportsmanship are rarely found in one person. Rahul is one such rare person.