Former India captain Rahul Dravid has said that the key to handling disappointments during his career was because he didn’t ponder much over past performances and that helped him prepare for what lay ahead.
Dravid also spoke about the reason for not continuing with India captaincy, reasoning that he gave up leadership of the team in 2007 because stopped enjoying it.
In an interview with Ayaz Memon on the YouTube channel TRUTHtalks, Dravid reflected on his decision to give up India captaincy despite leading the team to a Test series win in England not too long before that.
“I just wasn’t enjoying it,” said Dravid. “Maybe it was because I’d played a lot, there was a lot happening. At that point of time I just stopped enjoying leadership. I didn’t see the captaincy of India as my right. I wanted to do it if I felt I could really devote 100% of my time and energy, and have that mental space to be able to do it well. When I felt that that wasn’t there, I knew it wasn’t right to just keep dragging it along for the sake of it.
“Being the captain of the Indian cricket team wasn’t ever about power and prestige for me. Of course, there’s no question of not enjoying that job, I loved doing it, but after about two-and-a-half years of it I was totally drained.”
India's record under Rahul Dravid as capt.
|All formats||2000-2007||104||50 (#5)||39||11||1.282|
Dravid also spoke about how he dealt with disappointments through his career.
“The way you view disappointments is important. You’re going to face them at some point. Everyone does. For me, it was all about learning from them and moving forward. You can’t dwell on it too much. You can’t play for a long time and have everything go your way, it just doesn’t work like that. Some of these disappointments actually help you enjoy your success a lot more,” said Dravid.
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“I think I was blessed with a kind of personality that tended to look more forward than back. I always tended to think about what’s next, how can I get better. Maybe it came naturally, I don’t think I thought about this much. From a young age, I would always look at what’s next. If I failed in one innings, I would think about how I could do well in the next. I was an introvert but a lot of people would say I used to think a lot. But I knew that I was thinking about the right things.”
The 47-year-old also spoke about the responsibility sportspersons carry because of being role models. He said that individuals need not change who they are as people, but there is a certain amount of caution they must exercise.
“Sport is more than just about the winning and losing, there’s a lot more than that. As you keep playing, you reflect on that a lot more. Yes, there is winning and losing and the financial benefits we get from sports today, but there’s certainly more to it than that. It’s one of the great things about playing for a country where your sport is followed so much,” said Dravid.
“These things made me realise the responsibility I had as a sportsman and a cricketer. I’m not saying you have to be someone different and not yourself, you don’t have to given lessons to society, you have to recognize your responsibility and conduct yourself in a certain manner. Because you’re being followed by so many people, especially young boys and girls. In a way it’s a privilege to get to do what you love. But with it comes a certain sense of responsibility.”
Dravid also said that the spot-fixing saga in the Indian Premier League, when he was a mentor with Rajasthan Royals, was one of the toughest phases of his life.
“It did [take me by surprise]. It was a really tough time, because you feel you are doing the best you can and creating a good environment [and then something like that happens]. You learn from that as well, that there is only so much you can control. I think one of the biggest challenges, because spot-fixing puts the onus on an individual. It’s not like match-fixing or game-fixing, which has to involve everyone. In spot-fixing, if one individual decides to bowl a wide or something, the fix is on.
“It was certainly a disappointing phase, then again, you feel ‘what could we have done better’, and learn from that. A lot of that stuff is still in legal [battles] and all over the place, but when that kind of thing happens, because in that environment there are people who have done everything right. It’s not all bad people but the tendency is everyone gets tainted, that’s not easy. Then you have to manage them who feel they have done absolutely nothing wrong,” he said, adding that the restrictions that cricketers have to face these days is inevitable as the game grows bigger.
“The future of the sport depends on us being vigilant,” Dravid added.
Dravid, currently the head of National Cricket Academy, said that being successful does not mean one has to be mean or nasty.
“I think it is important to make the distinction that it doesn’t or shouldn’t make you a lesser player. Just because you follow rules and shake the hands of the opponent, and genuinely understand what your responsibilities are doesn’t make you less competitive. You don’t have to be mean and nasty to be successful,” he said.
You can watch the full video here.