Home > Features > Interviews >

India tour of England 2014: I enjoyed playing in the IPL, says Rahul Dravid

Rahul-Dravid-I-enjoyed-playing-in-the-IPL628
Rahul Dravid captained Rajasthan Royals admirably for three years © PTI & IANS

Two and a half years after hanging up his boots in international cricket, Rahul Dravid, one of the greatest batsmen ever produced by India, looks as trim and fit as he did in his playing days. All that one finds odd while looking at his dapper form is the absence of a bat in his hand. CricketCounrty’s Arunabha Sengupta caught up with the maestro in Nottingham for a brief chat during the on-going Test match.

Two and half years after his graceful farewell from international cricket, Rahul Dravid looks as fit as ever as he walks into the lounge of the Hilton Nottingham Hotel. If anything, he seems leaner than ever before. Merely two hours have passed since the last ball of the day was bowled at the Trent Bridge Test, and he is already in his workout attire. It turns out to be even more amazing when one discovers that he has already had a session in the gym after returning from the cricket.

On the table where we sit, plates of finger food lie scattered, tempting the nibble like the most seasoned master of swing bowling. Dravid does not touch the mouth-watering fried potatoes, looks as closely at the platter as he did at anything bowled to him, and chooses the snack that looks rich in protein and low in calories.

So, carrying on the perfectionism from his playing days, is he overcompensating for his retirement from competitive cricket through excessive work in the gym? Dravid laughs in his characteristic self-effacing manner. “Nothing like that, I just do some workout. Nothing special.”

So, how has it been working with the Indian team as a batting consultant? “I don’t quite know from where this technical term ‘batting consultant’ evolved. It is nothing so formal. The boys hang out with me, talk to me and I share my experiences.”

Is he working on the techniques of the batsmen to adapt to the English conditions? “Not really. As I said, the boys hang out with me and I share what worked for me what I found difficult. We don’t make changes to technique or style.”

‘What I found difficult’ reminds the writer of Bhuvneswar Kumar’s remark that Dravid’s tips were helping the bowlers as much as the batsmen in the team. If Dravid found something difficult in England, there would be few batsmen negotiating it with ease.

Since the topic of technique has popped into the discussion, I ask him something which I have wanted to know for long. Did he enjoy playing in the Indian Premier League? “Did I enjoy playing it? Of course I did enjoy playing IPL. It was a different, a new sort of challenge and I really liked it.”

But given that he had one of the purest techniques in the game, didn’t the format jar with his cricket? “Of course I knew that I was never going to be a Chris Gayle. But, I enjoyed leading the team, working with them, trying to work our ways through the tournament. As I said, it was a different type of challenge and I really enjoyed it.”

One of the senior members of the hotel staff approaches the table, apologising profusely. There is a group of Indian guests from the United States and they have requested her to ask whether it would be possible to get a photograph with the great man. Gracious as ever Dravid says yes. The group is delighted. They had been sitting in the lounge watching a crucial World Cup football game, but Dravid remains a far bigger draw in India. One of the greatest of all time.

(Arunabha Sengupta is a cricket historian and Chief Cricket Writer at CricketCountry.He writes about the history and the romance of the game, punctuated often by opinions about modern day cricket, while his post-graduate degree in statistics peeps through in occasional analytical pieces. The author of three novels, he can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/senantix)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 17, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 18, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 19, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Raipur

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Mohali

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014  at Raipur

Northern Knights won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014  at Raipur

Lahore Lions won by 55 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 14, 2014  at Raipur

Mumbai Indians won by 9 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 14, 2014  at Raipur

Northern Knights won by 72 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 13, 2014  at Raipur

Lahore Lions won by 6 wkts

Photos

West Indies vs Bangladesh, 2nd Test at Gros Islet

Videos

Anderson plays golf with Jaguar competition winners

Kevin O’Brien: Ireland will look to adjust to conditions in Australia-New Zealand ahead of ICC World Cup 2015

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK) CLT20 2014 Match 1 — Key battles

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK) CLT20 2014 Match 1: Kolkata Knight Riders’ likely XI

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK) CLT20 2014 Match 1: Chennai Super Kings’ likely XI

CLT20 2014: Why Mumbai Indians failed to recreate the magic

Bangladesh Bangladesh vs West Indies Bangladesh vs West Indies 2014 Champions League T20 Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 Kolkata Knight Riders Mumbai Indians Northern Knights Southern Express West Indies West Indies vs Bangladesh West Indies vs Bangladesh 2014

KKR vs CSK in CLT20 2014: Ryan ten Doeschate, Andre Russell lead inspiring fightback

KKR vs CSK in CLT20 2014: Andre Russell, Ryan ten Doeschate raise hopes

CLT20 2014: Kings XI Punjab looks to get the best out of players says coach Sanjay Bangar

KKR vs CSK in CLT20 2014: Suryakumar Yadav dismissed by Ravindra Jadeja

KKR vs CSK in CLT20 2014: Early wickets put KKR on back foot

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Key highlights, lessons from qualifiers

Four interesting statistics about Ravichandran Ashwin

West Indies raise hopes ahead of India tour with dominant show against Bangladesh

Leave it to Smiths — an all-Smith XI

Kevin O’Brien: Ireland will look to adjust to conditions in Australia-New Zealand ahead of ICC World Cup 2015

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

635 Posts | 7 Fans

Yuvraj Singh in Anupam Kher show

Maharashtra government justifies reservations for Marathas and Muslims in Bombay High Court

Traders allege predatory pricing by online companies, may stop supply

Consuming high-fat dairy products reduces diabetes risk

Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon-Ek Baar Phir: Cabir H Maira to enter the show!

Widows from other states should not crowd Mathura: Hema Malini

Why some people are naturally inclined to music

Karan Singh Grover unaffected by his divorce rumours?

iOS 8 available for iPhones, iPad and iPod touch

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here