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 30, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

West Indies tour of India 2014, Practice match

Oct 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Mumbai

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Perth Scorchers won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 29, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 36 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 27, 2014  at Bengaluru

Chennai Super Kings won by 13 runs

Photos

Cricket on Mt. Kilimanjaro

Videos

Brian Lara speaks on the art of batting

Mitchell Marsh helps Perth Scorchers clinch 3-wicket victory against Lahore Lions in CLT20 2014

Live Cricket Score Barbados Tridents vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 20: Rain interrupts play

Gautam Gambhir becomes second player after MS Dhoni to captain in 100 T20 matches

Consecutive century opening partnerships in ODIs for each team

Have Manish Pandey’s T20 performances eclipsed his impressive First-Class record?

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Barbados Tridents Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 Dolphins Incheon Asian Games 2014 India at Asian Games 2014 Kings XI Punjab Perth Scorchers

Chris Gayle hopes to get back in shape before the Test series against India

Barbados Tridents vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 20: Match stopped due to rain

Barbados Tridents vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 20: Knights lose Kane Williamson early, make slow start

Rohit Sharma launches cleanliness campaign

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will face Hobart Hurricanes, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will face Chennai Super Kings (KXIP) in CLT20 2014 semi-finals

Gautam Gambhir becomes second player after MS Dhoni to captain in 100 T20 matches

Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers Match 19 CLT20 2014: Lahore likely XI

CLT20 2014: Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers Match 19 — Key Battles

Consecutive century opening partnerships in ODIs for each team

Players scoring 50-plus in both innings of a Test match most number of times

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

671 Posts | 6 Fans

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab- Final Match Highlights from IPL 2014

Krushna Abhishek and Bharti Singh reunite for Comedy Classes!

Barbados Tridents vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 20: Knights lose Kane Williamson early, make slow start

Ello might be ad-free, but it is far from claiming Facebook’s throne

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Alcohol could leave you sleepless even after you have quit

Top 4 reasons Jayalalithaa may get bail in disproportionate assets case

Barbados Tridents vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 20: Match stopped due to rain

Is Nawazuddin Siddiqui charging Rs 1 crore for Shahid Kapoor’s Farzi after the success of Salman Khan’s Kick?

Paris Saint-Germain vs Barcelona Preview & Team News, UEFA Champions League 2014-15: Zlatan Ibrahimovic is out but PSG can still give Barca run for money

Health Minister says UHAM to be world’s largest public health insurance programme

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here