Rahul Dravid, The Wall of Cricket, turns 46 today. The one man I terribly miss, and am sure many cricket fans of the 90s and early 2000s would agree, is Jammy. It was in times of Rahul Dravid that cricket used to be a gentleman's game, which somehow it doesn't seem to be so. I remember rooting for Dravid in every match back then and my sister rooting for her favourite Sourav Ganguly. After Dravid retired, I don't remember rooting for any other cricketer. And I won't have doubts in saying, cricket is now a louder game, not a gentleman's really. Rahul Dravid Turns 46: Seven Quotes by the Ultimate Gentleman of Cricket.
Over the past few days, two young cricketers - Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul (Dravid's namesake, but that's just it) - have come under scanner for their utter misogynist remarks on television chat show Koffee With Karan. Comparisons are being drawn with an episode of an old TV show MTV Bakra, in which a girl played a prank on Rahul Dravid and forced him to marry her while he maintained distance with her and asked her to concentrate on her studies. Dravid was absolutely dignified even though he didn't know he was on camera. His aggression was something that we saw in his game, not in his conduct on and off the field. Rahul Dravid Praises VVS Laxman, Says His 281 Against Australia Is the Greatest Innings Played by an Indian Cricketer.
Rahul Dravid's Episode of MTV Bakra
Well Hardik Pandya incident reminded me of a young Rahul Dravid who was bullied in MTV Bakra and how well he responded to it. You always can set the right example if you have it in you. Must watch! pic.twitter.com/5X4Py9LvR9
— Chandramukhi🐥Stark (@FlawedSenorita) January 9, 2019
I remember personally meeting Rahul Dravid. I haven't seen a celeb that grounded. While I met him as a journalist, I was starstruck, like any other fan. I had always had this dream of meeting Rahul Dravid when I would grow up to become a journalist. When I did, it was crazy as I was at the next level of excitement. But Rahul Dravid was calm, composed and outright decent. In fact, I have to say that Dravid has been one of the most mellowed down gentlemen I have met till date. And that is what he used to be on the field.
A Tribute to Rahul Dravid
I am no cricket expert, but for all I know, no one ever handled pressure like Rahul Dravid did. He would not be the one who would sledge on being under pressure, or the one who would shout out loud because he hit a century. His success would play out in the numbers, his aggression would play out in his runs. Like Mathew Hayden once rightly said, "All these things going around these days are not aggression. If you really want to see aggression, look into Rahul Dravid's eyes."
That is what young cricketers today have got to learn from Rahul Dravid. He played as a team player and continues to do that. The man is an inspiration not just on the field but off it too.
On Rahul Dravid's birthday today, here's wishing the man who is having a great inning as Under 19 coach, an even greater inning in life. And, here's also a request from a fan - we wish to see you play a cricket match soon!