Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Crossing Boundaries

"He has crossed boundaries, meant something to everyone, which is why you see such outpouring of emotion"

- Rahul Dravid 

Dravid is one of the most level-headed and balanced sports persons seen on or off the field. As established by his well acclaimed Bradman oration 2011(here), his thought process is as clear as his crisp drives. The above quote is yet another example of that clarity. 

"There was and is only one Rahul Dravid. There can be no other" 

- Sachin Tendulkar

SRT and RD are two players that had a lot in common, being fantastic personalities and having fabulous achievements. They both loved their game; they were very talented and backed it up with focus, dedication and great amounts of workload and preparation (they both easily qualify for the 10k-hour rule of Outliers); they exhibit middle-class values and rarely ever display a temper; opponents didn't sledge them because that only increased their resolve; they were highly team oriented players (though critics crib on SRT at times, one never even got a whiff of such critique from other team members); they were confident and authoritative on the field; they took losses with stoic dignity (most of the time); their humility belied their stature; they took Indian cricket to a different level and created the confidence in the team to become number one...

Yet, one got the feeling that SRT had that little something extra (even Dravid mentions him 5-6 times in the Bradman oration). For me these are: (a) his vulnerability, (b) child like exuberance and (c) early start to a glittering career. In contrast, RD was rarely vulnerable and had a solidity that can be boring at times. By the time RD started, SRT was already a star and in RD's words, a lone warrior and set the benchmark for others not only in Indian team but outside too. Also, vital as he was for the team, RD did not have to carry the burden of the country's expectations to the extent SRT did. May be this explains the absence of fanfare when RD retired rather quietly. 

Barring some of these externalities, I doubt whether there is much to choose between these two champions. But I would rather look at the common traits as above to get a feel of what it takes to become a champion and a great person.

For me, both are Bharat Ratnas, one acknowledged so and the other happy to play second fiddle and didn't fret about it. 


Unknown said...

Unfortunately both these greats could not achieve great success as captains, though RD did leave a legacy at RR. One would have loved to see more of this brand of leadership.

Clara Mellor said...
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KRG said...

Now you see it in under 19 team, DD and as Kumble says indirectly in the entire Indian cricket fraternity