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Cricketer Rahul Dravid unveils Disney and ESPN cricinfo's Timeless Steel book in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Buy Rahul Dravid: Timeless Steel: Book

Rahul Dravid: Timeless Steel


ESPN Cricinfo

Publisher: Walt Disney (2012)

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Book Summary of Rahul Dravid: Timeless Steel

Rahul Dravid was probably one of the last classical Test match batsmen. The lynchpin of India’s Test match side through the 2000s, he combined technical virtuosity with a legendary work ethic and near-yogic powers of concentration, and epitomised an old-school guts-before-glory approach in an age increasingly defined by flashy strokeplay and low attention spans.
A collection of 30 pieces – new and previously published on ESPNcricinfo and its sister publications – this book features contributions from Dravid’s team-mates and peers, some of the finest cricket writers around, and interviews over the years with Dravid himself. It attempts to paint a picture of a cricketer who embodied the best traditions and values of the game, and a man who impressed the many people who came in contact with him.
Greg Chappell remembers the India captain he worked alongside. Ed Smith, who shared a dressing room with Dravid at Kent, writes of a thorough gentleman. Sanjay Bangar relives the splendour of Headingley 2002. Jarrod Kimber tells of how Dravid became the reason for him getting married. Mukul Kesavan analyses how his technique allows for more style than one might assume. Sidharth Monga puts Dravid’s captaincy under the spotlight. Rohit Brijnath looks back at the twin peaks of Adelaide 2003. Vijeeta Dravid gives us a look at her husband the perfectionist. Those and other articles make Timeless Steel as much a celebration of a colossal cricketer as of an exceptional human being.

Details of Book: Rahul Dravid: Timeless Steel

Book:Rahul Dravid: Timeless Steel
Author:ESPN Cricinfo





Publishing Date:2012
Publisher:Walt Disney
Number of Pages:256

Rahul Dravid: Unplugged and fully recharged

Watching Rahul Dravid speak about cricket is always a joy. It not only shows how much he knows about the game but also how much he loves it. And now that he has retired, he even smiles a little more.

The former Indian skipper, who is also the second highest run-getter in Test cricket, was in Mumbai to release a book ‘Timeless Steel’, which is a collection of stories about Dravid’s amazing career.

Excerpts from the interaction between Dravid, Sanjay Manjrekar and Harsha Bhogle.

On his obsession with technique

There are many who would say that. But look at it this way, I wasn’t ever the best striker of the ball or the most talented player in any team. Even in school, while others would strike the ball well, I would struggle. So that was something I had to work very hard at. So yes, to a certain extent I was obsessed but I also felt that I needed to be that way – I was desperate to succeed. But then again, there were points when I felt I went overboard or some senior would come and tell me that I need to smile a little – Srinath and Anil did that a lot. So that was a red flag point for me. But in much the same way – the red flag for a talented stroke-player was that at time, he could become maybe just too casual.

On being ‘less’ talented

I guess talent in cricket has been judged in different ways. For us talent always meant someone who could play pretty shots and make it look easy. That was the definition. It was never about determination or mental strength or more such categories. For example, I remember playing a match against Vinod Kambli, who was one of the cleanest strikers of the ball I had ever seen, at Baroda. First ball of the innings, Anil Kumble was bowling and Kambli waltzed down and hit him for six. Baroda, in those days, had a stone wall and I remember watching the ball bounce back into the ground and thinking to myself, ‘Wow.’ That was talent. But then again, when it came to determination or mental strength, Sachin probably had a lot more in those categories than Kambli. I would probably say that I was probably a little blessed in those categories as well.

On captaincy

Let me say, it’s been a great honour and privilege to captain India. In some ways, I had a taste for it. I was vice-captain for 4 years with a few matches where I was captain and when I had the opportunity, I took it up with a certain amount of energy. And over a period of time, I discovered it was gone. The World Cup loss probably played a big part in it and it took a big toll on me. I would wake up on some morning and say, ‘Oh god, another game of cricket.’ I had never felt that way about it. I like to believe I did a pretty decent job of it. If some of those results had gone better, I would have probably stayed in the job for a bit longer like Sourav or Dhoni.

On Greg Chappell

He was fantastic to talk cricket with. He really knows the game and in essence, he grew up with the sport. They would talk about cricket all the time – after the match, at home, in the bar. It was cricket all the time. There was a lot there. He knew batting. He understood it.

Chappell is a very strong personality and he comes across like that. But it was my team. At no moment did he say we should do things in a particular way. Never felt that he was trying to hard drive something that I didn’t want to do it and he did. If he had something to say, he would say it. He was Australian.

On getting angry

My control of my anger was partly natural. I never really got angry too much because I realised early that when I did get angry… when someone managed to get inside my balloon, I would never play well. When I though of trying to get even, I would never play well. The only time I did get angry in the dressing room was during a Test match against England in 2006. I had won the toss and elected to bowl (which in hindsight was not a good decision) and then we had gone on to lose the match. We had come into the match leading the series 1-0 and then to see ourselves capitulate to defeat on the last day made me really angry. I was partly angry with myself. (Laughing) I did absolutely crush the chair though.

On the attitude of youngsters in cricket today

I was never much of TV watcher. I would prefer a book. It allowed me to escape. Nothing else afforded me the same luxury. And when we would have the time, we would sit and listen to the seniors and veterans talk about the game. But these days the distractions are a lot more. There is so much more to do. Who would want to spend time in a smelly dressing room? They probably talk about cricket a ‘little’ less. They may get together and still be talking about the game in their rooms. As a young cricketer, I remember taking the long journey from Bangalore to Calcutta and listening to Vishy and Kirmani and other seniors talking about the game. A lot of my cricket learning came from there. We would talk to them or eavesdrop when they were talking. People still do that. We probably don’t notice them as much.

On getting bowled in Australia

In Australia, my timing just went off. And by that I refer to the timing of the bat coming down to meet the ball. I lost that timing, it was a tough tour and I didn’t have much time to sit and analyse what seemed to be going wrong. There are some things I tried to rectify and I did. Even though it was the T20 format (IPL), you still had bowlers trying to bowl as straight as possible to get me bowled. It didn’t happen as often as Australia, did it?

On fielding in the slips

I love fielding in the slips, especially when the tailenders were batting. There was always a chance and you needed to be alert to that. I started off at short-leg and silly-point though – like all juniors – for Karnataka. But luckily I didn’t spend too much time there. There was another youngster who made it to the team and I quickly moved into the slips. And I worked very hard at staying there. I was blessed with large hands and that helped.

On governance in cricket

Nobody can do anything about the governance of the game…. I am joking. But there are things were are doing right – for example, in India, our juniors play a lot of cricket, a lot more than any other country around the world. And there are signs that things are starting to become more professional. Just give it some time.

On a future in cricket

Will I be India’s cricket coach? I don’t know. Will I be part of the governing council? I don’t know. Will I be the CEO for cricket operation for the BCCI? I don’t know. I don’t know where all this seems to be coming from. I want to be involved with the sport in some way but I don’t know what that form will be. Sometimes, it is not a bad idea to step away and I believe that it will be good for me to step away and live a ‘real’ life.

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