If you follow the cricketing world at all, you’re aware that Rahul Dravid recently announced that he will be retiring from test cricket. This has been written about endlessly all over the internet. People have had a lot of great things to say about him, and that goes to show the kind of person he is. There have been pictures, videos etc. of his career, matches he played and so on. I’ll leave it the task of documenting the high points of his career to more knowledgable people than myself.
I’ve always been a huge admirer of Dravid. He grew up in the same city I grew up in. He did his schooling at St. Joseph’s, my school’s arch rival. He was also our nemesis at some point. But it’s not just about the fact that he’s a “local boy”, whatever that means. He could be from Australia, and I think I’d admire him just as much.
In terms of cricketing achievement, few people have done better than Dravid. There are loads of cricketing lessons to be learned from the way he played his cricket. Whether it be his unerring slip fielding, his glorious cover drives, or his rock solid defense. These are great things to learn from the man, but they’re not all that important to me (sure, improving my cricketing skills would be nice, but it wouldn’t have a major impact on my life). I’ve only briefly played cricket seriously myself . I can’t bat, bowl or field worth a damn. If I were to compare myself to an international cricketer, I reckon Jimmy Kamande would be the perfect fit (still, growing up the way I did, it’s impossible to not be a cricket fan for life). There are however, several non cricketing lessons that one can take from his career. This is the one I’d like to incorporate into my life.
You may not be the most talented person. That’s not an excuse to not try your best. I don’t think anybody would disagree that Dravid was amongst the less talented cricketers of his era. He’s never had the flair of a Lara or a Tendulkar. He has however, managed to outdo both of them (this is my opinion, let’s not get into the whole Tendulkar vs Dravid debate - irrespective of which side of that debate you fall on you cannot deny that Dravid’s done extremely well). To me, Dravid is the best example of someone with less than extraordinary abilities who became extraordinary by working hard. I’m going to try and do the best I can at whatever it is that I do. If things work out, fantastic: I’ll have my own little Dravid story 40 years from now. If they don’t, well, I’ll be no worse off than I would’ve been anyway.
On the ridiculously minuscule chance that you’re reading this, Mr. Dravid: thank you for being a source of inspiration to me, and good luck.