We all know Rahul Dravid as calm and composed, which he definitely is. But his composure is not to be confused with docility. Time and again, he has proven that he knows how to stand up for himself and for others. Here are a few examples.
1. In July this year, when he was criticised for giving players the India cap "too easily" during India's tour of Sri Lanka, he stated very clearly that everyone chosen as a part of the tour has been given the place based on their performance and has it in them to represent the country.
I truly believe that if you're selected to play for India – whether it's 15 players or 20 players – you're good enough to play in the XI. I don't really think that the selectors select you in the 15 just to warm the bench or select you for a holiday
We've got 11 to choose from and all 11 are playing: Rahul Dravid 😄— Sony Sports (@SonySportsIndia) July 28, 2021
From the playing/remaining 11, who are you looking forward to 😉
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2. He respects his peers but that doesn't mean he won't stand up for himself. For instance: in 2014, Sourav Ganguly to have been told by Dravid that while he knew everything Greg Chappell was doing, he couldn't control him. Clarifying the matter, Dravid responded:
If Ganguly is saying I could not control Greg Chappell, he is entitled to an opinion. But he can't put words in my mouth as I have never had any such conversation with him.
3. When asked about Virat Kohli's personality and his own (the two being polar opposites), he had an honest answer.
I think the game is still about performance. So let’s not take that away from someone like Kohli. That’s his personality. People have asked me, ‘Why didn’t you behave like that?’ But that’s not what got the best out of me. I would have been inauthentic to myself if I had tried to put tattoos and behave like Virat.
4. Speaking further about Virat, Dravid said that while he does not always appreciate the captain's approach, it gets the best out of him and so, it's no one's place really to stop him. However, it's the perspective derived from this statement, which is interesting.
What worries me a little bit is a lot of that gets translated into junior cricket. That's the scary thing for me, not so much what Virat does. Kids at 12, 13, 14 want to become the next Virat Kohli, not realising that maybe that's not authentic to who they are.
Today, his answer may change, given the fact that Virat Kohli has toned down a bit, but this was something not many people had the guts to say back then.
5. When, as a responsible senior, he scolded MS Dhoni for playing a careless shot that cost him his wicket in 2006. Sehwag was the one who narrated the incident.
I have seen Rahul Dravid get angry. When we were in Pakistan, and back then MS Dhoni was a newcomer. Dhoni played a shot and got caught at point. Dravid was very angry with MS Dhoni. 'That's the way you play? You should finish the game'.
6. When he hit back at Rajdeep Sardesai for asking whether Indian cricketers have become bigger than the game. Wise as ever, Dravid asked Rajdeep "who made them too big?". He pointed out that from channels to journalists, everyone benefits from this stardom, and then questions it, which is not fair.
At the core of this (the cricketers) are normal guys, then suddenly they become heroes. And they become heroes thanks to people like you who keep asking them for interviews and write books about them. Who has made them too big?