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Sight Screen

Friday, November 04, 2005

Rahul 'Perfect' Dravid (-worma)

That's what I felt, after reading this lengthy cricinfo interview of RD. In fact, the first proper one since his annointment. As we know him, he's diplomatic in parts, firm and clear in others, and sometimes absolutely and openly honest(no I don't mean modest). Consider this
There's been a suggestion that you said you would not accept the captaincy unless it was given to you over a period of time, and that you made this clear to the board president ...
Absolutely not. I don't think there's any truth to that. The board president never spoke to me before I was appointed captain and I had no such conversation.

And do remember, it was Anand Vasu(the interviewer here) who had suggested in one of his earlier piece that RD would not have accepted a filler role. And, going by the emphatic manner in which RD replied to this one, I don't think he was being dipomatic.

Then, in this portion, what caught my attention was that he went to the extent of naming all the members of the support staff.
You put a lot of stress personally on preparation before a game. How has the support staff [coach, Frazer etc] helped make a difference with reference to this in the team context?
They have helped a lot. Greg and Ian have brought in some new ideas. They work really hard on preparing the guys to play a game of cricket and once we reach the field it is my team and I lead the boys. Greg and Ian have prepared the team brilliantly. John [Gloster] and Greg [King] have played their part well as physio and trainer. Ramki as analyst, and a good manager in the Wing Commander [M Baladitya] has helped immensely. It's a coming together of good people. It's an environment where we're challenging each other constantly. That is helping. I'm enjoying the environment and I'm sure the rest of the boys in the squad are enjoying the environment.


And this portion struck me because it resonated with the thought I sometimes have had, in recent times, that all this talk of process over results is good(probably a bit overplayed in the media) but is it getting highlighted only because the results are good? And what when they aren't? Here's what he says
You've emphasised a lot on processes and not just on results. But assuming the results are not going your way, does the team have the maturity to still believe it is the processes, not the results, that are important?
Not always. At the end of the day we are playing in a sport where results are everything. But that's where you are going to be tested. Are you willing to back yourselves when it's not going well? There are times when it is not going to go well. When things are not going well you have to look to change things and be a bit proactive about it. Not everyone is going to have the patience with us when things are not going well, but we must have that patience as a group. We must have some patience with some of the boys when things don't go so well with them.


And about handling the new roles that come with captaincy, and judging himself on that, here's what he says, with my emphasis on some portions (where again, I felt honest rather than modest opinon coming across)
Being captain of India is not just about cricket. You have to deal with officials, endless press conferences ...
You have to deal with it. That comes with the terrain. I was lucky that I was vice-captain for four years and I learnt how the system worked. I got a lot from sitting back and seeing how things worked but it's early days yet. I have not led the side enough to tell you what it's like. Irrespective of whether the team wins or loses, it is too early for me, or others, to form an opinion on what sort of captain I am. I have led the side in just 20-odd games and that is not enough experience given the amount of cricket we play these days.

35 Comments:

  • hi worma
    do u know the latest scores from the duleep trophy ? i cant access cricinfo from here

    By Blogger GK, at 03:37  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger GK, at 03:37  

  • Zim Pres XI 87/7 against East Zone...Bose 5 wkts

    Central Zone 171/6 against W Zone...Kaif 56 out, Khan took 3 wkts so far

    By Blogger worma, at 03:43  

  • thanks

    By Blogger GK, at 03:54  

  • central zone 206 allout. Khan 6 wkts!

    Zim Pres XI 142/9..SG also took a wkt

    By Blogger worma, at 04:27  

  • hi,
    iam want to watch sunday's game in ahmedabad on the internet.how is willow tv and are there any internet to watch the game on the internet.

    Thanks.

    By Blogger barcafan, at 05:28  

  • sorry i meant what are the alternatives for watching the current series on the internet

    By Blogger barcafan, at 05:30  

  • Worma..I am in agreement in your thinking that we need to keep both our feet planted firmly inspite of wallopping SL in the 4 one dayers.I think RD's replies in the interview also reflects it.As for Dhoni, how far he will go depends on how well he plays abroad on faster,bouncier and seamer tracks.I think his technique is iffy but who knows.. he may turnout to be another VS.But early days.I do not believe that we praise the team sky high one day and then start giving them our choicest gaalis when they don't perform.If the intentions are good and if they continue to work hard then we should have no complaints.My only grouse against SG was that he stopped totally working on his game in terms of improving his technique,physical fitness and fielding capabilities.Added to it,there was a farce of not keeping proper over rates,turning up late and then that mediocre interview about dressing room delibrations.I think the punch line in RD's interview was this"As a captain, if you expect guys to work hard, always to their best, become better cricketers, then you have to show them that you are trying constantly to do that yourself and challenging yourself. " If this is not an indictment of SG,i do not know what is!!

    By Blogger laks1234, at 07:13  

  • laks1234, I agree to some extent with your views...SG, in his later days, had stopped evolving as a player and even as a captain. Probably that was his biggest mistake....and others just stem from this one shortcoming. Ofcourse there are other aspects of captaincy(esp in India) which take a lot 'out' of a player...and RD, as per his own confession, hasn't reached that stage. So we don't know how much of an effect that has on him. But we do know (even if we talk without comparing the two) that the prolonged captaincy career does (and justifiably so) have an adverse effect on the player.

    By Blogger worma, at 07:45  

  • rahul dravid looks and talks like an intelectual than an indian team captain....there seems to be intelligence and logice behind his actions.
    i loved the line wherein you cannot expect team to work unless u yourself are willing to do it. I think wright had to deal with that and being a nice guy and teams success in early days he couldnot get the captain to do it. soon you had sehwags nehras and zaheer khan joining in which pulled as to where we are today....it required a chappell and no bullshit aussie to kick start it back

    By Blogger tombaan, at 07:46  

  • Worma : Good post - but to me, the mot important part of that interview was the last question & Answer -
    The way you're batting in one-day cricket these days, is that also a reflection of the fact that you're not taking yourself so deadly serious these days?
    I've learned to accept success and failure equally. It's not just now. I have learned to deal with it and be on an even keel over the last five years. That has been a huge help to me as a cricketer and as a person. That comes from experience. I was dropped from the side for about a year in 1998, and I realised that one of the things I missed was the enjoyment of playing the game. Sure you enjoy the successes, but you also learn from the failures. I tried to bring the enjoyment when I came back. And I guess it also taught me that life would not end if I was not picked to play for India.

    I am happy that here is a captain who is refreshingly realistic and down to the earth in his prespective about things ... compared to his predecessor who always has the 'I did it...' kinda burst at everything.

    By Blogger ravi2206, at 07:58  

  • ravi2206: agreed...very valid point from him. In fact most of the interview was good (only light sprinkling of obvious here and there)...but I can't quote the whole thing on the main post :-)

    Although I disagree with you on the predecessor thing...SG wasn not 'I did it...' kind...nomatter how the media may paint him (then..or even now). Ofcourse his personality, as a captain, was more in-your-face...and its wrong to compare him with RD(wrong for both), or anyone else for that matter. If you want to compare...it can only be in terms of team results, players individual performances, players growth and development, their level of satisfaction, team togetherness as a unit etc. Not on the kind of personalities they were.

    By Blogger worma, at 08:06  

  • right on worma..although comparisons will always be there.. we need to realize that these are two very different individuals and their records should speak for themselves on the ground and not their personality..for us fans, it must be possible to credit rd without discrediting sg or vice versa..for both of them have been wonderful players and leaders of their team..anything else is just not cricket

    By Blogger indianfansrcrazy, at 08:24  

  • Worma & Indianfanscrazy:
    My post was not about 'discrediting' SG - I only tried to bring out the difference in styles...!
    When you keep saying 'I did it ...'(or more famously 'Do-it-Now' or 'In-Your-Face' style captaincy) as captain, it puts enormous pressure on you - and you don't have anyone else to share the blame...! You get everything ... bouquettes or brickbats...!To be fair to SG, this style of captaincy / leadership requires enormous guts and he had it in him.
    To me, the essence of RD's captaincy philosophy appears to move away from that...! And that's what I felt as 'refreshing' and 'realistic' in his Interview...!!!!
    Lastly, aren't comparisions inevitable with your predecessors...? especialy when the Transfer of responsibility (or power, depending on how you look at it) happened in such muddy atmosphere...????

    By Blogger ravi2206, at 08:39  

  • It is difficult to comapre between two persons like that, that too in totally different circumstances.

    Bear in mind that SG became captain after only 4 years of international cricket , with two captains changing and so much factions inside the team. RD became captian after 9 years of international cricket, and after being deputy for 2-3 years and under more or less the same stewardship. That makes a huge difference in preparation.

    Moreover, SG almost never had JW completely on his side...that was never JW's style..doing politics etc. GC is a different bird. He knows to leverage his capabilities.

    RD is a very balanced mind. He is a reader of books. Again, do not forget he got to perform under an established reign for many years and that allowed hin to focus properly.

    I wonder what would his style have done during match fixing contro...

    By Blogger SS, at 08:46  

  • ravi2006: wasn't intending to blame you....what I meant to say, and I still see you re-iterating that point, was that SG was *not* using the 'I did it..' style. Or maybe what you meant was that he tried to be a protective force around the newcomers..and took the ownership for single-handedly representing the whole team with his 'in your face' style ?(which is diff from 'I did it..' style)?

    If so, then I agree...he did take that approach..but that was, to some extent, essential in insulating the young and vulerable sections of our team (which was rebuilding after a prolonged dark age) from external influences (and I mean this in strict cricketing terms!)

    Again, this is a scenario which is unique in itself, and we don't know if any other approach to this (RD's or even a third one) would work out or not.

    I do understand what you mean by RD philosophy of moving away from it, and probably it is right in today's context. Probably SG would not have been able to get away with the web he himself had created(and which had served its purpose in the past).

    And yes, comparisons are inevitable, agreed. Doesn't mean they are fair also ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 08:47  

  • ss: In my opinion, and I say this despite the potential for drawing lot of heat here, RD would not have been able to pull up the team in that atmosphere. As I said above...probably his philosophy may work in today's context (and mayb..is even the best approach)..but not in that period. Although, we can never be sure...just extrapolate and use our judgment.

    By Blogger worma, at 08:50  

  • yes they are inevitable but my point is we dont need to pit one against the other..we can like them both for their qualities.. and ravi thanks for your explanations..i read "i did" as "gimme the credit"..which i guess you were not implying..but, during sg's era that attitude was necessary as our cricketing establishment could easily strong arm you..one can always argue that he had dalmiya's support to accomplish his objectives..but, may be rd will have gc's support to do the same..or may be gc will have rd's support??

    By Blogger indianfansrcrazy, at 08:58  

  • This line from the RD interview is very heartening.

    "In India it is easy to make the mistake of taking things too seriously. Everyone is jumping up and down about us winning the series [against Sri Lanka]. Yeah ok, we've done that, but we have to stop thinking about that and move on. If we lose people will moan."

    In the past, I feel that we often would relax way too much after a good game - win one, lose the very next one. This attitude of Dravid's seems to dismiss the hype & hoop-la, and keep looking only forward. I hope that this attitude shows up in our performance.

    By Blogger Jeetu, at 09:00  

  • worma
    does this mean that you finally have agreed that it was time for a change in the captaincy ? And I mean independent of the whole zimbabwe episode

    By Blogger GK, at 09:13  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger worma, at 09:19  

  • gk: not sure if there is a simple answer to that. What I do agree is that the situation today is different from what it was when SG steered the ship...and that it did need some adaptation on his part. What I am not sure is whether SG would have been able to bring that necessary change in his approach or not.

    Note that I consciously avoided mentioning RD in this part...since his independent judgment needs more time(as he also said) and more varied conditions and situations.

    By Blogger worma, at 09:20  

  • In the last ODI againsta PAK, India went up 2-0 with 148 from Dhoni, but the media focus was on SG's batting, thanks to Bedi/Raj etc. However, SG did not hit back at critics. In spite of being 2-0 up against PAK this is what he said :
    "Criticism is going to happen because I have not scored runs for the last five to six innings," he said. "People are going to criticise, but these things remind you that you have been good enough in the past."

    Do not write him off as a hot-headed BS!! When we are putting RD on a pedestal, there is place for SG also...

    By Blogger SS, at 09:23  

  • Worma..My take on SG is that he is an extremely articulate sophisticated character who had the guts to say and do what he felt right.The backing he got from Jaggu must have made his backbone very strong.But after the great series victory in Pakistan( to me in the entire history of indian cricket,the biggest achievement to date) he sort of lost the plot and started wasting his energy in involving himself in unwanted controversies.I am sure his inteligence did not desert him at this stage but his tremendous feeling of self importance which is generally called "vanity" took greater hold of him.Now just see the way he has been dumped with not even an iota of sympathy.Whereever he goes he will carry the slur of GC's words( whoever leaked the email, they did the second greatest disservice to SG,,the first was SG himself admitting to HB that GC did not want him)which was in agreement with the thinking of many connected with indian cricket.This is something similar to what the boy said"the emperor is naked".If SG had been smart,he would have seen the writing on the wall,PUT DOWN HIS HEAD TO WORKOUT his short comings but how can be overcome his "Vanity"?.There in lies the tale..

    By Blogger laks1234, at 11:01  

  • Worma, I think RD has done everything right to far. I just want him to do one more thing (may be has done that too in private, the way it should be). I hope that he has kept in touch with the likes of SG, ZK, VVS, AN etc. Sometime back Prem had commented that he hopes the selectors would talk to SG about his exclusion. I think the captain should also do that. At least to those players who have been playing together for a long time. I mean if Dravid hasn't done that, I won't hold it against him. He's busy with many things right now. But if he has done that, my respect for him will only grow.

    By Blogger Jai, at 12:34  

  • laks1234: Yeah his last year was kinda screwed up...due to various reasons. Not entirely his own making, after all he doesn't really 'control' everything in Indian cricket, including the players and the administration, but yes there were times he could probably have pulled it all together.

    By Blogger worma, at 12:35  

  • jai, totally agreed with you. Thats something which the captain, coach etc should always do. And I don't think being busy is an excuse...after all its a matter of minutes. In fact, just after a selection meeting...probably first thing to do is talk to the dropped players. Especially when you are talking about players who have been part of the core team for long...and are also likely to figure out in future. And include Laxman in that list. I always get the feeling that he is perpetually kept in the dark about the actual goings-on....never really kept involved. That guy is too much of a gentleman to speak out much about it. Although last time he did vent it out on a couple of occasions.

    By Blogger worma, at 12:39  

  • VVS in my list stands for Laxman. :)

    By Blogger Jai, at 12:56  

  • laks1234 -
    you say " He stopped totally working on his game in terms of improving his technique,physical fitness and fielding capabilities"
    preceeded with
    "my only grouse with SG"

    LOL What else is he expected to do? This is all isn't it?

    By Blogger J, at 14:00  

  • There is no question that Gagnuly deserves a lot of credit for the success of the Indian team. Indeed, some of the success the team is enjoying now should be credited to Ganguly.

    However, he decided that he will can carry on as a passenger and that has cost the Indian team. I don't really see how he can compete with the likes of Kaif, Rao, Raina and Yuvraj. Ganguly for all his records seems one-dimensional in comparison.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 14:41  

  • jai: oops...I missed that one..ok :-)

    jiet: that one dimension, even if we get it 60-70% back, is much more than I can see some of the younger ones ever equalling (even with their complete package offer...not just batting)

    By Blogger worma, at 14:54  

  • Worma, I completely agree with you. After a point, is batting and bowling that wins matches, not bits and pieces (they of course, do compliment things). You cannot be a world beater with 11 Chris Harrises or Shahid Afridis. SG in prime form is a better bet than all these greenhorns put together (so far none of them have given indications of being a precocious talent like the young SRT either). Form is temporary, class is permanent. Of course, this also means that SG needs to get back to prime form.

    By Blogger oldmanblues, at 15:42  

  • worma,

    over what time frame? If you are saying that Raina 5 years from now will not be as close enough to Ganguly at his best, then I think you are speaking too early.

    If you are saying this with the WC in mind then I would disagree, too. Even if Ganguly changes the team total by 50 runs in a match by a big innings, we give up a potential run-out or a catch from someone like Raina and runs saved can also turn the game around.

    I respect Ganguly skills as batsman, but in today's one day game you need to have all basis covered.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 16:03  

  • jiet...I am saying this in a time frame for which SG can play at a 'usable' potential (provided he recovers now)...that time frame is appox the same for all these...SRT, RD, SG....around 2-3 yrs.

    And I disagree....there is a place for secondary skills....like fielding and catching etc....but if the difference in primary skills is immense then you have to do with what you get...doesnt mean that SG, if and when he comes back, should take it easy and rely just on his batting. I think he can be an ok fielder and a safe catcher.....I dont think there is no place for such a person? What about Inzy? Or a McGrath(surely no more than a safe fielder?)...

    Point is...each team desperately needs matchwinners...and no team throws them away because of weak seconday skills.

    By Blogger worma, at 16:54  

  • More on matchwinners. Ganguly has 30 Man of the Matchs and 6 Man of the series in 279 games. Tendulkar 50 moms and 12 mos in 352. Shewag has 13 Moms and none mos in 132; Dravid has 10 and none Mos in 269. Again, the caveat here is, as Worma points out, the question of potential. In good form, Ganguly, apart from Tendulkar, is a better matchwinner than our available talent. Teams perform in the present. Present form counts and decides between loser and winner. This is why Ganguly is out of the team, but should be included immediately once he lifts his game (which he is trying to). If Raina (God bless him) needs five years to achieve that commanding potential after five years, as Jiet says, then he should unquestionably play as a regular in lieu of Ganguly after five years.

    By Blogger oldmanblues, at 19:35  

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