Former Indian cricketer Rahul Dravid was applauded for his mental toughness in the cricket world. He was rightly labelled as ‘The Wall’ because his determination and dogged mindset dismantled the opposition. Dravid was different from his peers and made a special place in India’s cricket history. However, there was a phase when the greatest cricketer also had insecurities for his career in ODIs.
Rahul Dravid made the debut in the Indian team in 1996. He was a constant scorer for the team in Test cricket but could not adjust himself in limited over. Subsequently, he was dropped from the ODI team in 1998. That year became tough for Dravid as self-doubts surrounded him. He began to question his batting credibility.
“There have been phases in my international career (when I felt insecure). I was dropped from the ODI team in 1998. I had to fight my way back in, was away from the Indian team for a year. There were certain insecurities then, about whether I’m a good enough one-day player or not because I always wanted to be a Test player, was coached to be a Test player, hit the ball on the ground, don’t hit the ball in the air, coaching like that. You sort of worry whether you had the skills to be able to do it (in an ODI),” said Rahul Dravid said in a recent chat with former India cricketer WV Raman.
How Rahul Dravid overcome his fears:
Dravid made a strong comeback to the ODI side ahead of the 1999 World Cup in England. He even ended up as the highest scorer (461) of the tournament although India could not qualify for the semi-final.
However, he marked his entrance in the format. But How did he overcome his fears? Dravid has opened up on how he again regained the trust and mastered in every format.
“A lot of the ways to deal with the insecurities was to try and control the things I could control. Later on, I realised that the things you get insecure about are some of the things beyond your control. You start worrying about things that you can’t control. Sometimes even success and failure are not in your control,” Dravid said.
“What is in your control is the effort, the hard work that you put in, your ability to concentrate, your ability to switch on and switch off, the ability to stay balanced, I think these are the things that you can control. Focusing on the things that I could control and ignoring what I couldn’t was something that definitely helped me.”
Rahul Dravid, who retired from the game in 2012, played in 164 Test matches and 344 ODIs scoring 13,288 and 10,889 runs respectively.