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Rahul Dravid Quotes
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The bowlers I respected or feared or rated were not the ones who gave me lip or stared at me or abused me. More the ones who, at any stage of the game, when had they had the ball in hand, they were going to be at me, and they were going to have the skill and the fitness and the ability to be aggressive.
I am not the only intense or intellectual cricketer. I played with other cricketers who could be pretty intense and intellectual.
I was in the hockey team in school, played football. One of the challenges for me was to make the team feel better. It helped me evolve, so batting at different positions was never a problem.
I wasn't the most prodigiously talented cricketer in Karnataka, let alone India. Some of my team-mates in my school team could hit the ball cleaner than I do. I had to work through that lack of talent, so to speak, that lack of natural flair. Runs never came easy for me.
Growing up, in my under-15 days I used to be a wicketkeeper, and that carried on till I was 17. Then I started focusing on my batting and moved on. I got into the Ranji team quite early, and generally, as a youngster, the first place you are put in is at bat-pad and short leg, so you had to work on your close-in fielding straightaway.
While I played Ranji Trophy for five years, I used to be asked, 'When are you playing for the nation?' - a question which I didn't have any answer to. I kept playing before I got my first break in 1996; those five years were indeed frustrating.
In a cricket career, your life is in some ways controlled for you. You have no control over schedules, you have no control about where you want to play, you don't have control over that as a cricketer.
There is no substitute to taking a lot of a catches as a youngster if you want to do slip catching - you've got to catch, catch, catch. And more than doing the normal stuff, you have to vary your catching - you've got to take some catches with the tennis ball, you got to take some closer, some further away.
Administrators are there because of the fans and the cricketers to run this game, so credibility of a game, or a board, or even a government for that matter, is important irrespective of what you do. If you are in public life, it is important.
From a spinner's perspective, in India it was never easy for me to judge where to stand: how far forward, how far back, because on Indian wickets the ball does not carry as much as abroad. That is true of slip fielding in general. I wouldn't say only for spinner - even for a fast bowler, that holds true.
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