Former India captain and current Under-19 team coach Rahul Dravid picked batting great Sachin Tendulkar to bat for his life in a video interview recently.
“The best guy I’ve played with was Sachin Tendulkar. In terms of quality and class. So I’d pick Sachin, at his best,” Dravid answered during a video interview with espncricinfo.
India’s ‘Wall’ in the longest format of the game for more than a decade, Dravid’s name often comes to mind when the question of picking a “batsman to bat for your life” pops up.
But the 45-year-old who has 13,288 runs in 164 Tests for India chose long time teammate and former India captain Tendulkar.
The recent ICC Hall of Fame inductee, who coached the India U-19 team to a World Cup title earlier this year, was also asked about the funniest sledge he ever received.
He picked one delivered by the Australian fielders as he walked out to the crease to join V.V.S.Laxman while following on in the famous 2001 Eden Gardens Test.
The pair added 376 runs together to help India to one of the greatest victories in Test history.
“When I walked in at Kolkata, I was reminded that I’d been batting at No.3 in the first Test, and by the time we reached the third innings in Kolkata I was No.6,” he recounted.
“So I was told that by the end of the series I’d be No.12, which I thought was really funny.”
When asked which batsman from the past he would have liked to forge a partnership with, Dravid said: “I would have loved to have partnered Sunil Gavaskar. And hopefully Gavaskar would have gotten out when I was still batting and G.R.Viswanath would have walked in. That would have been cool. They were my childhood heroes growing up.”
Dravid heaped praised on South Africa quick Kagiso Rabada as one of the bowlers he would love to face from the current generation.
“If you’re counting Indian bowlers, Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) would be quite a challenge. Facing Bhuvi with the new ball with his ability to get the ball to move away and come back in would be a great challenge,” the batting legend said.
Â Letâ€™s go through them all:
If you were not a cricketer, what would you have been?
Rahul Dravid (RD):Â Something related to Commerce or Accounts.
Whatâ€™s the one skill you would have liked to have borrowed from another batsmanâ€™s game?
RD:Â Brian Laraâ€™s flair. I loved his creativity and flair.
One bowler from history you would have loved to have faced?
RD:Â Michael Holding or Jeff Thomson. Just for a few balls though and definitely not without a helmet!
If you could win one trophy in a sport other than cricket, which one would it be?
RD:Â Any Olympic gold would do. Even an Olympic gold for watching would be amazing. To win an Olympic gold would be incredible.
233 in Adelaide, 180 in Kolkata or 81 in Jamaica â€“ which is your favourite?
RD:Â It is very hard to pick just one. Each is very significant but I would say, in some ways, 81 in Jamaica is less recognised. Iâ€™d say that.
If you had to pick your own nickname, what would it be?
RD:Â Rahul. Can we just call me Rahul?
A batsman from the past you wouldâ€™ve liked to have had a partnership with?
RD:Â I would have loved to have partnered Sunil Gavaskar. And hopefully Gavaskar would have gotten out and GR Viswanath would have walked in. That would be cool. They were my childhood heroes growing up.
What would be the title of your autobiography?
RD:Â â€˜A book that was never writtenâ€™ *laughs*
Who has been your role model in life?
RD:Â A lot of my thoughts and values have been programmed by my parents. A lot of what I do and believe in has come from my parents.
Did you have any superstitions while playing?
RD:Â Not really a superstitious person but I did put on my right pad first. Started as a habit â€“ tendency was to go down first on my left knee and put on right pad first. But not really a superstition.
Which is the finest book youâ€™ve read?
RD:Â Itâ€™s not the finest book but it is a book that influenced me as a youngster. It is Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. I read it as a 15-16 year old and resonated with what I was trying to do at that stage in life. It came in at a time when I was trying to make cricket into a career.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
RD:Â We (the family) like the forest a lot. We go to places like that in Karnataka and try to do it at least once a year if not more.
If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
RD:Â Iâ€™ve got a real sweet tooth so I would go chocolates. As long as it doesnâ€™t affect my body. But if Iâ€™m picking one for the rest of my life, it shouldnâ€™t affect my body.
If you could play a prank on one of your team-mates, who you pick and what would you do?
RD:Â Shared the room with Venkatesh Prasad quite a few times and Venky was incredibly clean. So just for him to walk up to a messy room and the look on his face would be priceless.
What is the most memorable headline about you that you remember from your career?
RD:Â â€˜Dravid helps St. Josephâ€™s win titleâ€™. I think thatâ€™s one of the earliest in my career but first time your name comes in the paper, you remember it. I was all excited about it and hope they get the spelling right. A lot of times in my early career, a lot of the reports said â€˜Davidâ€™ while the scoreboard would say â€˜Dravidâ€™.
Amongst the present crop of bowlers, who do you think would have troubled you the most?
RD:Â Iâ€™m not that old! Iâ€™ve played with a quiet a few of them and been troubled enough! Someone like Mitchell Starc maybe but Iâ€™ve played him. Kagiso Rabada maybe. If youâ€™re counting Indian bowlers, Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) would be quite a challenge. Facing Bhuvi with the new ball with his ability to get the ball to move away and come back in would be a great challenge.
What do you love the most about being retired?
RD:Â Not having to play fast bowlers and bouncers. I love that! I donâ€™t have to wake up thinking how am I going to play someone bowling 145kmph.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
RD:Â I am a little bit old-fashioned so anything Superman could do â€“ fly from anywhere into anything.
A non-cricketing sportsperson you admire and would look to meet?
RD:Â Have metÂ him but Roger Federer is really someone Iâ€™ve watched and admired with the way heâ€™s carried himself and what heâ€™s done. I watched him once at Wimbledon and was a fanboy moment, took a photograph so it was loving going to Wimbledon and getting to meet him once.
Which is your favourite stadium to watch cricket in?
RD:Â I would say Lordâ€™s. The vibe of Lordâ€™s, Iâ€™ve always loved Lordâ€™s. Thereâ€™s just something about it, the history of it, love the atmosphere and the vibe.
If you were to watch a band or a singer perform live, who would it be?
RD:Â Bob Dylan or Bruce Springsteen. If youâ€™re in a concert, you want to see Springsteen. Iâ€™ve seen some on video but the atmosphere live would be something else.
One batsman youâ€™d choose to bat for your life?
RD:Â The best guy Iâ€™ve played with wasÂ Sachin Tendulkar. In terms of quality and class, so Iâ€™d pick Sachin at his best.
If you were to be summed in a hashtag, what would it be?
Whatâ€™s the funniest sledge youâ€™ve faced as a batsman?
RD:Â When I walked in at Calcutta, I was walking in at No 3 in the first Test and by the time it finished, I was at number six. I was reminded that Iâ€™d be number 12 which I thought was really funny. And it was a real possibility!
If a movie was made on you, who would you like to play you?
RD:Â Aamir KhanÂ maybe.
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Source: Matchday Frolics