Rahul Dravid was not known as 'The Wall' for nothing. Nerves of steel
coupled with an insatiable appetite for being out there in the thick of
things, defined the man. He was Indian cricket's resident Mr. Cool!
That Dravid threw a chair after losing his cool following a heavy defeat,
therefore, would seem hard to believe. Or would it?
Dravid's rare act of indiscretion has been disclosed by his wife Vijeta,
in an insightful article for Cricinfo.
In all these years, Vijeta says, Rahul lost his temper just once. The
match in question was the Test against England, in Mumbai, in March 2006.
India had lost that Test by 212 runs. Dravid who was the then captain had
scores of 52 and nine.
"Only once, I remember, he returned from a Test and said, 'I got a bit
angry today. I lost my temper. Shouldn't have done that.' He wouldn't say
more. Many months later, Viru (Sehwag) told me that he'd actually thrown a
chair after a defeat to England in Mumbai. He'd thrown the chair, Viru
said, not because the team had lost but because they had lost very badly."
The fans at the Wankhede Stadium, that day, were merciless.
The Indians were booed during the match. At the presentation ceremony,
chants of 'Bring back Sourav (Ganguly)', filled the stadium. Incidentally,
it was Dravid's 100th Test appearance.
Vijeta also said that Rahul had initially expected to play till 2007-08.
"Just after we got married, I remember him saying to me that he hoped to
play for the next three or four years, and that he would need me there to
support him in that time."
"Now that he has retired, I think: Not bad. We've done far better than the
three or four years we thought about in May 2003," Vijeta wrote.
Vijeta, then goes on to describe her husband as the perfectionist,
everyone knows him to be.
"Now I know that with Rahul's cricket, nothing is casual, unconscious or
accidental. Before he went on tour, I would pack all his other bags, but
his cricket kit was sacred — I did not touch it; only he handled it."
"I know if I packed only two sets of informal clothes, he would rotate
them through an entire tour if he had to and not think about it. He has
used one type of moisturising cream for 20 years because his skin gets
dry. Nothing else."
"He doesn't care for gadgets, and barely registers brands of watches,
cologne or cars. But if the weight of his bat was off by a gram, he would
notice it in an instant and get the problem fixed," she wrote.
- The Telegraph, Calcutta