They may be as different as chalk and cheese but Shane Warne and Rahul Dravid have one thing in common: unconditional respect from younger players.
Two of the youngsters are playing together for the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian premier League this season — Ajinkya Rahane and James Faulkner. And both swear by the influence Warne and Dravid have had on them.
“Both are legends and very different captains but I have learnt a lot from both. Rahul is one of my role models. He likes to just keep it simple as a captain, like his batting.
“Warne keeps trying new things, he likes to experiment. He does a lot of things that we would never expect him to do but that’s his style,” Rahane said.
Rahane joined Rajasthan Royals in 2011 and has played a season each under both the captainsFaulkner, who has joined RR this season, too has played under Warne’s captaincy (in the Big Bash League) and is now looking ahead to working with Dravid.
“Warne has been a massive support over the last two years. I have got to know him off the field as well. He has always advised me to back myself and my game and I have done that through the BBL,” he said.
Faulkner is hopeful of replicating the success with Dravid here. “I have had a couple of sessions now with Rahul. He has been very positive for the team.”
Rahane has not had a good outing at the Ferozeshah Kotla this year — he scored 7 and 1 on his Test debut against Australia, 4 in the ODI against Pakistan in January. He is keen to start afresh.
“I like to learn from what I have done and try not to repeat my mistakes,” Rahane said.
Faulkner, meanwhile, is looking forward to bowling to Chris Gayle.
“I have got a little bit of rivalry going with him now. I am sure he will try to hit me out of the ground and I will try to get him out. I am sure it will be a great spectacle.”