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I see captaincy as a great honour and have enjoyed it, says Rahul Dravid

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SPEAKING OUT: Rahul Dravid makes use of technology to study his batting occasionally but is not obsessed with it. Photo: PTI
SPEAKING OUT: Rahul Dravid makes use of technology to study his batting occasionally but is not obsessed with it. Photo: PTI

`As long as you are willing to improve and are constantly improving and looking for ways to improve then I think you become a better player'

NDTV will telecast an interview with Rahul Dravid on its `India Questions' programme on Sunday (March 11) at 7 p.m. The interview with the captain of the Indian cricket team was conducted by Prannoy Roy, Chairman, NDTV. Excerpts from the interview.

Dr. Roy: There used to be questions about you being slow but suddenly you have become an aggressive player?Dravid: I think it is just a question of adapting. I think over a period of time I have grown in confidence as a player. And we are not all the finished articles as soon as we come in.

Very few players come in as finished articles. You need a bit of time, you need to play at this level, you need to have a few ups and downs, you need to learn about it.

As long as you are willing to improve and you are constantly improving and looking for ways to improve then I think you become a better player and that sort of continues till you finish. I mean, even now I am looking to improve, to be better.

Do you do a lot of self-analysis, look at your game in the video and say `I did this wrong'. How scientific is cricket getting? Cricket is getting very scientific but a lot of it is I think mental. I know that a lot of people do use the technology. I do use it, yes, once in a while to look at my batting, but I am not obsessed with it.

I don't constantly see it and fret about it because, you know, at this level, all of us, especially if you have played over a period of time, you do have the ability, the talent and the skills to do it.

I think it is a question of time, of getting your mind right. It's a question of how you work on your mind. A sort of self-analysis not only about your own cricket, but also about the way you think.

So much in the mind, is it? It is. I think after a while it is mental really. The game is about how you can control your emotions, how you can react, have the right responses... areas that let you down more than your cricket. If you can get that right you can more often than not give yourself the best chance to succeed.

Talking of enjoying things, are you enjoying captaincy or do you prefer the carefree days when you were a player?I do enjoy captaincy. I see it as a great honour and privilege and I have enjoyed it. I have enjoyed everything that comes with it. I think you accept that there will be tough days as a captain. Not everyone is going to suddenly become the sort of good boy and then turn into a sort of whipping boy at some stage.

But, especially that nasty thing called the media right?They have their role to play. If you are captain of India, I think it is not personal. I don't take it personally. There will be a captain after me and he is going to go through the same thing as well. So it's not about Rahul Dravid, it's about the position that you inherit.

And I think some of the joy comes with that, I mean learning how to deal with these things and cope with it.

When they say Australia, there is a lot of gamesmanship. Are we aggressive or are we mild, quite good guys? I think we are pretty aggressive. We give back as good as we get. A little bit of the sledging is over hyped. It is not as bad as people make it out to be. It's getting better definitely and especially with the new code of conduct.

So it's more level (playing field) than it's been in the last two World Cups?I think it is definitely more level than the last two World Cups, not in terms of performance though. It seems level on paper...but I think there might be two or three teams that can go on a roll and, I hope India is one of them.

Who is your best captain...Mark Taylor, Mike Brearley or Imran Khan? I have never played against Mike Brearley or Imran Khan, so for me it would have to be Mark Taylor. Taylor was a great captain. You never really knew on his face whether they were winning or losing, he was brilliant at it.

Tell us what do you feel when the umpire gives you a wrong decision?

No, at that point of time you are disappointed but when you go back and think about it, there are many times.

So the days of `walking' are gone? I think the days of `walking' are gone. I respect the umpire's decision. So even if I get a bad one, I accept it as part of the game.

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