Rahul Dravid: A Balanced and Empathetic Coach for Team India


Background: The Aftermath of the 2007 World Cup

India’s exit from the group stage in the 2007 Caribbean World Cup left a bitter taste in the fans and the players’ mouths. The situation back home was grim, with instances of violence directed toward the players. Renowned establishments like Sachin Tendulkar’s and Sourav Ganguly’s restaurants were attacked; Zaheer Khan’s house stoned; and a wall of MS Dhoni’s house was torn down.

Meanwhile, many Indian players, including Virender Sehwag, isolated themselves while waiting in the Caribbean for their flights back home.

Dravid’s Perspective: Seeing the Bigger Picture

In this challenging moment, Rahul Dravid approached MS Dhoni and Irfan Pathan, two young members of the team. He suggested they all go to a movie together to alleviate their spirits.

Pathan recollects Dravid’s heartfelt words, stating, “Look, yes, we lost the World Cup. We all wanted to make a big difference. But this is not the end of it. Life is much bigger. We will come back tomorrow.” These words have stayed with Pathan ever since.

Dravid’s Approach: Avoiding the ‘My Way or the Highway’ Mentality

Rahul Dravid, as a coach, has successfully steered clear of the “my way or the highway” principle. This approach allows for more meaningful and lasting relationships with his team members. In spite of the criticism directed at his decision to change Tendulkar’s batting order, Dravid managed to remain composed and focused.

After his return to India amidst the World Cup’s hysteria, Dravid chose to spend time with his family at Kovalam beach in Kerala. A famous photograph, available across the internet, demonstrates his carefree attitude as he enjoys a day at the beach, wearing just an aqua-blue towel.

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