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IPL staff in Mumbai 02 July 2012 - 01:36pm IST

Dravid open to coaching India

Legend says he enjoyed his mentor-leader role with RR

Since his retirement, Rahul Dravid has refrained from commenting on his future plans, often saying he wants to take a break before making any decision.

However, the legendary Indian batsman has recently revealed that he was open to the idea of coaching the Indian team in the future. "Who knows? Some day in the future [I will perhaps take up the role],” Dravid said, when asked whether he would like to mentor the side.

After a stint as mentor cum captain of the Rajasthan Royals side in IPL 2012, Dravid feels confident of taking up the role on a larger scale. However, he refuses to commit to anything, acknowledging the qualifications required to coach at that level.

"It was part of my role with Rajasthan Royals this year. It was little more than leadership, I was involved in the tactical and coaching side of it ... Enjoyed doing that. But I don't have the level 1, 2, 3 certificates that people want sometimes,” he said.

The retired legend reflected on his 16-year-long luminous career with fondness, saying the thing that originally attracted him towards cricket was the joy of sharing the ups and downs with teammates.

"That is one of the biggest joys of team sport," he said when asked how his team would celebrate wins. “What drew me towards team sport was the camaraderie and friendship.

"The chance to celebrate victory and success with a group of other people is something I have enjoyed doing. There have been some big celebrations ... Adelaide was one of them," Dravid said, referring to India’s memorable Test win against Australia in 2003. He rates his sparkling double century in that Test as one of his best knocks.

"In terms of control and just the way I have played through the innings, I think it was one of the best constructed innings. Also considering that Australia had scored over 550 runs. But frankly speaking, it was a good batting wicket," he told a news channel.

One of the highlights of Dravid’s career has been his prolific partnership with VVS Laxman. Speaking of his on-field association and off-the-field friendship with Laxman, Dravid said, "It was fantastic and a privilege to bat with him all these years and share some lovely, wonderful partnerships. VVS was a good, laidback South Indian boy.

"I had the opportunity to bat with Sachin [Tendulkar], [Virender] Sehwag, Sourav [Ganguly], [Gautam] Gambhir, Laxman and [Mohammad] Azharuddin. .. guys who are legends of Indian cricket,” Dravid said.

A team man known for his selflessness, Dravid never hesitated to perform any role that the team demanded of him. The unassuming star puts it down to one of the aspects of playing a team sport.

"That's the beauty of team sport, as I had said earlier. I was in the hockey team in school, [an I also] played football. One of the challenges for me was to make the team feel better. It helped me evolve, so batting at different positions was never a problem."

Even after exiting from international cricket, and post the IPL season, Dravid has continued to play in lower division matches. While he admitted to not training or practising like he used to during his playing days, the former India captain said he wanted to play these matches for the benefit of youngsters who were part of these leagues.

"I have not been training ... it's been only a month. I have played a couple of matches over the last two weeks – the final of the TNCA league and a second division final. But no practice, no training and no warm-ups.

"People like Gundappa Viswanath and Sudhakar Rao continued to play even after retirement. I have played with them [early in my career] and it was a huge thrill for me to play against them."

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