Days of our Lives!

August 30, 2012

Book Review: Rahul Dravid: Timeless Steel – ESPNcricinfo

Filed under: Books,Sports — Santhosh @ 10:54 PM

Book: Rahul Dravid: Timeless Steel
Author: ESPNcricinfo
Genre: Anthology, Sports

I read cricinfo. I also like Dravid. And I mean both in the most politely understated way possible. If ever someone got into the online stalking business, they’d find that a cricinfo hits counter for me would have a daily average not too dissimilar to Dravid’s, and for almost as long. Dravid’s the cricketer I’ve liked the most (with Sachin, it’s love, which is different) and I’ve gone through phases where I’ve voraciously searched and read everything to do with him (google alerts, rss feeds, the works). And then, along comes this book, which is made up mostly of the best of the cricinfo lot on Dravid, and complemented by new articles from some of my favourite cricket writers.

Nicely structured (as can be seen below), it at once provides both an intimate and a complete picture about the man and the cricketer. Because of the anthological nature of the book, and the filtering from among the tens of really really good writing on the topic, we’re essentially talking about a collection of, for the most part, truly great articles. That a couple may pale in direct comparison with the other articles in the book is more a reflection of the quality and richness of the collection.

The final retirement interview is a case study in its genre for both the interviewer and the interviewee. There is the unedited article of Vijeeta Dravid’s, the unabridged Dravid interviews that even further illuminate his class and intelligence, and edited versions of gems previously published but now with that extra bit of hindsight. Siddharth Monga’s amazing play-by-play account of the Kolkata 2001 innings took me back a decade and the brilliant dissection by Akash Chopra on Dravid’s evolving technique is a masterpiece in its own right. The articles by juniors, coaches and peers give a peek into the competitor and the professional, and Samir Chopra’s The Money Moment throws that bit of light on the steel behind the gentleman*.

* Something which I’ve also once seen happen during a Dravid interview just before the 2007 world cup. The interviewer was some kid who was clearly out of his depth and kept talking in cliches in terms of the game and, funnily enough, even of the man he was interviewing. At one point, there was some ridiculous question that Dravid politely patted away. The kid again pressed Dravid on it, and at that moment, I too saw the strength and steel behind the cool exterior. Dravid’s eyes narrowed a touch, his lines hardened a bit, his voice became steely, and suddenly the kid (and I) knew he was witnessing 20000 international runs talking to him.

My Rating: 5/5. Definitely a keeper. The book, that is.

**********

Introduction: Your Regular, Everyday Superstar by Sambit Bal

The Cricketer

In The Words Of His Peers

The Great Innings

The Man

The Interviews

The Bradman Oration

The Numbers

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1 Comment »

  1. Great Cricketer i ever seen in my Life…Thanks for sharing…

    Comment by Play angry Birds — December 17, 2012 @ 7:01 PM | Reply


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