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Give your best and don’t compare yourself with others, in the end it’s your journey: Rahul Dravid on success

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Former India captain and ICC Hall of Famer Rahul Dravid has defined success as beautifully as his back-foot punch in his heydays. The NCA head said “success is being the best you can be”. Sweet and solid for ‘The Wall’ once again.

Rahul Dravid added that the runs and wickets of a player can be no proof of his success, rather how hard he tried to deliver defines and decides everything. India’s legendary number three said it’s not good to compare oneself with others as in the end it’s a single person’s journey. Being one’s own best version is the key according to Rahul Dravid.

Rahul Dravid, who himself averaged over 52 in Test cricket, said that a batsman averaging 50 in international cricket has failed a lot more times than he has succeeded.

“Success is being the best you can be. For me that’s it. Personally, at least, at the end of the day success is not about a lot of runs or wickets or things like that. If you are able to sit back and [look back] on your career and say, ‘Hey, I gave it my best shot, I tried my very best’… Sometimes you might play a lot of cricket, sometimes you play less cricket. Or whatever it is that you do in life. And you need a bit of luck as well for things to fall in place. You can’t escape that.

“You can’t compare yourself with other people – at the end of the day it’s your journey, so just be the best that you can be.

“In cricket you fail a lot more than you succeed. In batting, in general, you fail a lot more. If you consider a fifty as a success point, you don’t cross fifty in the majority of your innings, so you do learn to fail a lot in cricket, and a guy who has an average of 50 in international cricket has failed a lot more times than he has succeeded,” Rahul Dravid told in an interview with ESPNcricinfo.

Further, the 47-year-old also revealed that he was an introvert and not so active kid while growing up and that in some manner brought the calm and balanced attitude in him. He humbly admitted that he was lucky to be naturally calm and focussed and that helped him improve his game.

Rahul Dravid suggested that concentration is the aspect of game which needs to be worked upon by a lot of practice. According to Dravid the best way to enhance one’s focus and concentration is while batting in the middle amid scorching heat and match pressure.

“I certainly think that it can be developed and worked on, and it must be worked on if you want to be a successful cricketer – or successful at anything. The ability to be focused, stay in the moment, to play that one ball at a time is a very, very important skill.

“I must admit that I was a little bit lucky in that inherently my nature’s such that I’ve had the ability to concentrate. I’ve not been that extroverted person; even growing up as a kid, I was a bit introverted, I wasn’t one of those hyperactive kind of kids, so I had that ability to stay calm and stay balanced. The Karnataka-born suggested that a batsman should not develop a laid back attitude after completing a milestone but instead go on and on to learn how to concentrate for bigger knocks.

“Over the years, playing the game and watching other people play the game, you sort of realise that you got to be able to work on it and develop it and be able to have confidence in it under extreme pressure. It’s one thing to be able to do it when you’re sitting down or lying down in the comfort of an air-conditioned room, but being able to trust it and execute it under pressure when the heat is on in the middle of game, [when] you’re facing expectations and a really challenging spell of bowling… To be able to switch back on and keep that focus and do those simple routines requires practice.

“It’s something that over the years I kind of learnt at the nets, dedicating a bit of time to do it in the nets. Someone gave me very good advice as a youngster: the best way to be able to concentrate or bat for a long time is to do it whenever you have the opportunity in the middle. So don’t throw your opportunity away when you are in the middle, [thinking] ‘oh I’ve got a hundred, I’ve got a big score now, I’m set for the next few games and I don’t need to worry about them’. Instead, use it as a good opportunity to learn how to concentrate or bat for long periods of time. That’s something that’ll help you as you go on,” Rahul Dravid said.

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