Subscription Subscription
Home > News > Opinion News > Article > Dear Rahul

Dear Rahul

Updated on: 26 November,2023 05:15 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Rahul da Cunha |

I’ve always wanted to climb into your head, assess your thinking, untangle the source of your grit, and determination.

Dear Rahul

Illustration/Uday Mohite

Rahul Da CunhaYou just have to look into Rahul Dravid’s eyes to understand aggression
—Matthew Hayden

Dear Rahul

For starters, Dravidsaab, well done on a fab World Cup campaign.

I’ve always wanted to climb into your head, assess your thinking, untangle the source of your grit, and determination.

Honestly, you weren’t on my all-time favourite player list, growing up… being a fast-medium bowler Lillee, Akram, Ambrose, McGrath, Imran occupied my key positions…batters never came into consideration except for one Shri Vivian Isaac Anderson Richards for the pure swag and chomping of that chewing gum.

But of late, you’ve become my top Indian player, across all eras—not for your batsmanship alone, but also for your backroom, behind-the-scenes brains—you’ve eschewed the glamour you deserve, to get on with the job at hand—unearthing young talent.

In a way you first went out to bat for India in 1995 and you’re still not out.

Frankly, if I ever made a biopic, it’d be a docu-drama titled The Wall—about you. You took the bowlers on in your heyday and you’ve handled the brickbats as you did last Sunday, at the press conference.

Also read: The god who sprouted hair

You’ve always been the bridesmaid, excuse the gender crossover. Sachin was the man in whom we invested a billion dreams, but most often it was you who saved us a billion nightmares.

That golden period between 2002 to 2006, you scored 8,000 odd Test runs, and were the architect of so many overseas victories. 

In stark contrast to the other prima donnas in your time, you pretty much did what was asked of you, for the team, even picked up the wicketkeeping gloves at one point.

You didn’t overstay your welcome, and on retirement, took off your pads and opened up your laptop.

There’s an academician in you, a teacher a guide a mentor, riding on your humility, shorn of all hubris, you did the greatest thing an ex-batter could do, give back to the game, leave a lasting legacy.

You lead our 2018 Under 19 boys to victory, for starters.

Somehow you managed, to duck and weave your way to coach the national team, you and Rohit, the magical duo.

Because of your supreme batsmanship, you’ve brought about the emergence of Gill, helped Kohli re-discover his touch, given KL Rahul self-belief, supported Shreyas, devised the plan of Rohit’s attacking in the powerplay, your support of the bowlers, well that’s an equally compelling story, especially Kuldeep Yadav.

The game’s reached a spooky era of politicalisation, the anonymous dark hole that is our governing body.

I’m not surprised you’re stepping down post last Sunday.

I doubt you’re leaving because of one lost game, final or not. You planned the 2023 WC to a tee, but you can only bring the horse to the water

Everyone’s still venting, we’re a vicious, vindictive but passionate people, desperate to pin the donkey—the pitch, the players, the politics, Pandyas absence, I don’t frankly know why we lost. Did we just get into a motorcycle run, breeze on our faces, empty terrain ahead? What could go wrong? How could the fairy tale end in failure? You’ve led us to the top of all three formats with no global silverware on your mantelpiece.

But if I’ve read you right, it’s the process not the prize.

What are you thinking, Rahul? Sure, you’d like to have won… but did you fully do your job, do you feel?

Will you help VVS find magic long-term solutions to one day of bad one-day cricket?

Where are you headed, Mr Dependable?

My hunch is you still have unfinished business, the legacy continues, you have to make sure the conveyor belt of cricketers, coming through, is constant. Young players get depressed when dark hole of form deserts them. When the fickleness of officialdom knocks them down without an explanation. Kindness is not our way. And you are kind.

(On a side note, if you’re gonna do more TV commercials, I’d recommend the crazy guy yelling from a car type more than the engine oil ones, just saying).

Go well, Dravid sir.

The nation needs nurturers.

Rahul daCunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at

"Exciting news! Mid-day is now on WhatsApp Channels Subscribe today by clicking the link and stay updated with the latest news!" Click here!

Register for FREE
to continue reading !

This is not a paywall.
However, your registration helps us understand your preferences better and enables us to provide insightful and credible journalism for all our readers.

Mid-Day Web Stories

Mid-Day Web Stories

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK