The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘I don’t visualise any awkwardness’
- We’ve been teammates and friends for many years, says Team India captain Dravid about Sourav
Team India vice-captain Virender Sehwag and captain Rahul Dravid during a practice match between India Senior and India A at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Tuesday. (AFP)

Calcutta:The other day, Jawagal Srinath spoke about Rahul Dravid always being “politically correct.”

The new Team India captain certainly lived up to that reputation when The Telegraphcontacted him, on his cellphone, Tuesday.

“Please don’t lob questions which could put me in trouble,” Dravid pleaded, laughing.

Not that he lands into controversies, but the desire to be a million miles from anything controversial is understandable.

Dravid, after all, has just been made full-fledged captain. The appointment is for the July 30-August 9/10 tri-series in Sri Lanka, but who knows what the future holds'

From Bangalore to Cardiff (Sourav Ganguly’s temporary home), nobody is quite sure.

“Captaining the country is an honour' I’ve done it in the past (five Tests, 12 ODIs) and, so, it won’t be something new,” Dravid remarked, adding: “However, be it one match or a tournament, the honour element never changes'”

But, surely, he must be happy there’s nothing provisional about his captaincy'

“Well, yes, everybody can do with a bit of time and clarity' This holds good for individuals and teams' It helps to be able to put thoughts together in a clear frame of mind,” Dravid answered.

In the past, there have been instances when he didn’t get too many hours to prepare for a job regarded as the toughest after the Prime Ministership.

Mark Taylor remains Dravid’s favourite captain. Steve Waugh, Nasser Hussain and Stephen Fleming have also made an impact on the Bangalorean.

His own approach is simple: “Whether one is leading a cricket team or an organisation, one has to do so by example' The challenges have to be met head-on.”

Asked whether there would be awkwardness if Sourav’s ban got lifted and he joined the squad, Dravid replied: “We’ve been teammates and friends for many years' I don’t visualise any awkwardness.”

Sourav and Dravid, it may be recalled, made their Test debut together ' at Lord’s, in 1996.

Dravid didn’t talk at length on the composition of the tri-series squad, but did say: “The rookies (Suresh Raina and Yalaka Venugopal Rao) and J.P.Yadav have been rewarded for consistency in domestic cricket.

“I’m sure they have much to offer at the international level as well' Their presence does give us options.”

Dravid won’t forget Monday in a hurry, but insisted he didn’t celebrate being handed Team India’s independent charge.

“I have, at some point or the other, already told you I don’t believe in celebrations' I stayed at home and hit the bed early,” he informed, laughing again.

Incidentally, thanks to hundreds of congratulatory calls, Dravid’s cellphone had called it a day before he did!

Footnote: It’s not clear whether Sourav and Dravid have spoken to each other, since Monday, but coach Greg Chappell apparently called the former (in Cardiff) soon after the squad was picked.

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