India batsman Suresh Raina, who recently made his comeback to the national team after a gap of more than a year, has expressed his gratitude towards the legendary Rahul Dravid for being his support system.
The 31-year-old Raina termed Dravid as his elder brother and remarked that the batting great showed him how to live a life.
“I have always idolized Rahul Dravid. He was my first captain and he has always been an elder brother to me. Hum log thay UP waale desi ekdum. Pata nahi tha kaise khana hai, cutlery kaise use karni hai. Bass yeh pata tha ki ball ko maarna kaise hai. Unse milne ke baad ek saleeka aaya, ek tehzeeb aayi. Dravid showed the way to lead life and the attitude that a player should have. Rahul bhai supported me a lot,” Raina quoted by Times of India as saying.
Raina also recalled an incident when he was feeling low before a match and then Dravid walked up to him to laud him for his fielding credentials. The left-hander went on to add that he can even give his life for a leader like Rahul Dravid.
“I remember that at one of the matches where I couldn’t score any runs, I was sitting with Irfan (Pathan) and he was eating and I told him ‘pata nahi kal ka match khelenge ya nahi.’ Rahul bhai told us that it was the time when we should show our strength in fielding. I think that day I really performed well in the later half of the game. Do-teen players out karein maine. Agar koi Rahul bhai ki tarah motivate kare toh hum toh aise hai ki apni jaan bhi de de,” Raina commented.
Suresh made 15 off 7 balls in the first T20I against South Africa besides plucking three awesome catches later in the match. The Men in Blue won the Johannesburg T20I by 28 runs. SuperSport Park, Centurion will host the second T20I on Wednesday (February 21).