Day two of the Bangalore Literature Festival 2017 was kicked off by cricketing greats from Karnataka - Rahul Dravid, B S Chandrasekhar, E A S Prasanna and Syed Kirmani launching journalist Rajdeep Sardesai's book 'Democracy XI'. Picture courtesy Twitter @nagarjund
Day two of the Bangalore Literature Festival 2017 was kicked off by cricketing greats from Karnataka - Rahul Dravid, B S Chandrasekhar, E A S Prasanna and Syed Kirmani - launching journalist Rajdeep Sardesai's book 'Democracy XI'.
Prasanna recalled the commotion at home when he was selected to play for the Ranji Trophy for payment of Rs 5 per day, while Kirmani spoke of his proudest moment, being named the best wicket-keeper at the 1983 World Cup.
In conversation with Sardesai, Dravid explained how there are more opportunities in cricket now for players from smaller towns.
"Before you had to come to Bangalore to get access to good facilities. But now young guys and girls in Shivamogga also have the best grounds and practice nets," Dravid said.
Television has spread information about the game and aspiring cricketers can learn so much from the Internet and cricket analysis.
The coach of the under-19 cricket team said players now have more confidence and fearlessness as there is financial security because of the money coming into the game from the Indian Premier League.
Virat Kohli became a topic of discussion when Sardesai asked about aggression in the game being redefined.
"It troubles me on one level that there is so much lip on the field. Are they becoming more like a macho rockstar?" Sardesai asked Dravid.
Dravid replied that cricket was still about the performance.
"Kohli is in your face but that is who he is. Needling the opposition works for him, it gets the best out of him. What worries me is that players at the junior level are just trying to copy that. They should be authentic to who they are," said Dravid.
Should Kohli be able to decide who the coach is and should Dhoni be able to decide when he should retire? Are the players becoming bigger than the game? Sardesai then posed these questions to Dravid.
"It's not the fault of the players that they have become big figures. It is the media, television, advertising and so on that have made them big. It's just a reflection of the time we are in," he said.
On Anil Kumble resigning as coach of Team India, Dravid said it was unfortunate. "It shouldn't have played out that way, especially for someone like Kumble who has done so much for the sport. But players always have more power than the coach."