Pankaj Singh: I still remember bowling to Dravid at the nets
Oct. 12, 2019
It was an amazing experience and I also got an opportunity to speak to him for a while.
It’s always a dream for any fast bowler to bowl to Rahul Dravid. And I remember having such an experience quite early in my career.
That was way back in 2002 and I was just a rookie bowler, and was yet to play in any Board of Control for Cricket in India tournament. By then, Dravid was a superstar and every young cricketer wanted to emulate him. India was to play a home series then and Dravid had come to train at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, where a few of us were asked to bowl to him at the nets.
For a youngster, it was a dream come true moment. As we speak, it still gives me goosebumps to imagine that I actually managed to bowl to the Rahul Dravid! It was an amazing experience and I also got an opportunity to speak to him for a while.
It still gives me goosebumps to imagine that I actually managed to bowl to 'the' Rahul Dravid, says Pankaj Singh. - K. Pichumani
Back then, those few moments were so special. Years later, after I broke into the national team and played alongside Dravid, I even shared this incident with him and we had a good laugh.
When I was included in India’s 16-member squad for the Tests against Australia in 2007, it was another learning experience. Even though I did not get a chance to play, it was a great experience sharing the dressing room with legends like Dravid, Anil Kumble and Sourav Ganguly. Watching your heroes from close quarters was a unique experience and that’s something I will always cherish. The seniors made sure that youngsters like us felt at home.
Three years later, when I finally made it to the ODI team and played against Sri Lanka, in 2010, life came a full circle. This time, I was playing with younger people like Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli and it was definitely something I will always remember.
Cricket has given me a lot and I am glad to have had so many memories.
As told to Shayan Acharya.