The calm, stoic world of a Rahul Dravid stands out in sharp contrast to a sporting ethos that lays much premium on aggression and believes that motivation to do well comes from working yourself into an emotional frenzy, something that a Virat Kohli has come to symbolize. No two people could be as dissimilar as these two are.
Their desire to succeed and the hard work they put in to achieve their goals may be the same, but they differ in how they relate with the world they live in.
It is an interesting phase when the senior team is being led, and with great distinction, by the hyper-aggressive Kohli and the junior team has been groomed to a World Cup win by the self-effacing Dravid. Just when the world would believe that the Kohli way is the only way to achieve success, comes along a Dravid and guides a bunch of supremely talented youngsters, from behind the scene, to the pinnacle of success in their age-group.
In the modern school of motivational quotes, throwing an occasional tantrum or even being in a rage can be a useful tool for success. Kohli represents this widely endorsed belief which the advertising industry encourages. They would frown upon the stoicism of a Dravid, his understated ways of inspiring his boys and the ethics he espouses, as it gives them little mileage. The image of a player, jumping in the air, with eyes popping out, fist raised and mouthing expletives is supposed to be intoxicating.
The intensity that Kohli brings to his batting and leadership is as visible as the blazing sunshine. He is brimming with energy and a simmering rage seems always coursing through his veins. When Kohli is around, marshalling his resources on the field or while batting, one gets the impression that if anything goes wrong this man could explode. And if ever that explosion takes place, its splinters could affect the team in more ways than one and even have a negative outcome.
When those who have played the game and understand its demands well, feel Kohli needs someone around who can mould this smoldering lava for the good of the team, they may have a point. But as long as success stays with Kohli and he continues to achieve one incredible feat after another, there are not many who would take these suggestions seriously. It would require more than mere courage to fiddle with a winning formula and unless Kohli himself thinks some course correction is needed we can do nothing about it.
What Dravid has proved with his success as a coach is to show that there could be more than one method to be successful, especially when you are dealing with young minds who could easily lose their way. Dravid has been supremely calm and kept his own council, even after India won the World Cup. He has made some pertinent and simple suggestions, telling his boys that they have to remain disciplined, focused and above all, rooted.
India have been lucky that someone like Dravid accepted the challenge to be with the youngsters, away from the glamour world of cricket. He made a choice, shunning IPL coaching, for being with the under-19 boys and in the process showed us that a calm, soothing influence from the dressing room could also be valuable and can win you matches.