'Warne loved to experiment, with Dravid things are fixed'
Siddharth Trivedi, a significant member of Rajasthan Royals, spells out the difference in Shane Warne, who led the team to success in the inaugural IPL season, and current skipper Rahul Dravid, in conversation with Bikash Mohapatra.
The most shocking result thus far in the Indian Premier League came in the inaugural edition in 2008, when Rajasthan Royals, defying all the odds, claimed the title.
The team, not given an iota of a chance following their low key dealings in the preceding auction, surprised all with its effort, including those involved with it.
And if there was one person who could be credited with turning a bunch of rookies into a winning outfit, it was Shane Warne.
The Australian captained and mentored the team for four seasons before handing over the reigns to Rahul Dravid last year.
Under the ever-dependable Dravid, Rajasthan Royals won seven of their 13 matches for a success rate of 55 per cent, their best effort since the inaugural season -- 13 wins in 16 matches for a success rate of 78 per cent.
So how different is Dravid from Warne as captain?
If Siddharth Trivedi, who was a significant member of the team in all the five seasons, is to be believed, there is a major difference.
"Warne loved to experiment," explained Trivedi, proceeding to elaborate upon his point.
"For instance, even towards the end of the innings he would hand the ball to a new bowler without hesitation," he continued, adding, "The manner in which he motivated the players and the enthusiasm that he had was fantastic.
"It was an honour to play with him. In the case of Rahul bhai, however, things are fixed.
"If the team is in a certain situation, he will approach the game in a certain manner and not deviate much."
'With Rahul it is easier to communicate'
Having said that, Trivedi, who thus far has a haul of 53 wickets (from 59 matches) in the tournament and finished as Rajasthan's best bowler on two occasions (2010 and 2012), was quick to point out that both the players are capable leaders.
"You really can't compare both of them, for they are both legends in their respective ways," he said.
"It was a great opportunity to play under Warne, and it is great to play under Rahul bhai," added Trivedi, before explaining why it is convenient to play under Dravid.
"With Rahul bhai it is easier to communicate because he is also an Indian, and thereby understands what is going on in your mind.
"He is calm but at the same time is very sure about what he wants to do. I'm excited about playing under Rahul bhai's captaincy again."
'We couldn't win the required matches'
After the high of the inaugural season, the team from Rajasthan hasn't attained the same success, having failed to qualify for the knock-out stages in the four subsequent editions.
However, if Trivedi is to be believed, there have been a few 'nearly there' moments.
"I think in the last two years we faced a situation when we had to win three out of the four games to qualify for the knock-out stages and we simply couldn't do that," explained the Saurashtra player.
"I'm sure Rahul bhai and the team management has deliberated on the issue and will come up with some new ideas this year which will help us cross that hurdle," he added.
'I'll need to do a lot better'
While the think-tank tries to find out a solution to that, the veteran bowler, who played a significant role in Saurashtra's progress to the Ranji Trophy final this year, is aware about what he needs to do.
"I am not totally happy with my overall performances and will need to do a lot better," signed off Trivedi.
Photograph: Bikash Mohapatra