Watches have made life simpler and accurate, especially for people with heavy travel schedules
WTI: What does it take to be a sportsman?
SD: It takes a lot of sacrifice. I started playing when I was 11. Even back then, I had to give up on a lot and remain focused. For instance, when my family would go on a holiday, I used to go to the ground. As a kid, you want to be free and spend time with your friends, but I guess it is the passion for your work that helps you stay motivated.
If you love your work, it does not become hard work. At the end of the day, after I go out there on the ground, I sleep the best that night. That’s because I love what I do.
WTI: With such talented Indian batsmen around, and Team India having a great bench strength, how do you secure your place as an opener?
SD: I just believe in working hard and doing smart work. I do the right kind of practice, and it is important to have self-belief and confidence. Of course, there is competition, but it is there in every field and that’s part of life. I always think positive and just enjoy my day. I don’t believe in stressing out too much.
WTI: Being a sportsman, fitness is extremely important. What’s your mantra?
SD: We have our fitness regime and schedules. Since we have been playing for so long now, our base is very strong. We have to concentrate on maintaining that and keep updating our fitness levels, especially before matches. However, I feel it is important to concentrate on staying fit round the year.
A healthy diet plays a very important role in a sportsman’s life. It is crucial to keep a note of what you are eating and what must be included in your diet chart. We avoid foods which are fried, oily and stale. We include a lot of green vegetables and protein and fiber-rich food. Our body is like a machine; just like how fuel is needed to run a machine, our body needs energy, too. The right amount of energy is acquired by consuming the right amount of food.
For a sportsman, it is very important to keep his body hydrated. He has to keep taking the right amount of fluid. A sport is an activity in which an individual loses a lot of water and electrolyte. To ensure the right performance, one has to periodically replenish them.
Moreover, to achieve the highest quality of performance, a sportsman has to keep away from drugs, smoking and binge drinking. We make sure we get a quality amount of sleep―at least six hours a day. This reinvigorates the body and improves concentration.
WTI: In India, cricket is a religion. How do you deal with the pressure?
SD: There are too many expectations from cricketers, as we represent India at a global platform. But I guess we get used to it and take it in our stride.
That does not mean we don’t feel the pressure before crucial matches. But you have to forget everything else and go all out, because if you think too much of the expectations then your performance is bound to suffer. So, your mind has to be like a blank slate and just think of the immediate task. Meditation and visualisation are very helpful in making us mentally strong.
WTI: Who are the international bowlers you feel is a challenge to play against?
SD: It can be any bowler. Of course, there are some big names in the cricketing world, but it just depends on the day. Some days you dominate and, on others, the bowlers dominate. There are bowlers such as Mitchell Johnson, Sunil Narine and James Anderson, who really put batsmen to test.
WTI: Who is your biggest cricketing role model?
SD: I have never had any one cricketing role model. I always see the good things in all players and imbibe those qualities. I have learnt a lot from Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh―who have been like elder brothers and mentors.
I have admired Brian Lara, too, but it is best to pick up from all the players around you. Among my contemporaries, I like Virat Kohli’s game. Though he plays an aggressive game, he is consistent. And, Cheteshwar Pujara is so patient and confident while playing.
WTI: What do you think about the Indian team’s vulnerability on overseas pitches?
SD: When we go for overseas tournaments, there are different kinds of pitches and it takes time to settle down. But once we analyse the weather condition and the pitch, we just go about playing our game.
WTI: How did your interest in watches come about?
SD: Like every man, I am fond of watches. Today, a watch is not merely a timepiece, but a reflection of one’s personality and lifestyle.
Watches have been part of my life since my childhood. I have seen how there has been a vast development in the technology. Today’s watches are far more advanced and accurate, and equipped with much better features.
I remember the early days, when a watch was considered as just a time displaying object. Today, it is one of the most fascinating gadgets for men.
The technology, craftsmanship and other characteristics strengthened my interest. Needless to say, today watches have made life simpler and accurate, especially for people with heavy travel schedules.
WTI: What is it about Corum that attracted you?
SD: Corum watches are very classic and robust in their design. That’s what I like the most. I don’t like a lot of bling, so Corum dials and bezels are made just perfectly for my taste.
The brand also has a strong history, and I love the way its entire collection has drawn strong inspiration from its DNA. The Admiral’s Cup collection is a perfect fit for a sportsman like me. Needless to say, the Golden Bridge collection is pure craftsmanship at its best.
WTI: Which is your personal favourite?
SD: My latest possession―the Admiral’s Cup AC-One 45 Titanium and Gold.
WTI: Which all watches do you have in your collection?
SD: I have two timepieces from Corum and a couple from Tag Heuer.