While Tarapore certainly was the coach for Rahul<, he was also getting inputs from others. At the Brijesh Patel Cricket
Academy he was exposed to the experiences and observations of former cricketers GR Vishwanath, Ashok Mankad, Roger Binny,
Daljit Singh and Patel himself.
Daljit and Binny were perhaps the first to drive home the need for top cricketers to have a lot of stamina and be physically fit.
Till then, most physical training involved a few laps around the ground, a couple of sprints and a few loosening up exercises.
The Indian cricketers of the 1970s and 80s did not take physical conditioning seriously. Some of the biggest names in Indian
cricket scoffed at the need for physical training and even ridiculed it during that period. One said that he got all his exercise while
running between the wickets while another went on record that all the physical training he needed he got playing shuttle badminton once a week!
With the physical training, his in-born mental toughness shored up by the books on mind games that he read and his supreme commitment to practice,
Rahul, as a cricketer developed rapidly. The best part of his early career was that he had an open mind about everything. He was a keen listener who
later assessed the pros and cons and then went about taking his own decisions. Rahul possesses these traits even now. To this day he does not flinch from
approaching ex- cricketers and asking them about their experiences, may be on a bouncy track, or on conditions where the ball seams.
Rahul's batting, though, was diametrically opposite to Tendulkar's. The latter sought to stamp his authority by dominating the bowling. Rahul took a
different route. His aim was to frustrate the bowler by wearing him down. In this, his monumental patience and belief in his ability to stonewall helped.
He presented a dead bat at most times and then every now and then came up with a stroke of exquisite timing to annoy the bowler. For Rahul his career has
been one long learning phase. At no time has he believed he is the master of the game. Yes, he has had that quiet confidence about him. But it is a confidence
that comes cloaked with humility and a desire for perfection. In this he shows the same hunger to learn and imbibe that he did 17 years ago. It is this trait
that has helped him become one of the finest batsmen in the world.