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‘Happy my score helped the team’

When anyone bats with Mahendra Singh Dhoni at the other end, he more often than not plays the second fiddle in the partnership given the aggressive nature of the Indian captain. But on Monday the hard-hitting batsman was out scored by the more fluid Rahul Dravid during their 224 run sixth-wicket stand.

cricket Updated: Nov 17, 2009 00:22 IST
HT Correspondent

When anyone bats with Mahendra Singh Dhoni at the other end, he more often than not plays the second fiddle in the partnership given the aggressive nature of the Indian captain. But on Monday the hard-hitting batsman was out scored by the more fluid Rahul Dravid during their 224 run sixth-wicket stand.

Dravid and Dhoni came together with India at 157 for five and needed to build a big partnership to put the visitors under pressure. In such circumstances, Dravid is normally known to frustrate opponents with his solid defence while his partner has the license to launch a counter attack.

But the 36-year-old was in the zone as he played cover drives and the square cuts with élan. “It was not a pre conceived plan… I didn't go out their thinking that I am going to be positive today. I went out there and play each ball as I saw it and then once I started playing well I saw no reason not to keep playing the way I was playing.”

He matched Dhoni shot for shot as the pair dominated the visitors in the second and third session. However, soon after reaching his century a rush of blood saw Dhoni throw his wicket. “It happens in the game. If you look at where we were in the morning I will still take the final score,” said Dravid.

Asked about the game plan for Tuesday, Dravid said they would target a total of 500 runs. “The game moved on very fast,” said Dravid. “If we get to 500 hundred, which should be a good score, then it's a pretty good platform considering Sri Lanka has to bat last on the wicket.”

On reaching the 11000-run mark, Dravid said it was just another number, given the number of years he has played. “I am more happy to have scored the runs when the team needed them the most.”