India look to Dravid for inspiration, yet again
He maybe at the top of the run-getters' list in Test cricket, but the pressure of performing got to him too. Rahul Dravid, who became the second highest run-scorer in Test history on Saturday, admitted that he doubted himself during the lean period post-2007. Sanjjeev Karan Samyal reports.cricket Updated: Jul 25, 2011 00:40 IST
He maybe at the top of the run-getters' list in Test cricket, but the pressure of performing got to him too. Rahul Dravid, who became the second highest run-scorer in Test history on Saturday, admitted that he doubted himself during the lean period post-2007.
After maintaining a Test average of 50-plus, Dravid's career suffered after he stepped down as captain in 2007. He averaged 35.65 in 2007, 30.76 in 2008 and 42.83 in 2010. The hero of the India innings in the first Test against England, said, “There have been stages when I've doubted myself, but that's natural when you go through tough times. You have to enjoy what you do and keep fighting and try to get better.”
Finding the touch
After a long time, Dravid is finally getting back to his best. He was brilliant in the West Indies series last month and has started the England tour with a century in the first innings.
“Even in South Africa (2010-11), I felt I was playing well and got a couple of good balls and played a couple of bad shots too. The tour of the West Indies gave me a lot of confidence, getting runs in Jamaica and Barbados which were pretty challenging wickets," he said after waging a lone battle against Stuart Broad & Co at Lord's on way to an unbeaten 103.
He rated his 33rd Test century among the most satisfying. “I would say so. I think Jamaica was something special as well. We won the Test there and we needed to bat well in the second innings and the wicket was not easy to bat on.”
He had missed out on a debut hundred at Lord’s by five runs and Dravid said it inspired him to go all the way in what could be his last appearance at the world’s most famous cricket ground. “I don’t like to use the word fulfilling. To miss out on a hundred in my first Test here was something that stayed with me a little bit. It’s not that if I hadn’t got this hundred it would have been the end of the world. There’re lots of grounds where I haven’t got a hundred. But I knew it’d have been nice and I probably had one more go at it.”
Dravid’s job is not done and as India try and save the Test on the final day.