'Job half done, need to keep up the good work tomorrow'
India may have crawled their way back into the second Test against New Zealand but the job is only half done and they would have to keep up the good work on Monday to ensure a draw, senior batsman Rahul Dravid said in Napier.cricket Updated: Mar 29, 2009 14:41 IST
India may have crawled their way back into the second Test against New Zealand but the job is only half done and they would have to keep up the good work on Monday to ensure a draw, senior batsman Rahul Dravid said in Napier on Monday.
Dravid’s (62) 133-run partnership with Gautam Gambhir (102 not out) bailed India out before Gambhir added another 89 runs with Sachin Tendulkar (58 not out) to raise India’s hopes of forcing a draw.
Dravid said though India had done well on Sunday, only half the job has been done.
“We needed a big performance today and tomorrow. Now we have got half the job done and we hope we have a good session on Monday first up,” he explained.
“Hopefully, if we can bat well in the first session on Monday, it will be an ideal scenario to make them bowl for 270 overs going into Wellington. Being back on field after three days will not be easy on them,” he said.
Dravid also warned his teammates that the Kiwis would strive for a victory in the first session.
“We know that New Zealand will come hard at us in the first two hours as that is their only chance. They have fought hard and they will go for one big effort. That is what we have to be wary of. We have to show the same mental discipline that we showed on Sunday,” said Dravid, who has notched up three half centuries in this series.
Gambhir’s tenacity, skill and the ability to bat for long hours won him accolades from Dravid who lavished praise on the youngster.
“Hats off to Gautam for being there right through to the end of the day. He showed at lot of character. An innings like this will go a long way in a young career,” Dravid said.
“He will learn a lot from a day like this in Test cricket. This will give him a lot of confidence in showing that he can play and read a situation and can play differently in any situation,” he added.
Gambhir needed assistance from the team physio twice during his 434-minute vigil at the square but Dravid assured that though the left-hander was tired, he was mentally keyed up after hitting his fifth Test century today.
“I am sure he is tired but he is also over the moon. He will recover and will be looking forward to spend a lot more time in the middle on Monday,” he said.
“But it is never easy to sleep when you have batted the whole day. You are tired mentally and the adrenalin is so high. But he is a tough little kid. The key for him tomorrow is to set small targets and achieve it,” Dravid added.