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The Wall’s approach: Doing long hours and loving it

Rahul Dravid's role in India's ascent to the top of world Test rankings isn't talked about as much as a few others', his low strike rate is more discussed these days than the runs he scores and his failures generate whispers about whether he is good enough anymore.

cricket Updated: Nov 22, 2010 23:42 IST
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay

Rahul Dravid's role in India's ascent to the top of world Test rankings isn't talked about as much as a few others', his low strike rate is more discussed these days than the runs he scores and his failures generate whispers about whether he is good enough anymore.


Dravid can afford to ignore all that for the moment. When the entertainers failed to build on starts in India's desperate bid for a big total in the final Test, his workmanlike effort did.

The 191 he made wasn't the prettiest of his 31 centuries, but it was a monumental evidence of Dravid's extraordinary powers of concentration.

The bowlers kept it as straight as they could and the fielders made many interceptions to make scoring difficult. Dravid waited and waited, for nine hours and 43 minutes, to ensure that the team got what it wanted.

“I enjoy batting for long periods of time. That's the way I play,” Dravid said. “That's me. I like the contest. I like to look at the game not immediately, but 2-3 days ahead and see if I can build a platform, score some big runs and see the impact it can have on the game.”

There were questions about the fear of failure. “They don't worry me at all. At the end of the day, I can only ask myself whether I am giving the best I can. Be it physical, technical skills, mental preparation, how I am feeling emotionally and spiritually — there are four or five boxes that I need to tick every time. As long as I am doing what I think needs to be done, I'm happy.”

Dravid revealed how he has worked on his game recently. “I got out to left-arm quicks against Australia two-three times. It was an area I had to work on. I have tightened up my lines a little bit, worked on hitting as straight as possible rather than opening the face of the bat. I was opening it up towards covers too much.”

How he translated all that hard work into a big score was evident on Monday. They don't call him The Wall for nothing. On Monday, Dravid showed how to erect one brick by brick.