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Dravid breaks records with his 222 knock

With his career highest Test score of 222, notched on the second day of the ongoing first against New Zealand at Ahmedabad Thursday, master batsman Rahul Dravid broke a host of records and boosted his career average to 55.05.

india Updated: Oct 09, 2003 23:10 IST

With his career highest Test score of 222, notched on the second day of the ongoing first against New Zealand at Ahmedabad Thursday, master batsman Rahul Dravid broke a host of records and boosted his career average to 55.05.

When Dravid, who started the Test at the Motera Stadium with a career aggregate of 5,614 at 53.46, was out after his 387-ball knock during which he cracked 28 boundaries and a six.

He was playing the 119th innings of his 70th match.

The 30-year-old's knock helped captain Sourav Ganguly, which scored an unbeaten 100 (211 balls, 8x4s, 3x6s), declared the innings at 500 for five.

While beating his previous highest Test innings of 217 (468 balls), notched against England at The Oval last year, Dravid also obliterated the highest individual score at Motera Stadium.

Sachin Tendulkar, who scored just eight runs Wednesday, held the record of 217, which he had scored against New Zealand when the team visited India in 1999-2000.

Dravid, who began the 2003-04 Indian domestic season cracking centuries in the Challenger Trophy at Bangalore and title-winning Irani Trophy match at Chennai, now has an aggregate of 5,836 and a career average of 55.05.

The last time Dravid crossed the career average of 55.00 was after the second Test against the visiting West Indies at Chennai last year. After that match, he slipped a bit but never went below 53.00.

In fact, 2002 was Dravid's most prolific year since 1996, when he made his Test debut with a superb innings of 95 against England at Lord's.

In 26 innings of his 16 Tests, the Bangalore-based Dravid scored 1,357 runs at 59.00 last year. He also smashed five centuries and an equal number of half-centuries to make it a year to remember.

Incidentally, it was the first time in his seven-year Test career that Dravid had crossed the 1,000-run mark in a calendar year.

Dravid's overall Test aggregate against New Zealand now stands at 913, scored at an average of 70.23.

Apart from his millions of fans, his knock must have also pleased New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming, who also happens to a Dravid fan.

He admitted as much after Dravid's 144-run knock at Mohali in 1999.

Asked which Indian player he would like to have in his team given a choice, Fleming had said without a pause: "Rahul Dravid."

After Dravid's gutsy essay at Ahmedabad Thursday, the Karnataka batsman must have gone up several notches in the estimation of Fleming and many other cricket connoisseurs.

First Published: Oct 09, 2003 19:34 IST