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Dravid relishing happy endings

Rahul Dravid has always been India's batting anchorman and he is now relishing his role as a specialist finisher at the World Cup.

india Updated: Mar 03, 2003 18:13 IST
Reuters
Reuters
PTI

Rahul Dravid has always been India's batting anchorman and he is now relishing his role as a specialist finisher at the World Cup.

The 30-year-old calmed his side's nerves with a steady 44 not out to guide India to an emphatic six-wicket victory over Pakistan on Saturday, revealing his ability to finish the job in an unbroken 99-run stand with Yuvraj Singh.

The unassuming Dravid says his role has been made easy by Sachin Tendulkar's dominating batting, but laughs off comparisons with Australia's Michael Bevan, widely regarded as the world's leading one-day batsman.

"Sachin has been brilliant and the kind of starts he has given has hugely helped the lower order to calmly go about their job," Dravid told Reuters on Monday.

"Please don't compare me with Bevan. He is one of the best one-day players who has been doing it for so long."

Dravid has had to toil hard to silence those who have questioned his one-day credentials.

The batsman/wicketkeeper has made 43 not out, 62 and 44 not out in the last three games batting at number five to hold the lower order together.

"I began this role since England last year," he said. "It has not been very easy. But earlier we were very top heavy. Now we are trying to mix it up."

Dravid says he particularly enjoys batting with one-day specialists Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif.

"They are very talented batsmen with a terrific attitude," he said. "I can pass on my experience and also learn things from them."

Left-hander Singh, who made 50 not out off only 53 balls against Pakistan, thinks Dravid has been a calming influence on the lower order.

"Rahul is a professional," he said. "He keeps reminding me I should stay in. He lets batsmen play around him so well."

First Published: Mar 03, 2003 18:13 IST