Dravid glad to be back where it all began
Rahul Dravid has his own very personal reasons for wanting to play in
the 2,000th Test match, between England and India, which starts at
Lord’s here on Thursday.
It was at the ‘home of cricket’ where the 38-year-old India batting
star scored 95 on his Test debut back in 1996.
“This place always brings back some very special memories,” Dravid
told reporters at Lord’s here on Tuesday.
“I always feel in some strange way at home, I feel this is a place of
cricket, I feel this is a place that understands cricket.
“I even come here when I am not playing,” added Dravid, a member of
the world cricket committee of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), which owns
“That first innings, meant a lot to me. I had played five years of
first-class cricket. I had some good fortune to be able to play that
Test match, there were a few injuries and I was lucky to get an
“I knew it might be my only chance and I’d have to go back to India
and start again - and a lot of batsmen score first-class runs in India.
“I never expected that I’d be here 15 years later talking about it.”
Dravid, recalling his debut innings in what turned out to be a drawn
match, added: “I knew when I was 50 not out I had a bit more breathing
space. It gave me a lot of confidence.”
Thursday’s clash also marks the 100th Test between England and India
and could see Sachin Tendulkar, a longstanding team-mate of Dravid’s,
become the first player to score 100 international hundreds - the
‘Little Master’ already has 51 in Tests and 48 in one-day
internationals, both records.
“It would be very nice,” said Dravid when asked about the possibility
of Tendulkar reaching the landmark at Lord’s - a ground where both India
batsmen have yet to make a Test century.
“There are a lot of stats being quoted about this Test but it makes
no difference once the first ball is bowled,” Dravid, who has scored
over 12,000 Test runs at an average of more than 52 with 32 hundreds,
This four-match series series pits India, number one in the world
Test rankings, against a third-placed England team who could leapfrog
their visitors into top if they emerge two wins clear at the finish. And
an extra dimension will be added by the fact that Duncan Fletcher, for
so long England’s coach and the man who oversaw their revival as a Test
force in the 2000s, is now in charge of India.
“We are still getting used to his sense of humour,” said Dravid, to
much laughter from English reporters who rarely saw that side of the
former Zimbabwe all-rounder. “He does have one.
“He’s been a good calm presence in the dressing room. “His technical
knowledge and the conversations we’ve had about batting, he’s seen a lot
of situations,” explained Dravid, who unlike Tendulkar was not rested
from India’s recent 1-0 win in a three-Test series in the West Indies.
During his career the stylish Dravid has often been hailed as a
classic Test match batsman and someone unafraid to occupy the crease
when required in order to ‘bat time’, hence his nickname of ‘The Wall’.
Similar compliments have been paid recently to the in-form England
pair of Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott.
LONDON, July 19, 2011 - AFP