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Kings at Kingston
Amid celebrations, Dravid looks ahead
I don't think I have seen a better innings, or two innings, put together on such a surface Lara on - Dravid’s batting

Calcutta, July 3: For once, Rahul Dravid allowed himself the luxury of getting up a wee bit late on Monday.

Actually, after authoring two of the finest innings by any Indian overseas, at the once-feared Sabina Park, he’d earned that right.

“Feels good, of course. I’m proud to have led a bunch which showed so much resilience, which bounced back after losing the one-day series (1-4),” Dravid told The Telegraph.

Speaking from the Hilton in Kingston, the Man-of-the-Series and the final Test’s Man-of-the-Match added: “I’d been confident, despite our one-day loss, because we simply had to play to potential.

“In fact, but for the weather, we would have won the series by a much bigger margin. We outplayed the West Indies throughout and emerged very deserving winners.”

[Interacting with the media immediately after the 49-run series-clinching win inside three days, Dravid had said: “We have not won in the West Indies for 35 years and not won outside the subcontinent for' That makes this win more special.

“It’s good for this team to be the one that changed it and the one that will be sort of remembered. We’ve always heard of the 1971 team and Anil (Kumble) was the only one born, just born, when India last won in the West Indies.

“For all of us, growing up hearing the history of Indian cricket, that was a very significant series. Hopefully, this is going to prove as significant.”]

Talking while trying to keep infant son Samit away from the telephone, Dravid remarked: “While everyone’s happy, we’ve already spoken about wanting to do even better. We did so when we had a small celebration in the dressing room.

“My nature, as you know, is to look ahead. If there’s an agenda, then it’s improvement. Some of the young bowlers did very well and that’s a huge plus.”

Asked if he wished to dedicate this victory to anybody, Dravid laughed: “Well, the Team India fans across the world. It’s for them. It’s my way of thanking them for support. They deserved this win, too.”

Typically, Dravid didn’t rate his innings (81 and 68) in the final Test.

“I don’t like getting into the numbers game, but I’ll remember them as being among my best. Both, obviously, are freshest in my mind. That the wicket wasn’t easy and one had to scrap it out does make both very special,” he pointed out.

Dravid revealed that getting only 200 in the first innings at Sabina Park hadn’t left him apprehensive.

“Frankly, I was quite excited. Having spent time at the wicket, I knew it would become tougher. I wasn’t proved wrong,” he said, laughing again.

With Samit wanting all the attention, Dravid signed off by saying: “It’s good that we won in tough conditions. That adds to the lustre. At the same time, I’m aware the expectations are bound to grow.”

He’s game for the bigger challenges.

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