The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
'My determination isn't influenced by what I've scored in the last innings'
- Frankly, every Test century has a feel-good flavour, says Team India vice-captain Rahul Dravid

Calcutta: It wasn't many days ago that Rahul Dravid passionately spoke of wanting to be an 'achiever' and of being the 'best' he is capable of.

At Chittagong's M.A. Aziz Stadium, on Friday, the Team India vice-captain authored an awesome achievement and was pretty close to being at his best.

After drawing a 'blank' in the season's first seven Tests, Dravid finally got a century on the opening day of the second and final Test versus Bangladesh.

It's a century which won't be forgotten either by Dravid or the sport: He is, after all, the first to score one in all ten Test-playing nations.

Moreover, Dravid has become the fourth (after Gary Kirsten, Steve Waugh and Sachin Tendulkar) to take centuries off each of the remaining nine Test-playing nations.

Sachin, incidentally, has one everywhere except Zimbabwe. For a change, then, he has some catching-up to do.

Dravid, by the way, wasn't aware he had actually set a record till he came off at stumps.

'I knew I'd got centuries all over, but having also become a record-setter came as very pleasing news' However, we must remember Zimbabwe and Bangladesh attained Test status only in the last 12 years,' he remarked in a chat with The Telegraph, not sounding weary despite batting almost throughout the day.

Dravid added: 'Early on in my career (which began in the summer of 1996) itself, I learnt that runs overseas counted the most' Right now, therefore, I'm happy I've got centuries in every country'

He is unbeaten on 145 high-quality runs and, given his penchant for tall scores, proceeding to a sixth double- century will be par for the course.

'Yes, it has been a good innings' I've enjoyed striking the ball and, hopefully, the fans too found enjoyment' Frankly, every Test century has a feel-good flavour,' Dravid observed.

Asked whether he was making Bangladesh pay for that duck in the first Test (Dhaka), Dravid laughed: 'My determination isn't influenced by what I've scored in the last innings' Even if I'd got a century, I would still have been intent on a big score in this Test'

Yet, he accepted being bowled (by Mashrafee Murtaza) without offering a shot was an unhappy first.

Knowing Dravid, that's going to hurt beyond this season, if not throughout his career.

Indeed, characteristically, he hasn't been able to forget the disappointing season-launching series against Australia.

'Today, there's nothing I can do' That series won't come back' Trying to influence the future, though, is in my hands and, so, I should build on this innings when the next series (versus Pakistan) gets underway,' he pointed out.

His best against Australia was 60 (second innings of the first Test, in Bangalore). Versus South Africa, however, he had 54, 80 and 47 not out (the last two at the Eden).

In fact, talking exclusively on the eve of the South Africa Test here, he had said: 'It's a small phase where I haven't matched the standards particularly set in the last 24 months' The desire has been there' I've been working hard and doing the same things when runs came off my bat in a big way'

Backing himself, irrespective of the scores, has of course paid off and could serve as a lesson for those somewhat short on self-belief.

Significantly, the vice-captain is a mere 69 short of becoming the second Indian, after Virender Sehwag, to touch 1,000 Test runs in 2004.

'It will be nice to get there, yes, but you know I'm not driven by records and statistics,' Dravid signed off.

The records, though, keep coming all the same.

Email This Page