Dravid's best series in England: Ravi
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- Published 22.08.11
London: Sunil Gavaskar, an unabashed admirer of Rahul Dravid, closed his laptop and got up in the ESPN commentary box when the latter reached 99, at The Oval, on Sunday.
Four balls on, when Dravid got his 35th Test hundred, Gavaskar was the first to applaud. Also in the box were two other former India captains, Ravi Shastri (on the air) and Sourav Ganguly.
Dravid’s third hundred of the series took him past Gavaskar and Brian Lara, the pair he’d been bracketed with after the 117 at Trent Bridge.
Besides, Dravid joined Sir Donald Bradman in the exclusive list of visiting batsmen to have scored three or more hundreds in a series twice. Sir Don had four and three in 1930 and 1938, respectively; Dravid had three in the summer of 2002 as well.
Dravid, eventually, remained unbeaten on 146 to carry his bat through India’s first innings. Gavaskar and Virender Sehwag did so before him.
There’s a difference, though: Gavaskar was a specialist opener right through his career, while Sehwag had been opening for six years when he joined Gavaskar in that club. So, neither opened in a stand-in capacity.
Soon after Dravid’s latest hundred, The Telegraph spoke to Gavaskar, Shastri and Sourav.
GAVASKAR: What a hundred and what an outstanding series Dravid’s been having... I wish he’d got a standing ovation from across the ground... As I’ve said, he’s been such a loyal servant of Indian cricket and a great role model.
SHASTRI: Amazing... I know he got plenty of runs on the 2002 tour, but this has been Dravid’s best series in England... He loves challenges... The truism that the tough get going when the going gets tough holds so true for him.
SOURAV: Dravid’s been having an unbelievable series... He’s still got the hunger and his class is there for all to see... This has been an excellent hundred, but I personally liked his knock at Trent Bridge, when the wicket was doing so much, better.