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Rahul Dravid: Standing tall amid the ruins

Last updated on: August 22, 2011 09:18 IST

Rahul Dravid: Standing tall amid the ruins

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Bikash Mohapatra reports from The Oval

If cricket was an individual sport, Rahul Dravid's efforts would have been good enough to win a tournament.

However, fact is, it remains a team sport.

An aggregate of 461 runs in eight innings (@ 76.83) -- a quarter of the total runs scored by the visitors -- might be good for personal gratification, but it was not good enough to save Team India from a humiliating series defeat in England.

The veteran batsman was the first to admit the same.

- Scorecard

"It will be a mixed feeling," said Dravid, when asked to compare his performance with that of his team.

"There's a sense of satisfaction as a batsman," he continued, adding, "Personally I was satisfied with my quality of batsmanship against what I believe is a good bowling attack.

"A lot of effort that I had put in during my time out, worked for me.

"But when you get a hundred and don't end up winning the Test match, it doesn't feel nice. I hadn't experienced too much of that so far in my career, but I am experiencing it now."

 


Image: Rahul Dravid
Photographs: Getty Images
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Dravid aggregates 461 runs in eight innings

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The lone success story with the bat for Team India, Dravid registered three hundreds in the series, crucial ones at that.

While his unbeaten 103 in the opening Test at Lord's helped India avoid the follow-on, his 115 in the second Test at Trent Bridge ensured the team the lead, and his 146 not out at The Oval meant, for the first time in the series, India scored 300 in an innings.

It was also the first time in nine years that Dravid registered three hundreds in a series -- the last such effort was in England, back in 2002, when he scored 115 at Trent Bridge, 148 at Headingley and 217 at The Oval to finish with an aggregate of 602 runs (@ 100.33).


Image: Rahul Dravid

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'From a team's perspective, it's been disappointing'

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Asked to compare the two, Dravid was categorical.

"It was a younger team back then. We were at the peak of our careers in 2002 and now we do realize that some are nearing the end.

"Obviously, from a team's perspective, it has been a disappointing series. From 2002 onwards, and especially in the last two-three years, we have seen quite a bit of success as a team," he said.

Having carried his bat through India's first innings -- to become only the third Indian to do so after Sunil Gavaskar and Virender Sehwag -- it was surprising to see him come out to open the second after England enforced the follow-on.

"There's never any debate regarding that," explained Dravid, adding, "Gautam (Gambhir) was still not feeling well. I knew I was going to open."


Image: Rahul Dravid

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'Mentally, I was ready to open in the second innings'

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Though he was dismissed cheaply in the second innings, he had batted for a total of 379 minutes.

Not that it troubled him much.  

"I was in the flow," he said, describing the scenario when he remained the last man standing in the first essay and returned to open the second.

"It was just a 10-minute break. It was not an ideal situation but exceptional circumstances that can't be helped.

"But, mentally, I was ready for it. It was there on the back of my mind right through," he added.


Image: Rahul Dravid

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'There are lessons to be learnt from this tour'

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The 38-year-old admitted that the ongoing tour was a disaster for Team India.

"We haven't been at the top of our game and have been found wanting against a better team," he explained.

"England have had all their bases covered. We were not up to scratch and they showed us that.

"There are lessons that are there to be learnt from this tour."

Talking about lessons, there is one that Team India had yet again; when the chips are down there is only one player they can trust: Rahul Dravid. 


Image: Rahul Dravid

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