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My best Test performance: Dravid
December 16, 2003 17:01 IST
Last Updated: December 16, 2003 17:08 IST
With India having done the unthinkable, 'Crisis Man' Rahul Dravid declared without hesitation that his performance in the second Test against Australia at Adelaide is his best ever.
He had refused to rate his 233-run knock in India's first innings, saying the effort would be meaningless unless India wins the Test. But after the fine, unbeaten 72 runs in India's second innings, which paved the way for India's historic four-victory and earned him the man-of-the-match award, he said: "It is my best Test performance. At the moment I have very few emotions, but maybe when I have a chance to sit back this victory will mean a lot."
He added he wanted to win the Test for his bowlers who had done remarkably well to bundle the hosts out for 196 in their second essay.
"You can bat as well as you want to and score as many runs as you want, but at the end of the day your bowlers have to take 20 wickets to win the match. They gave us the opportunity and we did not want to let them down," he said.
Dravid, who spent no less than 14 hours at the crease, also said he found it hard to concentrate for so long but was elated that it all paid off in the end.
"Batting is a lot about mental concentration as well. It was hard at stages [to keep concentrating]. It was hard to re-motivate myself, refocus on the job. I knew it was going to be just a few more hours of hard work and the job would be done."
And although he knew the Aussies would give it their all on the final day, he had a hunch that "it was going to be our day".
"I knew runs would not be easy on the final day. I wanted to stay as long as possible. I thought the other guys could bat around me. We needed to build partnerships.
"But the intensity of the Aussies… they just showed why they are such a good side, they were trying so hard right through the day. They kept it really competitive. It was great to be a part of the contest, but I knew it was going to be our day."
The stylish middle-order bat said the overbearing feeling at the moment is one of tiredness, but added he was glad it was finally over with the result going India's way.
"I am quite tired, more mentally than physically. It is a happy feeling to just get rid of five days of cricket."
Dravid, who had also played a big role in India's victory over Australia in the Kolkata Test in 2001, felt happy for every member of the team, saying, "We have been together for such a long time. When such days come through you feel happy for everyone."