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Dravid delights in Lord's return

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Rahul Dravid

India's Rahul Dravid admits he savours playing at Lord's and said: "It always brings back special memories. Coming back you always feel at home"

India batsman Rahul Dravid spoke of the “special memories” he has of Lord’s as he returned to the ground 15 years after his eye-catching debut at the home of cricket.

The 38-year-old is on his final tour of England and is glad to have a fourth and final chance to play at HQ, where he scored 95 on his first call-up in 1996.

Sourav Ganguly also made his bow in that game, scoring 131 as the new batting pair signalled the talents that were to make them mainstays of the India side for over a decade.

But at the time, Dravid felt it was his only chance to prove himself and believes his glittering career might have been stillborn had he not made runs at the first attempt.

“It meant a lot to me to break into the India team having made a lot of runs in domestic cricket,” he said.

“To come here on a tour of England I had good fortune to even play the Test match, given the players we had. But there were injuries and I got an opportunity and I knew it was probably the only one.

“I waited for years and I knew the significance and the importance of it. I knew it was a significant innings that gave me breathing space. To be able to score runs and establish myself.

“Lord’s is a place that for me personally is very special - to start my Test career here 15 years ago was very special.

“It always brings back special memories. Coming back you always feel at home, that this is a place of cricket, a place that truly understands the history and the tradition of the game.”

Dravid has more experience of English conditions than most tourists, given his lengthy career and time spent as Kent’s overseas player.

India looked below their best in their only warm-up match before the first npower Test, as they laboured to a draw with Somerset and while that has led to question marks over their preparations, Dravid is calm.

“I’m not unduly worried about the tour game,” he said. “Sometimes you are coming off the back of a tough tour and you have had to work hard for runs.

"Sometimes in the tour games people start experimenting and try to play too many shots. This is what we did.

“It is something we can learn from and take into this Test match. We have the experience and the skill level to bounce back.”

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