Dravid honoured to equal Gavaskar
Rahul Dravid admitted it was “truly fantastic” to equal the number of Test centuries made by Sunil Gavaskar following his obdurate hundred against England on day two of the second npower Test at Trent Bridge.
The veteran middle-order batsman was promoted to the top of the order in the absence of the injured Gautam Gambhir and scored his 34th five-day ton with a patient, yet clinical innings to help India claim a first-innings lead of 67.
The imperious Dravid struck 15 boundaries in a 235-ball 117, his second three-figure score in the four-match series following his unbeaten 103 at Lord’s last week.
He is now the joint second-highest century maker from India and said: “As far as equalling Sunil Gavaskar’s record, I think it’s fantastic to share something with the legend. I don’t see myself or compare myself with Mr Gavaskar, I think he’s an absolute legend of the game.
“I grew up as kid in a generation where Gavaskar and (Gundappa) Viswanath were big heroes for us and in all my backyard games of cricket, I was either a Gavaskar or a Viswanath.
“So for me to be able to equal something that he’s done is truly fantastic.”
Dravid underpinned India’s total of 288 and revealed he ranks today’s efforts among his finest innings.
“I think this is probably one of my better hundreds, it was quite satisfying really because it was a tough wicket to play on, it was a good quality bowling attack, the ball swung the whole day,” he said.
“Sure I had a bit of luck, I played and missed a few times, you need that on this kind of wicket because you can nick the first one.
“As long as I was there, I was determined to try and make it count and keep fighting away. It was a hard-working fighting hundred and one I really enjoyed. “
With VVS Laxman and Yuvraj Singh contributing 54 and 62 respectively, India looked to be on course for a commanding first-innings lead as they reached 267 for four, only to then suffer at the hands of Stuart Broad.
The tall paceman took five wickets for no runs in 16 balls – including a fabulous hat-trick – to leave the match finely poised, despite the tourists taking the wicket of Alastair Cook before the close to leave England on 24 for one, trailing by 43.
Dravid fell amid the carnage as he sought to emulate Broad and Swann’s lower order counter-attack from yesterday and succeeded only in guiding Tim Bresnan straight to Alastair Cook at third man.
The 38-year-old was not prepared to dwell on what transpired shortly after the tea interval but is happy India still have a fighting chance tomorrow.
He added: “Honestly, it's a little disappointing to go from 267 for four to 288 all out but that’s the way it is, there’s not much we can do at the moment.
“Obviously, you look at the game and we had them 124 for eight at one stage, they got 221, we were 267 for four and we collapsed so in a tight game and on a tough wicket when you know it’s a going to be a low-scoring game, you know these things are important.
“But at least we are 50-50, it’s even stevens and we can give ourselves a chance by playing well tomorrow.”