Pakistan v India, 3rd Test, Rawalpindi, 2nd day

Dravid - 'We'll be looking to get another 150'

Dileep Premachandran in Rawalpindi

April 14, 2004

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Rahul Dravid talked about getting his first Test hundred against Pakistan, the team's intention to try and bat only once, and the pressure - or not - of captaincy.



Rahul Dravid: 'There were some very quick spells [from Shoaib Akhtar]. But we showed character to play him out' © AFP
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On the importance of his innings
Our bowlers performed really well for us yesterday, and it was important that we bat well to put pressure on the Pakistanis over the final two days. But until and unless we win the match and series, you won't be able to say how important it was. We'll be looking to get another 150 runs to really put them under pressure.

On the Pakistan bowling
I thought they bowled well in patches. There were some very quick spells. Shoaib bowled really fast and produced two quality deliveries to get rid of Tendulkar and Laxman. But we showed character to play him out. Danish also bowled steadily, and kept it tight. He tired a bit towards the end but that was understandable.

On Parthiv Patel
It was a fantastic knock from an 18-year-old. We all know that he has ability, but he showed great courage too. If all things go well, he'll be a superstar.

On the heat
It was hot out there, and tough on you as a batsman. I felt tired towards the end because I'd been on the field for two days, except for one ball. But you knew that if it was tough for the batsmen, it would be even harder on the bowlers.

On whether captaincy had affected his batting form
I agree that I haven't made runs while leading the side. But when you've captained only three games, and that too as a stand-in, I think it's too early to form an opinion on whether you can score runs under pressure.

On the pitch
It still looks a good pitch. There are a few cracks which might open up under the sun on the fourth or fifth day. There will be something in it for the spinners then, and on any such pitch, the shadow of Anil Kumble looms over the batting side.

On how hard it was
We had to get through a tough period before stumps yesterday when they kept it tight and gave nothing away. It was another tough session this morning with some freshness in the pitch and the bowlers bowling quick. And again before tea, we had to see off some good bowling.

I felt I had let myself down in the first two Tests with poor shot selection, so I was keen to bat through the day. Had a bit of good fortune too, but you need a bit of that as well.

On whether India would like to avoid batting last
Definitely. The basic goal is to bat once and put up a big enough score.

On whether a problem with the sightscreen might have bamboozled Laxman when he got bowled
I talked to him afterwards, and he told me that he just lost sight of it for a fraction of a second. To be fair, it was a good nut to get - full, fast and straight.

On the thinking behind opening the batting with Parthiv
That's really a question for Sourav to answer [smiles]. But I think the thinking was that if Parthiv could see through the new ball, we wouldn't need to disturb guys who had done well in the middle order. We wouldn't need to move them out of their comfort zones.

On whether he would contemplate going for Brian Lara's new world record
For me to get 400, you would have to play six days [laughs]!

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Dileep Premachandran Associate editor Dileep Premachandran gave up the joys of studying thermodynamics and strength of materials with a view to following in the footsteps of his literary heroes. Instead, he wound up at the Free Press Journal in Mumbai, writing on sport and politics before Gentleman gave him a column called Replay. A move to MyIndia.com followed, where he teamed up with Sambit Bal, and he arrived at ESPNCricinfo after having also worked for Cricket Talk and total-cricket.com. Sunil Gavaskar and Greg Chappell were his early cricketing heroes, though attempts to emulate their silken touch had hideous results. He considers himself obscenely fortunate to have watched live the two greatest comebacks in sporting history - India against invincible Australia at the Eden Gardens in 2001, and Liverpool's inc-RED-ible resurrection in the 2005 Champions' League final. He lives in Bangalore with his wife, who remains astonishingly tolerant of his sporting obsessions.
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