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Anand Vasu in Kolkata
March 19, 2005
Rahul Dravid has done his bit in India's bid to win the Kolkata Test, scoring a century in each innings of a match for the second time in his Test career. He was cool and composed when he spoke to the press at the end of the fourth day.
On how he rates the second century in comparison to the first
It's very hard to rate hundreds, I hate rating innings. Both hundreds in this game were equally good, and like on the first day, I felt in control today also. Having said that, it is very satisfying because it came in the second innings, when we needed it. The second-innings century was tougher than the first because the pitch played lower and slower. Each innings has its challenges, but the circumstances under which today's knock was made, made it more special. It's especially a challenge to get a big score immediately after making a hundred in the first innings.
On whether these twin tons are more valuable than the twin tons in Hamilton, 1999
This definitely means a lot more. The first century in Hamilton was a good and important innings, but the second came when the game was all but drawn. This has a lot more meaning. I have always wanted to score a hundred in both innings in a winning match, especially after reading about Steve Waugh's twin hundreds against England [Manchester, 1997]. That was always at the back of my mind, to score a hundred in each innings and help play a role in the team's victory.
On whether he expected the pitch to have done more on the fourth and fifth days
We knew coming into this game that this would be a good wicket, but we expected a bit more turn. Some balls are keeping low, but the ball hasn't turned as much as we expected it to. The conditions are quite tough and it is going to be a challenge tomorrow. The side that's fitter and holds its nerve better will win the day tomorrow. This match is a great advertisement for Test cricket. Going into the final day, all three results are a possibility. The pendulum has swung in every direction, and there will be no predictions today about how this game will pan out. We have confidence in ourselves and are positive about our chances, and I am sure they are too.
On Dinesh Karthik's innings
It was a crucial partnership, a critical phase of the match. Dinesh played beautifully; it was a fantastic knock by a youngster under pressure. The balance could have shifted in either direction, but he played a stand-out innings. I just told him to back and trust himself. He took his time to settle down and then played his strokes, which helped.
On what the non-striker feels when he sees a batsman getting hit
You do have concern for your mate, but once you know he is alright, you have got to carry on. You have to focus on your job and stick to it; you have to move on because you have a job at hand and a task to do. I was trying to take the external factors out, play one ball at a time, focus on the present and stick to my plans. I do feel the pressure, everyone does, but you have to try and focus on something else, like the ball or team plans and individual goals.
Anand Vasu is assistant editor of Cricinfo.
Also, best post-war win/loss record, most runs in two calendar years, most ducks in a Test, and brothers with similar numbers
It's close to inexplicable how India's best spinner is being left out in favour of bits-and-pieces players