Rahul Dravid has said he is yet to consider retirement from the game and he still has the ability to keep improving. Dravid will play for South Zone in the Duleep Trophy final starting on Thursday in Chennai and said he continued to get "joy and satisfaction in just coming and training and batting in the nets".
"Such thoughts [on retirement] never crossed my mind," Dravid told the Daily News & Analysis. "Sometimes, maybe to some extent, your priorities may change a bit, but no, I don't think I ever thought of it [walking away].
"I still love the game and I still enjoy playing it. I still love the contest even if it is a Ranji game or a Duleep game. Whenever I have had time, I have trained and worked hard as anyone else and I never felt that that training was a pain."
Dravid, who has scored centuries in the two Duleep games so far, admitted he had been through a lean patch in Tests last year but said the loss in form did not trouble him. "I wouldn't say it doesn't leave you confused but it also helps you appreciate the good times you have had." Since December 2007, when India toured Australia, Dravid has scored 826 runs at 29.50, way below his career average of 52.28, with two hundreds and four half-centuries from 16 Tests.
But he said he still had not been able to put a finger on the problem. "I haven't been able to put a finger on what has gone wrong because in the nets things are fine. I have certain cues and certain things that tell me that I am playing good cricket and it generally translates into runs. The kind of positions I get myself into and the mental state of mind that I am in. It has been pretty good.
"So for me, it's just about believing in myself, and hoping that things will turn around. I am just training hard. That's all that I can do. Learn to relax and enjoy the game and whatever will be, will be."