'Wish I could be reborn as Viru'

The elegant right-handed batted for nine and a half hours for his runs which, he acknowledged, had taken a lot out of him physically and mentally. “At any stage in my career, batting long has taken a lot out of me,” he noted. “While I love and enjoy batting long periods of time -- I guess I have to bat long periods if I have to score runs! -- I wish I could be reborn as Viru (Sehwag) one day. That would be nice!

“But that’s the way I play,” he said of his measured approach. “That’s me. I like the contest. I like to look at the game not immediately, but 2-3 days ahead. I see if I can build a platform, score some big runs now and see the impact it can have in 2-3 days time as the game progresses. It does take a lot out of you physically, mentally, emotionally; it always has. That’s something I have worked on and enjoyed doing it in some ways.”

Dravid admitted that, at 37, it was inevitable that talk of his future would crop up from time to time if he failed to score in a couple of innings. “You accept the pressure,” he said, candidly. “You know you have to do well at this stage. I don’t think about failure or what people are saying. I give it my best effort.

“You do expect that when you are at a certain age, when you don’t do well, people are going to ask questions. It’s part of being a sportsman. You have to accept it, you can’t complain about it; the only thing to do is keep scoring runs. As long as the team is supporting and backing you, that’s all you can ask for. That’s just part and parcel of being an international cricketer and I have never had any complains about it. All I can ask myself is whether I am giving the best I can, whether I am preparing as well as I can, whether I am ticking all the boxes -- be it physical, technical skills, mental preparation ,in terms of how I am feeling emotionally and spiritually.”

Dravid stressed on the satisfaction he had derived from putting India in a position of strength. “It’s satisfying and nice for me to complete the job,” he remarked. “You see the end result – it’s something I haven’t done for a while. But the credit must go to our bowlers because they got them out for 193. Hopefully now, we can control this Test and try and get them out tomorrow and day after.”

Comments (+)