London: Rahul Dravid struck a magnificent century to upstage Sachin Tendulkar and move India to within sight of safety in the decisive final Test with England here on Saturday.
The former Kent batsman entered the final Test having hit 115 and 148 in his previous two innings, but was largely ignored in the build-up with all the attention on Tendulkar in his 100th Test. But after Tendulkar's celebrations were cut short by an Andy Caddick yorker, it was Dravid who guided the Indians to within 200 runs of England's first innings total of 515.
A modest Dravid played down the importance of his innings, which hauled India back into the match. "I just try and take one ball at a time, keep reminding myself about staying at the wicket and my role in the team," he said. "My hundred at Headingley was obviously the best I have played but I think this was very important for the team's point of view. "When you are chasing 515 someone needs to play a big innings."
India has still not given up hope of a first series win outside the subcontinent for 16 years and Dravid added, "There is still a lot of work to be done and any of the three results are still possible. "We will have to see how it goes, the first session on Sunday will be crucial - if we don't lose wickets early on we can press on from there."
England fast bowler Caddick said the flat pitch favoured Dravid whose patience at the crease forced England captain Nasser Hussain to sanction a spell of short- pitched bowling. "On that kind of wicket we did everything we could," said Caddick.