We've been lucky to play in good pitches: Dravid

Published: Monday, September 9, 2002, 17:32 [IST]
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London: Rain delayed the scheduled start of the last day of the fourth and final Test between England and India here at The Oval on Monday.

Dravid, who had looked unbeatable throughout his 10 and a half hours at the crease, suffered a frustrating end to his innings when he was run out on 217 after a mix-up with batting partner Ajay Ratra. It was a harsh blow for the right-hander, who only needed four more runs to equal Sunil Gavaskar's highest record score for an Indian in a Test outside India.

There was some compensation, however, with Dravid becoming the first batsman to notch up 1,000 Test runs in 2002 as well as passing Gavaskar's record for the highest number of runs by an Indian in a series in England. England had started the day hoping to make early inroads into India's batting to give itself a chance of forcing victory on the final two days. Instead it was confronted with further defiance from Dravid, known as "the Wall," who had scored centuries in his previous two Test innings.

"It is amazing. Fortunately I play on the same side as him. Every innings the dressing room is assured of a good score. He does not step out and smash you all over the park. He is so patient and prepared to wait for the right opportunities," said teammate Anil Kumble. "It has been a great summer. We have been lucky to play on some very good pitches and I've cashed in," Dravid said. Like Dravid, Vaughan too past the 1,000-run barrier for 2002 but admitted he had no idea he had achieved the feat.

Yorkshireman Vaughan, who scored 195 in the first innings, passed the mark when he reached 16 and as one of only six men to score four hundreds in an English summer, he now has the chance to become the first man to score five when he resumes on Monday unbeaten on 47. He also passed Dravid's total of 602 for the series with two powerful sweeps off Harbhajan Singh to the square-leg boundary which moved him into the 40s.

"I didn't realise I was so close, it's obviously been a great summer with the four centuries, the wickets have been flat, I have rode my luck but I have played pretty well," said Vaughan. Dravid's knock took him past Gavaskar's Indian record of 542 runs scored in a series against England in England. Batting in his 17th Test innings, Dravid brought up the 1,000-run landmark in the ninth over of the day to take him past the 139 he required to take him into four figures.

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