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Thatscricket - Test Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- Dravid content to be in the shadow of Sachin

Published: Wednesday, March 31, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Multan:Rahul Dravid has emerged as one of the world's top batsmen, but characteristically he is content to be in the shadows of Sachin Tendulkar and says that he has never tried to compare himself to the batting genius.

"I have never been bothered whether I get any credit or not, I have never looked at it in this way. I have never tried to compare myself with Sachin Tendulkar. He deserves everything he has got. As the top player in the side, there is a lot of expectations on him," Dravid said.

"Obviously, everybody's attention will be on him. I think its a matter of pride for all of us. It is an honour to be in the same dressing room with him. He is a great ambassador for the game," said the middle-order batsman, who is leading India in the first Test against Pakistan in Multan in the absence ofregular skipper Sourav Ganguly.

Till the start of the Multan Test, Dravid had accumulated 6546 runs at an average of 57.42 from 75 Test matches.

He is the second most prolific scorer in the current Indian team behind Tendulkar, who has 9265 runs from 111 Test matches.

As a senior member in the team, Dravid said he never hesitated offering tips to the youngsters whenever they have approached him and felt that a "good spirit in the team" was necessary in getting the desired results.

"I am one of the senior guys in he team and have been around for a long time. I try to help the youngsters and try and create a good spirit in the team. But most importantly, I should also try and contribute with the bat," Dravid said.

He spoke at length on various subjects ranging from the current tour of Pakistan and his teammates and stressed that no team could make a mark without having a proper system in place.

The recent tour of Australia, he said, was a "good benchmark" to judge the Indian team and the results proved that it was going in the right direction.

"The Australian tour was important for all of us, it was a good benchmark to judge ourselves. It gave us an idea whether we are going in the right direction. We wanted to prove ourselves there," he said.

"The tour showed that we are going in the right direction, but then there is still a lot of room for improvement. Australia has a great system in place, they have a good domestic structure that has helped them to produce such quality players."

He said the Australian tour brought to fore some promising players and it showed that India had no dearth of talent.

"We did well as a team. It was a good tour for V V S Laxman, but I will say that youngsters like L Balaji and (Irfan) Pathan also did well. Aakash Chopra showed that he can be a good opener. As a team, we had a lot of gains." On the current Pakistan tour, Dravid said the One-day series triumph was a "good feeling" going into the Test series but there was no room for any complacency.

"Test cricket is different, it has to be approached differently. I don't think the results in the One-day series will have any bearing." He said the return of ace leg-spinner Anil Kumble and seamer Ajit Agarkar after injury lay-offs strengthened the team's bowling.

"We missed the experience of Kumble and Ajit in the One-dayers. Kumble had been successful in Australia and I am quite confident he will be able to deliver here, though he has not played much competitive cricket," he said.

Dravid, who was part of the Indian team that played three One-dayers in Pakistan in 1997, found the experience much different this time around.

"In 1999, we had rushed from Toronto and it was a very short trip. It has been more relaxed this time. We also got a chance to travel around and the cricket played by the two teams have been good."

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