Dravid happy to be in Tendulkar's shadow

Rahul Dravid insisted he had no problems with the focus on Sachin Tendulkar after ensuring India avoided the follow-on in the first Test against England at Lord's with a typically well-made hundred.

Updated: July 24, 2011 19:48 IST
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London: Rahul Dravid insisted he had no problems with the focus on Sachin Tendulkar after ensuring India avoided the follow-on in the first Test against England at Lord's with a typically well-made hundred.

Tendulkar came to the crease on Saturday needing just one more century to become the first batsman to score a hundred international hundreds - the 'Little Master's' 51 in Test and 48 in one-dayers are both world records.

Yet it was Dravid, who made 95 at Lord's on his Test debut back in 1996 and not Tendulkar, out for 34, who ended up celebrating a maiden Test century at the 'home of cricket' thanks to an innings of 103 not out.

But although India avoided the follow-on, they were still bowled out for 286 in reply to England's first innings 474 for eight declared.

And at stumps India were 193 runs behind as England closed on five without loss in their second innings.

Dravid, a few months older than fellow 38-year-old Tendulkar, is an undeniably great batsman in his own right with more than 12,000 Test runs at an average in excess of 52.

His latest century was his 33rd in 154 Tests yet the focus remains on Tendulkar, who had been an international player for some seven years by the time Dravid had made his debut.

"The talk is always about Sachin and rightly so," said Dravid.

"He is a true legend of the game. To be on 99 hundreds...it was set up for him. It suits me, I suppose. I can slip by quietly, do my job and get on with my business."

Dravid has struggled in recent times and during India's tour of South Africa at the turn of the year managed just 120 runs in six Test innings.

"There have been stages when I've doubted myself but that's just natural being a professional sportsman when you go through some tough times," Dravid said. "You just have to enjoy what you do and keep trying to get better

"It's not really about about numbers for me but the longevity, for me to be playing after 15 years and making contributions, still being able to play the kind of knocks I want to for India makes me feel good."

Even so Dravid was proud of scoring a Test century at Lord's -- an achievement that has so far proved beyond Tendulkar, Australia's Ricky Ponting and the now retired Brian Lara.

"To miss out in my first Test here was something that stayed with me a little bit," he said.

"It's not that if I hadn't got this hundred it would be the end of the world. There are lots of grounds where I haven't got a hundred.

"But it was there in the back of my mind that I probably had one more go at it. For it to come in this situation feels really good. There are some great names on that honours board and it's just nice to be on it."

India have lost just one Test when Dravid has scored a century and he said: "Hopefully that's a good omen and we can fight back."

England will replace leaders India at the top of the ICC's Test Championship table if they win this four-match series by two Tests.

Their strong position at stumps owed much to first-change Stuart Broad who, reverting to a fuller length after too often bowling short lately, was rewarded with excellent figures of four for 37 -- including the wicket of Tendulkar -- in just 22 overs.

"Within the changing room, everyone has always known I'm best when I pitch the ball up and get a little bit of movement," said Broad before explaining he was sometimes asked to 'rough up' batsmen with his bouncer.

The Lord's pitch has a reputation as being a tough one on which to take 20 wickets and Broad, asked if England could force a win, replied: "It is difficult to get a result here but the key to us getting another 10 wickets will be swing.

"We always say at Lord's look up, not down. If the sun's out the batsmen are jumping for joy, but if there's a bit of cloud the bowlers perk-up a bit."

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