10,000 runs is like ‘holy grail’, says Dravid

March 29th, 2008 - 9:33 pm ICT by admin  

By Anand Philar
Chennai, March 29 (IANS) Rahul Dravid said he found the cricketing equivalent of “holy grail” when he crossed the 10,000-run mark in Tests during the fourth day of the opening Test against South Africa here Saturday. “The 10,000 milestone was like a holy grail for me. As a boy, I had watched Sunil Gavaskar on television scoring his 10,000th run and it is still fresh in my mind. I never thought I could achieve the same. Today, it was a proud moment for me and I think I exceeded my own expectations,” said Dravid, who scored his 25th century to etch his name in history.

Dravid, who is only the third batsman to score 10,000 runs in both Tests and ODIs after Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara, said the last 1,000 runs were the toughest.

“I had to work hard to move from 9,000 to 10,000, but I guess it all paid off in the end. It has been a tough year for me with the injury I suffered in Australia and having to work hard to get fit. Now, it is fantastic to be in the company of such great players who have crossed the 10,000-mark. In fact, it is surreal,” he said.

Asked about his conversation with Sourav Ganguly, who was at the other end, after achieving the landmark, he said: “I told him that he was there with me in the middle when I scored my maiden Test hundred. And today when I got to 10,000 runs, he was at the other end.”

Reflecting on his 25th century, Dravid said: “I felt solid and in control. I played according to the situation, and with Viru (Virender Sehwag) going great guns at the other end I held my end up. His (Sehwag) innings (319) was among the best I have seen. I was also batting with Laxman when he made 281 in Kolkata. I would rate the two innings as the best I have witnessed.”

About the state of the Test match, Dravid felt that a result was still possible and that the first session Sunday would be crucial.

“We have two top spinners and a result is always possible. The first session tomorrow will be critical. I thought South Africa did well to come back today. They bowled a tighter line.”

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