Dravid relieved after striking form with 26th Test ton

December 20th, 2008 - 8:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Mohali (Punjab), Dec 20 (IANS) After finding his form with a resolute 136 against England Saturday, former India captain Rahul Dravid admitted that he was under pressure to perfrom.”There was certainly some pressure on me but now I am relaxed. Critics have said a lot about my batting and about my technique in the last few months. But I am happy now,” Dravid told reporters at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium.

On the second day’s play against England, Dravid struck his 26th Test century and along with Gautam Gambhir (179) added a massive 314-run for the second wicket before India were bowled out for 453. Dravid is now the only Indian batsmen to have been involved in four 300-run partnerships.

Dravid said it was not easy to bat in overcast conditions but he tried to concentrate well. For the 35-year-old Bangalorean, the century came as a relief after a poor run in nine innings.

“I am happy to regain my lost form. I have worked hard for the last six months. I have worked to increase my concentration level and watched the recordings of my previous games to find out the shortcomings in my batting,” he said.

On Gambhir, Dravid said: “Gambhir is a good player, he kept on rotating the strike and never allowed the pressure to mount on.”

Asked if there were some plans to demote him in the batting order before the match, Dravid said: “I am not aware of any such thing. Gary (Kirsten) just told me to go at number three and I did that.”

He attributed his success to coach Kirsten and mental conditioning coach Paddy Upton. “They helped me to regain my form and to maintain my fitness level,” he said.

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