Monday, Dec 15, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
The second triple century partnership they carved against Australia was special, but as significant as the one at Kolkata in 2001. While that partnership produced one of the greatest thrillers in Test cricket, this one, Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman hope, will be memorable if it produces the right result for India.
At the end of the day, Dravid conceded, "the partnership brought back some pleasant memories. We've batted together well for many years. It was nice to bat the way we did today,''
On his caution towards the end, Dravid said, "more than the runs, I thought it was critical not to lose a wicket. We had lost Parthiv (Patel) and Ajit (Agarkar) and didn't want the team to lose another wicket.''
On his success here, David said, "scoring a hundred is always good. This time I didn't put pressure on myself. I had come here with no expectations this time. The last time (in 1999-00) I came here thinking it was the most important thing for me to do well in Australia. Even after I failed in Brisbane this time, I was not hassled. John (Wright) told me not to worry. Even if I didn't get runs in Australia I would still be a good player. I backed myself to come and enjoy my cricket. The four years of experience in cricket has helped. I know myself better and don't put needless pressure.''
Remembering the hooked six off Jason Gillespie, Dravid said, "it was not the best shot but I got the desired result. I think I got carried away and was glad to see it (ball) sail over. When I bat I don't think about records. I play one ball, one over, one session. At the end of the day, I would like to see my names in the record books but I don't really play to set records.''
Laxman, as modest as always, played down his effort. "We just concentrated on the present, and playing the ball according to its merit. Never thought about the Eden Gardens. During the lunch break, the teammates kept saying we must repeat the Kolkata performance but in the middle we did not discuss it at all.''
Laxman attributed his success in the last two seasons to his relinquishing the opener's slot. "There's not much change in my style but not opening the innings has helped me to become more consistent".
On doing well against Australia, Laxman said, "I've got nothing against Australia. It's a good team and it's a great feeling to know you have done well against the best team in the world.''
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