Read on to know why Rahul Dravid hit the nets thrice in Canberra yesterday
His "We (India and Australia) were comrades before competitors" phrase from last week's Bradman Oration has left the cricket fraternity in Australia even more in awe of Rahul Dravid. On Sunday, the Daily Telegraph carried the headline: "We fear Dravid and Goliath" - referring to VVS Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag as the latter.
Rahul Dravid walks out to bat for his third net session at the Manuka
Oval yesterday. Pic/Sai Mohan
A few days ago, Colonel Michael McGregor, a former columnist with The Australian, and author of an upcoming book on the summer of Indian cricket, said that he was left stunned with Dravid's level of acumen and knowledge he boasted about the history between the two nations, especially for a sportsperson.
Going by form and mindset, this could be Dravid's summer. Apart from the 2003-04 tour when he scored 619 runs in four Tests, Dravid hasn't done justice to his appetite for hundreds in these parts. Rest assured he is putting in the hard yards to rectify that.
Besides missing a net last Wednesday (the evening when he left the cricketing world inspired by his lecture), Dravid has been at the Manuka Oval nets each and every day, toiling away. Yesterday, he hit the nets for a record third occasion, albeit the start-stop showers.
Along with fielding coach Trevor Penney, bowling coach Eric Simons, and throwdown man Raghavindraa, he returned soon after rain stopped in the evening. But the inspiring bit was his restlessness to get back out there. He personally uncovered the practice wickets; there was nobody from Cricket ACT to help him out.
This happened even as Simons and Penney looked around, hoping for help to arrive. Tired of trying to uncover the center wicket, "Let's just use those nets," Dravid told his crew, pointing to the pitch he had already uncovered.
Three times in a day
MiD DAY reminded Dravid that it was his third net session of the day. "Did I (come out to the nets for a third time)? I am not sure. I had to leave earlier because it was raining," he said with a broad smile.
When told that he looks as determined as ever, Dravid says, "Yeah, I played a bad shot to get out (in the first practice game). Hopefully, all this (hardwork) will pay off," Dravid said just seconds before entering his last net session of the day.
If the hardwork pays off, India are likely to celebrate a maiden Test series win in January.