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Dravid by Sai Mohan

India middle-order batsman Rahul Dravid says he has thought about his dismissals -- bowled thrice out of four times -- and worked on a few things, hoping to fix the situation

Rahul Dravid must have happy memories of the Western Australia Cricket Association Ground (WACA) here considering he top scored with a 93 in the first innings in India's momentous win here on the 2007-08 tour.

However, Dravid, who celebrated his 39th birthday yesterday, said he still gets nightmares about his dismissal here four years ago. Dravid played an ugly cross-batted shot to top-edge a wide half volley from Andrew Symonds before Ricky Ponting held on to a dolly at cover.


Rahul Dravid is clean bowled by Australian pacer James Pattinson on
Day Four of the 1st Test in Melbourne recently. Pic/AFP


Dravid realises the significance of scoring hundreds here. Even Ponting has only one hundred from 15 Tests. Steve Waugh couldn't manage a single ton despite playing the same number of matches. In fact, no batsman in the history of Perth Tests has managed more than two hundreds -- a statistic that tells the story. "We should have quit when we were ahead, right? (laughs)," Dravid said when reminded of his record at Perth.

Great challenge
"It's obviously a great challenge to come here. I really enjoyed coming here the last time. I was really disappointed to play the shot I did on 93. It still gives me nightmares sometimes. It's always nice to come and play in these conditions. It's like an Australian team coming and playing on a rank turner in India -- and winning a Test. We would like to do the same thing again," he said.

Dravid has been bowled through the gate thrice in the series. On two of those instances, he played down the wrong line and lost his off-stump. "I've definitely worked on everything... irrespective of whether I've been bowled or not. Obviously, when you get out three times (in the same way), you do think about it. There's no doubt about that. I've worked on a few things. I don't think it's anything major. I don't think there's anything that I have drastically changed. It's been a very successful last year for me. So, I've looked through some videos. I hope I can fix where I went wrong," he said.

Laxman unfazed
Dravid defended teammate VVS Laxman, who has been in the firing line of late. Some former India players have called for Laxman's ouster. "I don't think it's (the criticism) affecting Laxman too much. We've been around for a long time and have learnt to accept that it's part and parcel of the job. I mean, if you're going to be playing and putting yourself to crticism, you have to accept it.

That's the way it goes. Personally, I know that Lax is a pretty relaxed character. He's not going to get bothered. He's a top-class performer for us. Our batting still depends a lot on him," he said. The number 39 doesn't scare Dravid. "Any number scares you after 30 (laughs). Actually, 40 is the number that I'll be scared of," he joked.

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