Friday, June 21, 2024

Dravid could be an inspiration for ‘struggler’ Ponting


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Sydney: Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting, who is struggling with form, can look up to Rahul Dravid as a inspiration that Test batsmen can fire even if they are in their late 30s.

Dravid, who turns 39 next month, is three months older than team-mate Sachin Tendulkar. This year Dravid has been in great form hammering 1067 Test runs and five centuries at 59.28 in his most successful calendar year since he scored 1357 runs at 59 in 2002.

Dravid was in woeful form in the last series Down Under in 2007-08 when he managed 237 runs at 33.86. This time he is on his top form.

“I wouldn’t have minded scoring five hundreds (fewer) or 1000 runs less if we could win a series in Australia,” Dravid was quoted as saying by the Herald Sun.

“The greatest memory for me now is not necessarily statistical. It’s not the number of runs, it’s those magical moments. The series wins in Tests stay with you. I think that’s what you play for at this stage.

“I don’t have anything in terms of my own numbers or statistics that I want to achieve in Australia, but I want to win a Test series (here) and help the team win in Australia. It is something that we have never done. So every time you go and tour there you want to get that goal. It’s not going to be easy, it never is, but I think the team’s goal is to try to win a series,” he said.

Dravid will be playing his 161st Test on Boxing Day.

“As a batsman, if you are disciplined about things you can prolong your career,” Dravid said. “It’s a question of getting everything right and getting the technical side of things right. You have all this scientific help today to tap into in terms of your physical fitness. If you are doing these things you can ensure that you play for pretty long periods of time.

“In terms of satisfaction with my batting, I am happy. I think some of the runs I got this year classify as what you call ‘tough runs’. Obviously the tour of England was a disappointment, but from a personal view, this year is among the best I have had.”

Ponting, who is struggling with form, said his preparation for the Boxing Day Test against India will be the best but admitted that he is currently focussed on Twenty20 cricket.

Ponting, who turns 37 on Monday, said he desperately wants to play the Big Bash Twenty20 league and said it would not harm his preparation for the Test series.

“It’s not my preparation for the Tests. I’m here to win a game for the Hobart Hurricanes. My Test preparation starts after that. So I’ll worry about that on Tuesday when we’re back into camp as a Test team,” Ponting was quoted as saying by the Herald Sun ahead of his 15th and potentially final Boxing Day appearance.

“But while I’m here with the Hurricanes, I’ll be training and preparing the best way that I can to make sure I’m playing good Twenty20 cricket. With the amount of time and effort that’s been put into the Big Bash the last couple of years and certainly this season I think it’s really important that all the players do the best they can to make the game the best spectacle possible,” said Ponting.

Ponting was scheduled to turn out for the Hurricanes against the Sydney Sixers in Tasmania on Wednesday but has pulled out of that match after being summoned to the Test team’s batting camp to be held in Melbourne this week. (IANS)


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