Dravid pleased to share record with boyhood hero

Updated: Jul 31, 2011, 14:16 PM IST

Nottingham: India`s Rahul Dravid said on Saturday it was "truly fantastic" to join compatriot Sunil Gavaskar on 34 Test hundreds but added he did not believe he was in the same league as the former opener.

Dravid left the ball expertly and clinically punished anything wayward in compiling 117 against a strong England attack that helped give India a first innings advantage in the second Test at Trent Bridge.

He later called the 370-minute effort one of his best hundreds and the added significance of the milestone made it all the more special for the 38-year-old.

"It`s great to share something with the legend, though I don`t compare myself with Mr Gavaskar," Dravid told reporters. "I think he is an absolute legend of the game."

"I grew up as a kid in a generation when Gavaskar and Viswanath were big heroes for us and in all my games of backyard cricket I would be either a Gavaskar or a (Gundappa) Viswanath."

"So for me to equal something that he has done is truly fantastic." He also joined West Indies` Brian Lara, record holder for the highest Test and first class scores, on 34 centuries.

Only team mate Sachin Tendulkar, South Africa`s Jacques Kallis and Australian Ricky Ponting have scored more Test centuries than the Bangalore-born Dravid.

Dravid was fully aware of the importance of his latest effort as England seek to claim India`s world number one ranking.

"It was quite satisfying as this was a tough wicket to play on, it was a good quality bowling attack and the ball swung for the whole day," Dravid said. "As long as I was there I was determined to try and make it count and keep fighting away."

Dravid, who overcame a painful blow to his arm and cramps, has now made three Test centuries in five weeks following 112 in Jamaica last month and an unbeaten 103 at Lord`s in the first Test.

Another reason he was pleased with the century at Nottingham was the fact that he was deputising as an opener for the injured Gautam Gambhir instead of batting in his usual number three position.

"I have opened the batting a few times before and I have felt rushed, it`s very different to batting one or two down where I have played for most of my life," Dravid said. "You have some time to calm yourself in the middle-order."

Bureau Report