Nottingham: Senior batsman Rahul Dravid, who scored his second consecutive century of the series against England in the second Test, rued that India had let slipped the chance to take control of the match for the second day in succession.
"We had them 124 for eight yesterday and today we were 267 for four and we collapsed. In a tight game, on a tough wicket in a low-scoring game, these things are important. It`s 50-50, even-stevens now," said Dravid after India could finish with only 67 runs in front after promising much more on the second day.
"We would like to chase as few a runs as feasible. We got to bowl in right areas and restrict them as low as possible. Irrespective of what the number is, we should look to win this Test," he said.
Dravid said he had to face some critical moments during his 117-run knock when right wrist was hit while he was on 30 by a short delivery.
"That hurt the right wrist, it spasmed for 5-6 overs. It was bit of a tricky period and for sometime I did not have much feeling in my right hand.”
"Once we got through to lunch, it eased out. It is still paining but not much. Towards the end, I was cramping up as it was a hot day and I was on field for long time," he revealed.
Dravid cracked his 34th Test century and brought him on par with Sunil Gavaskar`s three-figure numbers during his distinguished career.
"I wouldn`t like to compare myself with Mr Gavaskar who is a legend of the game. I grew up as a kid trying to be either Mr Gavaskar or Vishwanath in my backyard. To know equal something he has done is fantastic," said the 38-year-old.
Dravid opened the innings due to injury to Gautam Gambhir and it was the third time from 20 innings when he has managed to score a century. Opening the innings, the batting legend conceded, is still not quite he likes doing in Tests.
"As a middle order batsman, all my routines have been set. The 10-minute changeover period when I have to change and comeback, I find myself rushed. I remember at Lord`s, I had to keep wickets, run up and down and felt really rushed," Dravid said.
"I was determined to ensure I did not get that feeling. I went in bit taking more time. At number three, there is some breathing space even if it is a little bit," he said.
The right-handed batsman was out in an uncharacteristic manner today when he threw his bat at a wide delivery from Tim Bresnan and was caught at third man.
"If Harbhajan was there, I would have played normally. I saw these guys (Broad and Swann) come in and (aggression) worked for them. Unfortunately, the first time I tried, it went straight to hands. I wanted to be positive and get 20-25 runs quickly. In low-scoring game, these runs are important."
Asked about the secret of his temperament and focus, he said, "When in form, your judgment improves, confidence is there. I did play and miss a lot but I wanted to make it count, to have the fortitude and discipline to make it count.”
"I try not to think, play one ball at a time. I try to play each and every ball with utmost concentration. I want to be fully present to play one ball at a time. I have been always calm at the crease," he said.
Dravid admitted that he did not have the full range of strokes Sachin Tendulkar or Virender sehwag can play and so he had to be more focussed to score runs.
"I recognized over a long period of time that I didn`t have as many shots as say a Sehwag or a Tendulkar, and that I needed to concentrate that much," he said.
Dravid gave an insight on how playing Test cricket can be a draining experience.
"Everyone keeps saying the physical part but a Test is a big ask mentally, emotionally. You learn to balance emotions over a period of time. To do so, it`s important how you spend your time after 7 pm, how to take your mind away from cricket.”