Dravid takes a break, skips net practice

Melbourne: Indian batting mainstay Rahul Dravid didn`t turn up for the net practice at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) today but the side`s media manager insisted that he is fine and only wanted to take a break ahead the first Test against Australia beginning on Monday.

Dravid normally has a fetish for nets and usually pads and turns up earlier than his teammates do for practice. However, he wasn`t seen in the nets as Indians went through an intense practice session.

"He`s quite fine, nothing wrong with him. He just wanted to have break and the team management has acceded to his request," said GS Walia, media manager of the team.

Dravid presently needs only 28 runs to complete 2000 runs against Australia in Tests. He presently has 1972 runs from 29 Tests at a rather meagre average of 41.08 with just two centuries.

Both of his centuries though came for a winning cause - the 180 he hit at Eden Gardens during the 2001 series and the 233 he managed at Adelaide during the 2004 series.

A shadow of doubt lingered over India`s bowling spearhead Zaheer Khan and fellow pacer Ishant Sharma match fitness till yesterday, before VVS Laxman announced that the two pacers were "fit and raring to go" in the opening Test against Australia.


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