Former Australia captain Steve Waugh believes Rahul Dravid was as important to the Indian cricket team as Sachin Tendulkar was in the early 2000s, saying that Dravid was the glue that held the team together. Waugh, who had played his last Test match against India during the 2004 series Down Under at his home ground in Sydney, said that both Dravid and Tendulkar formed the heart of what was arguably India’s best batting line-up. Waugh praised Dravid’s concentration levels while out in the middle and said that he could hold even the best of bowling attacks at bay, a trait of any world-class batsman.
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“He was unflappable, fierce concentration, there was no point in trying to ruffle his feathers because you couldn’t do it. He was the glue who held them all together and the one banker they had in the side," Steve Waugh said in a video posted by Cricket Australia.
“I knew he was going to score runs, I knew he could occupy the crease and he could repel quality bowling which quality players can do. If he stepped up the gear he could play shots as good as any one, he was a world class player and equally hard to overcome as Tendulkar was."
Furthermore, Waugh praised the way Dravid could raise his game on the biggest of occasions and when it mattered the most, citing the famous Test match at Kolkata in 2001 as proof.
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“His concentration and defence was impregnable when he wants be and he had that fierce competitive attitude too, the big games really excited him, that’s when he played his best.
“Once he got in, it was so hard. Obviously, the most famous (innings of Dravid) is Kolkata win, he and Laxman batted all day. Pretty much turned the Test around. That was an unwinnable Test match.
“He was as important to the Indian side as was Sachin Tendulkar. Those guys formed the heart of what was probably India’s best batting lineup."
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Meanwhile, the Indian cricket team and support start underwent an RT-PCR Test for Covid-19 on January 3 and the tests have returned negative results, the BCCI said on Monday, amid media scrutiny stemmed from the apparent quarantine breach by five Indian cricketers in Melbourne last week.
The team along with the Australian contingent will fly to Sydney today for the third Test starting January 7. “Playing members of the Indian Cricket Team and support staff underwent an RT-PCR Test for Covid-19 on January 3, 2021. All tests have returned negative results," the BCCI said.
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