Rahul Dravid has heaped praises on Sachin Tendulkar saying that the batting great continues to be a constant source of inspiration for him.
“He’s been phenomenal, has had terrific last 2-3 years and possibly done the best batting of his life,” said Dravid after a practice session in Jamaica on Friday.
“When I came he had already been around for seven years; he was my captain in West Indies (in 1997) and was a source of great motivation. That motivation has not changed,” he added.
Dravid, who has been a regular part of the Test side since his debut in 1995, will lead India’s batting charge in the absence of senior partner Tendulkar and will be supported by VVS Laxman.
Arguably, India’s finest No 3, Dravid said he has been practicing hard in the nets and mentally preparing himself for the three-Test series in the Caribbean followed by the four-Test series against England.
“I had a seven month time off (from Tests). But I knew about these seven Tests in a row and was ready with my preparations,” he said.
“You know you have done enough but there is still a certain pressure; you still feel nervous and there are butterflies (in your stomach). These things never change. It would be nice to get runs early on and keep the form going.”
India have had the fortune of having a solid Test middle order for more than a decade in the form of Dravid, Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman. But the transition period is not far away and Dravid hoped the next generation will do what the current one achieved.
“Over the next year or two, young batsmen should be coming through — like Ganguly, Laxman and I did. Sooner than later, similar young boys would come through and two or three would have similar long careers for the next 15 years. Then the team is going to be in good health,” Dravid said adding that he was looking to help youngsters and share his experience with them.
“Young kids love to chat and you are always open. There would be opportunity to share this experience over the next seven Tests. It would be great to pass on this knowledge.
“Unfortunately, today it’s not the nature of cricket to have a lot of practice games ahead of a series. I remember I had six or seven practice games in England and there was so much to learn from the Tendulkars, Manjrekars and Azharuddins of the side.
“Tests are always so stressful but practice games allow you to relax and interact. I don’t know any solution; it is tough on kids,” he added. Sportal