Fifteen years ago on debut, Rahul Dravid had left some business unfinished at Lord’s. That day, he and Sourav Ganguly bailed India out of a tricky situation but the limelight was stolen by the latter, who making his debut too, scored a century. Dravid was dismissed on 95, five runs short of what would have been a dream debut. But it didn’t matter to him for the team player that he was.
Today, yet again, the build up to the day was entirely focused on Sachin Tendulkar and his impending 100th international century. The stadium moaned when Tendulkar was dismissed on 34 but Dravid hung on! He watched his favourite ally Laxman and young gun Raina fall to loose shots but today Dravid, for once, decided to steal the limelight. Once his partnership with Dhoni was broken, India still needed 34 runs to avoid the follow on while Dravid was still 20 short of the three figure mark.
Praveen Kumar came out and swung merrily as he put on a 35 run stand with Dravid as India avoided the follow-on. Dravid was showing a bit of urgency now as he struck two classy boundaries of Anderson and Tremlett but when Praveen Kumar was finally dismissed for 17, Dravid was still six short of his century and it seemed that Dravid would be left stranded in the nineties. But he wasn’t going to allow such a thing to happen again!
A punch through extra cover moved him to 98 and four balls later he pushed one wide of mid on and scrambled across for a couple to reach his 33rd Test hundred and more importantly, his first at the Lord’s Cricket Ground. A punch in the air to celebrate what he missed out doing fifteen years ago! This time, the limelight was his!