Courtesy: The Indian Express
Rahul Dravid’s Test average against Sri Lanka (around 52) is only a touch below his career average of 54.88. But, like most statistics, this one too has another story to tell.
Of his 25 centuries in 122 matches, Dravid has scored only one in 11 against Lanka. And, as a visitor there, he averages 46.55.
What is also interesting is his duel with Muttiah Muralitharan, who has claimed his wicket five times in 17 innings. In fact, Murali was missing when Dravid scored that only century in Colombo in 1999.
And while the battle between the duo has been fairly even in recent times, Dravid is not taking things lightly ahead of the three-Test series starting from July 23 in Colombo.
At the seven-day camp in Bangalore, which concluded on Monday, he called on Mohnish Parmar from the adjacent NCA net to bowl to him. From the run-up to the delivery stride, the Gujarat offie resembles Muralitharan. Like the Lankan, he also turns the ball big and has also developed a handy doosra. As he says, whenever he struggles with the ball, “I watch DVDs of Muralitrharan, and things fall back in place.” And, like the islander, he has been in trouble for his action a few times as well (Practically a clone, apart from the 1207 international wickets the Lankan has picked up!).
Dravid, incidentally, cornered Parmar during a practice session and batted against him for an hour-and-a-half. “He said you bowl like Murali, so come and feed me some Murali-type stuff,” Mohnish said.
And the bowler says he had Dravid in some trouble with his doosras and flighted ones — “bowled twice and stumped once. Getting him out was special. He did struggle against my doosra a bit,” said Mohnish.The Gujarat player has also worked on his action lately. “My run-up was earlier diagonal and my jump awkward. Now I run in straighter and the jump is better. But my wrist action remains same. They have asked me not to change my wrist action. Dav (Whatmore) sir told me I should continue to bowl like Murali,” said Mohnish.