London: Rahul Dravid, who on Saturday  notched up his 33rd Test ton and became the second most prolific run getter in history, said he has nothing more left to be proved in his long and illustrious career except for the desire to contribute to the team's cause.

"I don't have anything left to be proved. I am happy that I am still good enough to play for my country and contribute for the team's cause," said 38-year-old Dravid when asked if his unbeaten 103 against England on Saturday meant that age has nothing to do with a class player like him.

He said records were just numbers and the result of playing for long and he was happy to have contributed to India's rise in world cricket.

"I had 33 Test tons and lots of runs under my belt but I have played for more than 15 years. Any cricketer who played that long would have got as many centuries and the runs I have," a modest Dravid said after the third day's play in the first Test between India and England at Lord's here.

"These are just numbers and what is important to me is that I was able to play 150-odd Tests for the country and contribute to the Indian team's rise," he added.

Dravid, who saved India from the ignominy of being following on, said he was not thinking of scoring his hundred till the fag end of India's innings.

"I was not thinking much of my hundred. My focus was to reach the 275 and save from following on. So I told the tailenders including Zaheer Khan to stick around. After we crossed the 275, at that time I thought I could go for my hundred," he said.

"I missed a hundred here in my debut Test by five runs. So every time I play here I thought I would score a hundred but it would not have been the end of the world had I not scored a ton here. I feel very happy that I have scored my hundred at the Lord's," said Dravid.

"At that time (in 1996), I never understood significance (of missing out on hundred at debut). I was a young man just happy to get a game. To end up with 95 runs I couldn't have asked for a better start. 15 years later, I know the game has given me so much and changed me as a person. I was a really shy young man in 1996," Dravid said.

The 38-year-old batsman was not as much pleased that he had now moved into number two spot among top run getters as he was with the contribution which his knock did to the team.

"I don't look at it that way. It's the longevity, the fact that after 15 years I can still make a contribution, still play knocks I want to play for India in situations such as this, I felt good and really enjoyed it today," he said.

The entire focus in the build-up to the Test was on Tendulkar's 100th international hundred and Dravid said, in a way, it was ideal for him.

"He is talked about the most and probably rightly so. He is the true legend of the game and was batting well on Saturday. He has another innings coming up for me. (But to not have the attention) suits me, when all the pressure is on him, I can slip by quietly and do my business," he said.

"I have been privileged to have played with Sachin and Laxman, the true legends of the game. Having played with them and those stands, these are great memories that would stay with us even when we are finished with the game."

Dravid said he did not try to farm the strike with tailenders for his individual hundred because the only thing he was worried about was the follow-on target.

"The only thing important at that stage was how to get to 275. I spoke to Praveen and said let's take every run. I backed him to play some shots, to hit a few and he contributed 17 runs even though he was lucky at times.

"It was only when 275 runs were reached and I was left with only 6-7 runs to get to my century, that I started thinking about it," said Dravid.

The ball swung all day and batting was very challenging, said Dravid.
"It swung all day. It was cloudy as well. I remember speaking to Dhoni perhaps that let's hope some sun comes out."

Whenever Dravid has scored a century, India has never lost a Test except once in Zimbabwe in 2001.

"It's a good omen though I must say it's got to be a challenge to fight back from this situation. But we have been fighting from tight situations in the last 2-3 years and hopefully we would do it again," he said.

Dravid felt it was important to take early wickets on the fourth day to keep England's charge in check.


The two recent hundreds have given Dravid a new lease of life but the batsman was not willing to commit himself if he believes he has now secured another two years of his with the Indian team.

"I don't think so, it's something I learnt from Sachin. He does not talk about future, he tries to live in present. He has been a great inspiration for me. I am only going to stick to my next innings and not about anything else."

(Agencies)