Former India skipper Rahul Dravid said it was “a great privilege and honour” to get the Padma Bhushan for his contribution to the game of cricket.

“It is a great honour. When you start playing cricket you don’t think about these awards. Just play the game you love. Along the way, when you get the award and recognition from the Government of India and people of this country, it becomes a great privilege and honour,” Dravid said at a felicitation function organised by Rupa & Co. at a city hotel.

“I am very lucky that I had the talent to play cricket for the country. It is without doubt the No. 1 sport and virtually a religion in this country. I had the privilege of being able to play the sport for 20 years. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. On top of that, you get the recognition and honour for which I am grateful,” he said.

Being an excellent team man, Dravid professed that one should play his part well, be adaptable, especially when one is not in the comfort zone.

“When you are a part of the team or any organisation, it is very important to ensure that you play your part well. I think at the end of the season, if the team or the organisation does well, you can take a lot of credit for that. I think another key role is to do various roles; to do things that might not be in your comfort zone or you might not be used to. Trying your best is also the key,” he said.

On not playing Owais Shah, Dravid said the team has a number of good overseas players. “We can only play only four foreign players. It means someone has to miss out. He played the last game. I know he has been a top performer last season. But combination and balance of the team is such we cannot fit all the foreign players,” he pointed out.

When asked how important the next few games to make it to the play-off are, Dravid said: “We cannot afford to think about the play-off at this stage. We want to take one game at a time. We have done the right things and played some good cricket, especially at the crunch situation.

“Some one is stepping up and doing the job for us. That is what we are going to focus on in the next week which is pretty busy week. We will be playing four games in eight days and we need to really focus on and play good cricket. Hopefully at the end of this weak we will be in a position to see how far we have reached,” he observed.

A win for his team will virtually seal the fate of the defending champion Kolkata Knight Riders. Dravid said he was not worried about what happened to other teams. “We focus on ourselves. I don’t care who the other three teams are in the play-offs as long as we are one of the four,” he said.

Rajasthan Royals will take on Kolkata Knight Riders on Friday in what is termed as the crucial match for the home side.

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