Every cricketer dreams of playing a Test at Lord's, but only a fortunate few manage it. Fewer still make memorable debuts at this grand ground.
For Rahul Dravid, who scored 95 on debut here in 1996, Lord's feels like home. “This brings back very special memories,” he said, talking to the media after India's practice session on Tuesday.
“In some strange way, this feels like home. You know this is a place for cricket.
“It's a really nice feeling being here even when you're not playing.
“My debut meant a lot to me. I had played five years of domestic cricket and I was fortunate to even play a Test. There were a few injuries in the squad.
“To start the cycle all over again and make runs in domestic cricket wouldn't have been easy. Everyone makes big runs in India and so it's difficult to break through. So I knew the significance of the Test.
“When I was 50 (56) not out in the evening and I walked across with Javagal Srinath after the day's play, I knew I had a little more breathing space. But I never expected to be here 15 years later.”
Collapse at Taunton
Asked about India's collapse in the warm-up match at Taunton, and its possible effect on the first Test, Dravid took a balanced stand.
“No issue is a minor issue, but at the same time it's not something to be unduly worried about,” he said.
“It can happen sometimes in tour games, especially on the back of a tough Test series. Sometimes you tend to experiment a bit, you tend to play a lot of shots, and that's what we did. But we have the experience and the skill level to come back.”
Dravid said that the key contest of the series would be the one between India's batsmen and England's bowlers.
“They have a good attack and they bowl well at home,” he said.
“We've played them before and it looks like they have been improving.”