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Back to the drawing board

cricket Updated: May 23, 2007 15:54 IST
Akshay Sawai
Akshay Sawai
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

It’s not a boy. It’s not a girl. It's a draw. The first Test between India and Bangladesh failed to produce a winner on Tuesday. India were the better side except during Monday's last session, but got no cigar. How could they after 15 hours and eight minutes were consumed by rain?

The huge loss of playing time and inadequate drainage facilities led Rahul Dravid to make a case for better equipped grounds and reasonable scheduling.

Excerpts from an interaction minutes after the Test:

It rained every day and India were denied a win. How do you feel?

It was frustrating. But what could we do? Baarish aa gaya to aa gaya (if it rained, it rained). We ended the first day at 295 for three and were in a position to control the match. We scored at a good rate and were in the driver's seat. After Day One it was a stop-start game. There weren't enough overs for a result.

The drainage system wasn’t effective. Is it time venues have a certain minimum standard of drainage?

I definitely think so. With so much riding on Tests, we need that. The newer grounds have good facilities. The grounds in the West Indies surprised me, being much better than last year. If we are going to play in chancey weather, people must ensure the grounds have basic drainage facilities.

The timing of the cricket here has been questioned. It either rains at this time of the year or is very hot.

The timing could have been better. But what other time is there? That's the whole thing. The schedule is cramped. It's over-cramped, if you ask me. I don't know how we are going to fit everything in.

The FICA and the players have often spoken about this. The ICC doesn’t seem to agree. What's the solution?

The solution is to get the scheduling right. You play a certain number of Tests and ODIs but don't exceed that number. You ensure there is enough time to prepare for tours and enough practice games. That is critical. At the end of the day, quality is important. As a player, you want to play to the best of your ability and provide people quality cricket.

India have had a lot of injuries...

Considering the workload, it's going to happen. It's not easy. Even for the team management. When there are injuries, you have to bring young guys in. We've had a few injuries here but I hope by England, all of us are fit and raring to go.

Are the players close to saying, ‘Nothing doing. We're not playing anymore.’

I don't want to comment on it.

The BCCI might make two teams to prevent overexertion...

I have not been given any intimation to this effect.

‘We wanted to give them a sniff’

Why did you declare?

The thought process was simple. We had to give them a sniff. We wanted to give them a target they would think of going for and lose wickets in the process. After that anything could have happened. But it was a flat, the ball didn’t swing enough and they batted sensibly.

How is Anil Kumble?

He's okay. We hope he recovers soon. It's just fever. Some Bangladesh boys had it and Anil caught it during the match. Losing him was a big blow in these conditions.

Will you revise the opening combination after Jaffer's king pair?

No. This combo (Jaffer and Karthik) got me 150 runs in a partnership the last time it played. I cannot panic after one Test.

(Dravid called Mortaza a rare and valuable fastbowling allrounder). Do you miss one in the Indian team?

It's something that any team would like. You see the effect of a lack of an allrounder on any team. When Flintoff doesn't play, England are forced to play four bowlers and it is so difficult for them to bowl teams out. It is a critical component of any team.