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India hope to build on win against WI

cricket Updated: Mar 10, 2007 15:49 IST

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Indian skipper Rahul Dravid on Saturday lavished praise on seamer Munaf Patel for his 'exceptional' bowling and said win against West Indies in the warm up match is a good morale booster for the team.

India crushed West Indies by nine wickets in their last warm up match and Dravid described his team's showing as clinical and professional.

''It is a good win for us. We can get a lot of confidence from the clinical and professional performance on Saturday,'' Dravid told media persons after the game.

''We can build on this performance, coming here and beating West Indies in their own conditions is indeed a big thing.''

He praised his seamers who ripped apart the West Indian batting line up saying, ''Seamers bowled well. It was a disciplined effort by the bowlers.''

He had a special word of praise for Munaf, who took four wickets conceding only ten runs. ''I thought Munaf was exceptional. I'm very happy with the way he bowled,'' Dravid said adding Irfan also bowled well and was also good in the first warm up match.

Dravid described Zaheer Khan and Ajit Agarkar as the two most experienced bowlers in the lineup. ''It's nice to see they've started well. We're looking at them to get us the early breakthrough. I think they have a very crucial role to play in our campaign in this world Cup,'' the skipper said.

When asked about the possibility of two spinners Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh being included in the eleven for the World cup matches, he said, ''It is an exciting option but we will have to see because the pitches here help the pacers and our fast bowlers are bowling well.'' ''Though we recorded an easy win over the West Indies, it will be a grave mistake to under estimate them (West Indies). They are a talented side and have a great home record. They have beaten us more on their home soil,'' Dravid said.

To a query whether Robin Uthappa with Friday's showing has cemented his place as an opener in the side, the skipper said, ''We have a lot of options for the opening slot. We have four players who fit the place and we have to see who's in form, what's the best combination for a particular game and its nice to have that sort of flexibility.'' ''Today we were good in all departments. We bowled well, fielded well and took some good catches but in this level of competition one has to keep improving,'' Dravid added.

Asked if this win has given his side a good kick start before the league stage, he said, ''Yes it is nice to go into the league stage in a winning mode, but every day in one day cricket is different. But this match we deserved to win.''

''Sourav had a slight niggle, bit of sore ankle but we played him in this match because we had the option of 13 players. He fielded for ten overs and left. There is nothing serious and we are hopeful that he will be fully fit for the first league match,'' Dravid said.

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