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Dravid blames batting for bad series

Indian skipper raps team?s batting on losing in their virtual semi-final against Oz, writes C S Luthra.

india Updated: Sep 23, 2006 20:09 IST

Indian skipper Rahul Dravid, predictably, blamed the team’s batting after losing to Australia in their virtual semi-final. And he chose himself as the the worst culprit.

"I should have done a lot better in the tournament - the results could have been better if I had batted well," he said. "I cannot single out a particular batsman for the defeat. It was really painful to see that, with our strong batting line-up, we could not chase 213 on this wicket," Dravid said.

In contrast, Australian captain Ricky Ponting was euphoric and did not blame his batsmen for putting up a paltry total. He, instead, preferred to talk about his bowlers’ credible performance that put Australia in the final. "To be honest, even with 213 on board, I always thought we had a chance. The early fall of four Indian wickets made it easy for us to stay focussed," he said.

Both captains had special praise for Dinesh Mongia, who carried his team’s hopes till the very end. "The way Mongia batted was a fine lesson to others," Dravid said.

"We always knew he was the sort of player India need at the top of the order. I was not surprised, knowing well that he could play," added Ponting.

About Man of the Match Brett Lee’s spell, Ponting quipped, "I have always thought he is the best one-day bowler. It has never been easy for the new batsmen to start against him."

He also hinted there would be no experiments with the team for the final.