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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

India had the right balance for Champions Trophy: Rahul Dravid

PTI  New Delhi, June 25, 2013
First Published: 14:20 IST(25/6/2013) | Last Updated: 02:20 IST(26/6/2013)

Former India skipper Rahul Dravid today lauded Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men for their "brilliant" title triumph in the Champions Trophy, saying "right balance" and "fantastic" fielding helped them claim the prestigious title in England.

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India enjoyed an undefeated run in the tournament as they clinched the title with a five-run victory over England in the rain-reduced final on Sunday.

"They were the best team. They didn't panic in crucial situations, they won the critical moments towards the end of both the innings.  India's batting, to get them to 130, the partnership between Kohli and Jadeja and also bowling towards the end. So India were the better team on the day as well," Dravid told 'ESPNcricinfo'.

"I think the great thing that India had in this squad is balance. The conditions in England surprised us, I mean look at how much the ball spun, so because of the nature of wicket, it helped India play seven batsman with (Ravindra) Jadeja at number seven and actually five frontline bowlers. In the past, India didn't have that luxury...They played brilliantly," he added.

The 40-year-old former cricketer also lauded India's fielding during the eight-nation one-day tournament, which was held for the last time.

On India's chances of success in South Africa, Dravid said, "To win in South Africa, India need to get 20 wickets and to find four bowlers who will get those 20 wickets is going to be the key. India will have odd bad innings but with their batting line up that they will take, they will score runs in one or two innings but will they have the bowling to knock over South Africa quickly enough is going to be the question".

Dravid, however, said things are looking up for India in the fast bowling department.

"The heartening thing for India is Umesh Yadav looked good in this tournament. With a little bit of workload, he will be in much better shape in South Africa, Ishant Sharma also is bowling well and Bhuvneshwar Kumar also swung the ball, so there are a couple of positives to build on there and hopefully these guys can stay fit and keep improving by the time South Africa series comes." 

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