Dravid now hopes to lord it at Lord's
With two belligerent sides locked in a 3-3 stalemate, series decider at Lord's promises to be a cracker.cricket Updated: Sep 06, 2007 13:17 IST
With two belligerent sides locked in a 3-3 stalemate, Saturday's series decider at Lord's promises to be a cracker and Team India captain Rahul Dravid oozed confidence that his side would end up on the right side of a humdinger.
India showed tremendous resilience in the series against England and trailing 1-3 at a stage, the visitors bounced back to level it within a week. Dravid believes the same resilience would see his side through in the seventh and final match at the Lord's on Saturday.
"We got a bit of the rub of the green, but we have shown a lot of resilience after a long tour," Dravid said after his team edged out the hosts by two wickets in a thriller at The Oval on Wednesday.
"It should be a cracker of a game at Lord's," he said.
Dravid's optimism stems from the fact that the side showed the same never-say-die spirit in the Test series also.
Staring defeat at the face in the first Test at the Lord's, India escaped with a draw before swamping the hosts in the second Test in Nottingham. Though they could not win the third and final Test at The Oval despite dominating it, India did record its third Test series victory in England.
Dravid said the side never really gave in despite trailing 1-3 in the ODI series.
"We still felt we could win. At 1-3, we knew we'd lost a couple of close games that could have gone the other way," he said.
And with the opening pair of Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly in red hot form, Dravid has all the more reason to sound confident.
"When you are chasing 320, you need to get off to a good start. They got 150 which makes a big difference - especially on a slow wicket when you know it'll get harder to play shots," Dravid said.
Once the openers perished, India did find it difficult to maintain the tempo till Robin Uthappa came up with a match-winning cameo of unbeaten 47.
"Definitely we were worried when we lost a few wickets in the middle. But that happens. Even after a good start you're still chasing 6.5 runs an over."
His opposite number Paul Collingwood is aware that the hosts have squandered the advantage but he preferred to dwell on the positives from the match.
England was 137 for five wickets at one stage in the match before Owais Shah (107 not out), Luke Wright (50) and Dimitri Mascarenhas (36) propelled the side to an imposing 316.
"We were put under a lot of pressure, but I was delighted by the way we fought back," Collingwood said.
"Owais put in a swashbuckling effort to change the momentum of the game," he added
"When you see a team fighting like that it's a great thing for a captain," Collingwood said. He admitted that with Tendulkar and Ganguly going great gun, his attack could do very little to put them on a leash.
"We were pegged back by the start they had. I can't fault any of the lads for the effort they put in." Instead of crying over spilt milk, Collingwood is now busy plotting an Indian defeat at Lord's.
"We have to get our heads held high because we know we've done good things today. We've got to prove we're still playing good cricket, which we are doing," he said.
First Published: Sep 06, 2007 12:54 IST