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Happy, Dravid dreams on

After being 3-1 down, the way India fought back is evidence enough of their fighting spirit, writes Amol Karhadkar.

cricket Updated: Sep 07, 2007 05:08 IST
Amol Karhadkar
Amol Karhadkar
Hindustan Times

Every face tells a story. On Wednesday night, after a thrilling game that went down to the wire, the faces of Rahul Dravid and Paul Collingwood each told their own story.

Though Collingwood tried to draw positives, and there were really some positives despite the loss for England, his face told a different story. In fact, it reminded one of Dravid's face after the Old Trafford game, where India conceded a 3-1 lead to England.

The furrowed brow, the taut, strained air that surrounded him, a feeling of a man on an edge. On Wednesday evening though, Dravid was the Collingwood of then, wreathed in smiles, the happiest he has been in a media conference in this one-day series.

"We had set ourselves the goal of winning the one-day series," said Dravid. "Now we are in a position to think of that. It is not always that we chase 300-plus totals and win, so such wins will come as an encouraging factor for the entire team."

Collingwood, on the other hand, was visibly unhappy. "There are a lot of disappointed boys in the dressing room," he said. "It was a great game of cricket. Tough to take being at the wrong end of the result."

India have always been considered chokers as they cannot raise their game under pressure. But after being 3-1 down, the manner in which they have fought back is evidence enough of their fighting spirit.

"We did feel we could win because to go 1-3 down, we had lost a couple of close games which could have easily swung either way," said Dravid. "I think we got a little bit of the rub of the green today and we've fought back."

"We've shown resilience to fight back at the end of a long tour, it must be said, so just one more game to go and that should be a cracker at Lord's."

Collingwood conceded that India have the momentum going into the Saturday's decider. "We can possibly say that after winning the last couple of games, they have the momentum," he said. Dravid, however, was more prosaic. “Momentum doesn't really make much of a difference in ODIs,” he said.

"Everyone was saying we had the momentum going ahead of this game, and they got nearly 320, so it really doesn't make a difference. It's really how you start the game and accomplish the first 50 overs in whatever you are doing, whether it's batting or bowling, that's very important."

Whatever Dravid says though, even he must realise the pendulum and the odds have dramatically swung India's way. Saturday awaits.

First Published: Sep 06, 2007 23:13 IST