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We can have a good series: Dravid

The Indian skipper says it is imperative for the players to maintain their performance level right through the England tour.

cricket Updated: Jun 22, 2007 19:08 IST

Hours before embarking on a gruelling tour of Ireland and England, Indian captain Rahul Dravid on Tuesday send out a warning to his rivals, saying his team could have a "very good series" if it played to its true potential.

Dravid said it was imperative for his players to maintain their performance level right through the England tour which he described as "very special."

"If we play upto our true potential, I think we can have a very good series. We have to try and play good cricket and maintain the performance right through the length and breadth of the tour," Dravid said at a pre-departure press conference.

"We have been playing good Test cricket in last 12-14 months. Winning the Test match at Wanderers (South Africa) was a good moment but the next two Test matches were disappointing. So, we will have to be consistent to be successful during an overseas tour," he said.

The Indian captain also emphasised that newly-appointed cricket manager Chandu Borde will be part of the team management and will be involved in strategy-making.

Asked specifically what would be Borde's role during the tour, Dravid said, "Borde will be part of the team management... He will take part in strategies and meetings."

"He has so much much knowledge and experience. In the earlier part of the tour, he will get to know the players and how the team works and get more comfortable with everyone."

Dravid also said that the tour provided an opportunity for the team to bounce back from the disappointment of the World Cup in the West Indies.

Dravid said that any tour of England was special for the cricketers.

"There have been some great performance by Indian teams over the years. It is a country of cricketing history. To play in grounds where great players have played will be special," he said.

"The crowd always appreciates good cricket. The Test matches are well attended. All the matches that I have played in England so far has had the grounds full," he said.

On bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad, Dravid said, "He had a lot of experience and has been working hard with the youngsters. It will give him a chance to look at the strengths and weaknesses of the bowlers, he has a big role to play during the tour."

Dravid also singled out paceman Zaheer Khan, saying he would have to spearhead the bowling attack and play the role of mentor for the young pacemen in the team.

"Zaheer has the experience, having played county cricket in England. He also has a big role to play."

Cricket manager Borde, who was also present at the press conference, described the tour as a challenge and said he was used to handling such situations.

"I am used to these things. Its a challenge for us. I know what is going on in the Indian team," he said.

Analysing the England team, Borde said, "they have good variety of pace attack and also have a formidable line-up. The team that played at home always do well," he said.

"I have been watching them on TV. They are doing well against the West Indies. The batting looks comfortable with Pietersen, Cook, Collingwood in their ranks," he said.

First Published: Jun 19, 2007 21:19 IST