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Decision to field first was bad: Dravid

"It was bad decision... we knew we were on the backfoot since day one," admitted skipper.
None | By Press Trust of India, Mumbai
UPDATED ON MAR 22, 2006 08:14 PM IST

Skipper Rahul Dravid on Wednesday admitted that his decision to field first in the third Test against England here probably cost India the match.

"Looking at the result, in hindsight it was a bad decision. We thought that we had five bowlers and three seamers in the eleven and expected good bounce and movement in the first session to pick up a few wickets," Dravid said.

"But it did not happen and once they made 272 for three on the first day we knew we were on the backfoot," he said after the home team crashed to a humiliating 212-run defeat to allow England to square the series 1-1.

The Indian captain also conceded that his team, especially the top order, did not play well throughout the match.

"We did not play well throughout and the top order let us down. Even after our middle and lower order had helped us make 279 in the first innings, I never thought it was a wicket where only 100 runs could be scored in the second. We needed some more contribution from our top order," he said.

Asked about the team's gameplan for chasing the daunting target of 313, Dravid said the idea was to keep as many wickets intact in the first two sessions before trying for an all-out assault in the final session.

"Our bowlers did exceptionally well yesterday. We planned to lose as few wickets as we could in the first two sessions and then have a crack at the target in the last session."

Dravid did not think that India had lost to a second-string England team which was without five key players. 

"They were always a competitive side. We were beaten by a better team," he said.

He also singled out rival skipper Andrew Flintoff, the man of the match as well as the series, for praise.

"He was terrific. He was the best bowler on view in the series. To bat, bowl and also lead the team was not easy. That's why he's the greatest all rounder in world cricket at the moment," Dravid gushed.

The Indian skipper admitted that his team needed to perform better in Tests after having lost the series in Pakistan and allowing England to square the series.

"We competed well against Pakistan. But we need to get better in Tests," he said.

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