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Dravid confident of clinching Test series

"We are definitely disappointed that we could not win the finals. But we cannot do much about it and have to look ahead.", says Dravid.

india Updated: Sep 11, 2005 15:59 IST

India would emerge as the runaway winners if they play to their potential and not worry about their opponents Zimbabwe in the upcoming two-match cricket Test series, according to Vice-Captain Rahul Dravid.

"If we play good cricket, we should win," Dravid said in the run-up to the first Test beginningin Zimbabweon Tuesday.

"We have got to play good cricket, focus on ourselves and not worry about the opposition. It is very important from our point of view to win the Tests against Zimbabwe and win them well," he said.

Dravid acknowledged the quality of Heath Streak and Captain Tatenda Taibu in the opposition ranks but also admitted that they knew little about the rest of Zimbabwe team.

"Streak and Taibu have been around for a while, they have got some experience. But, to be honest, we don't know much about the other cricketers.", he said.

Dravid felt the wickets at Bulawayo and Harare would be similar to the track they played in Mutare against the Board President's Eleven over the weekend. In that respect, he believed the three-day warm up game was a good work-out for his side.

"The track was a good wicket to bat on and was a bit slow. It was a similar kind of wicket we might get in Tests as well," Dravid said.

"It was a good three days from our point of view. Anil (Kumble) bowled a good spell. For people like Balaji who have not played for a while, it was good to have a go in these conditions. In the end it was a good work-out."

Dravid spoke in defence of Zaheer Khan and Balaji who struggled for rhythm in Mutare and did not look good with either their line or length. "Both Zaheer and Balaji are coming off from a lay-off so it was good for them. Zaheer bowled with good pace and carry. But they have just been here after long flights. This practice will do them a world of good."

The ever-reliable batsman also said that he was concerned over the way he was bowled out four times in the tri-series. "It happens. Sometimes you do get out in the same fashion. But it's pretty unusual to get out in the same way. There were different ways of getting bowled, also a couple of inside edges and a couple of misses. (But) I am not really concerned about it. I will keep on improving," said Dravid who scored a scintillating century in the three-day match aginst Zimbabwe Bord XI.

Dravid was not sure of what eleven his side would choose in the first Test while conceding that the team needed to work hard on all three aspects of the game.

"We will be looking at what kind of combination we will go in with (in the first Test). But we have to keep working hard on all three aspects of our game," Dravid said.

"It's a long season ahead for us. It's the start of what I see as a very long 6-8 months. If we take the right steps, hopefully we will see some progress in the course of time."

Dravid said the team wanted to put behind the defeat in the Tri-series final against New Zealand and wanted to look ahead and improve with guidance from coach Greg Chappell.

"We are definitely disappointed that we could not win the finals. But we cannot do much about it and have to look ahead. We have been trying a few different things since Greg has got here. He has some new ideas and we are working hard.", Dravid said.

"It's a process, there is no magic formula. Greg and Ian (Frazer) and the entire support staff have put a process in place and hopefully we will see some good progress and results in the course of the season."

First Published: Sep 11, 2005 15:59 IST