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Dravid wants team to concentrate

Ahead of the series-deciding cricket Test against New Zealand, India's stand-in captain on Wednesday sought to put up a brave front.

india Updated: Oct 15, 2003 23:48 IST

Ahead of the series-deciding cricket Test against New Zealand, India's stand-in captain Rahul Dravid on Wednesday sought to put up a brave front, saying his team would be under no undue pressure and would concentrate on "playing good cricket".

Dravid, who will lead the team after Sourav Ganguly was ruled out of the match due to an abscess in the left upper thigh, told reporters here that his players will strive to get the "basics right" which was imperative in the longer version of the game.

"We will concentrate on playing good cricket. Since it is a series-decider, we have to get the basics right and ensure that whatever we plan is implemented," said Dravid who was the pick of the Indian batsmen in the drawn first Test.

Asked whether the Indians will be under pressure to force a result in their favour after the Ahmedabad Test ended in a draw, Dravid said "There is pressure in every game you play. It may be a decider, but it is no different from any other cricket match. You have to play well to win it".

The stylish middle order batsman, who scored a monumental 222 and 73 in the first Test at Ahmedabad, said it was a great honour to lead the side and he would give his best shot to the new assignment.

"Well, its quite exciting to lead the country, although it's just for one match. I am looking forward to the game."

Dravid said captaincy would not put him under any additional pressure as a batsman and he would continue to bat in his usual style. "I don't think captaincy will affect my game".

Although the Indians were yet to finalise their playing eleven, Dravid indicated that they could go into the match with four specialist bowlers.

"We have not decided the team yet, we may do it later in the day after discussions with (Syed) Kirmani (chairman of the selection committee) and John (Wright). But I think two spinners and two pacers is not a bad idea for the balance of the team".

Asked whether the Kiwis had adapted well to the Indian conditions, Dravid said "Obviously. They played quite well to save the Test in Ahmedabad. I think their batsmen have adapted to the conditions better".

On the Mohali track, Dravid said "it looks a good wicket. The bounce may get a little lower at a later stage of the match. I think it will produce a good contest between the bat and the ball".

"The Ahmedabad track was very slow and did not have enough bounce. It was really tough on the bowlers," Dravid said echoing the views of Ganguly and Wright.

Dravid said the team has to play on the tracks given to them and try to win on any wicket. "At the end of the day, you cannot get a perfect wicket. Sometimes you get slow tracks, sometimes a bouncier track. But then, you have to play your game on whatever track that is given to you."

Asked whether he would bat first if he won the toss, Dravid said "It is something which I will not disclose. I don't want the opposition to know about our strategy."

First Published: Oct 15, 2003 16:48 IST