'Flexibility one of the keys to success'
Dravid admitted that Pathan and Dhoni had been "critical" to the balance while a Yuvi and Sehwag gave him option to play an extra batsman or an extra bowler.Updated: May 09, 2006 20:19 IST
Flexibility in the batting line-up and the ability of young players to perform various roles have been the key to India's recent success in one-dayers, according to skipper Rahul Dravid.
"We have been able to develop players and give ourselves flexibility. People have been able to bat up the order, down the order, opening, anywhere. They're able to set up games, and equally, finish games," Dravid said.
"We have built a squad where we're not reliant on a few people. We've taken pressure off a few people and taken load off some of the senior players," the Bangalore batsman was quoted as saying in the latest edition of Cricinfo magazine.
He also admitted that Irfan Pathan and Mahendra Singh Dhoni had been "critical" to the balance of the side while a Yuvraj Singh and a Virender Sehwag had given him the option to play an extra batsman or an extra bowler.
"It's great to have multi-skilled , multi-faceted cricketers like these. Everyone can't be that way but there is room for a few guys in the squad who can do this.
"The key to this, though, is that these players must be able to hold their own with one discipline, and then contribute in another. Bits and pieces cricketers don't do the job for you."
On the team's world record of successful chases, he said it had been made possible due to the ability of the youngsters to absorb pressure while finishing the games.
"It is a creditable achievement, especially considering how young this side is," Dravid said.
"Some of the youngsters who have been involved in finishing these games have not had much experience of that sort of thing in the past. That tells you how well they've absorbed the pressure of international cricket," he said.
Heaping praise on the bowlers, he said, "it's also a reflection of how well we have bowled. People forget that the big thing about being able to chase is leaving yourself with a reasonable target in the first place."
He also said it was wrong to suggest that the team was thinking only about the one-dayers and neglecting its overall development.
"We are trying to build a team for the long term. The World Cup is just a part of things in our thought process... from our point of view World Cup is one tournament. Sure, it's the most important one-day tournament
"... (but) more critically we are looking to build a team that will do well beyond the World Cup. If we do well in the World Cup that'd be great but we are thinking about a squad that can do well consistently."
First Published: May 02, 2006 14:20 IST