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Great effort needed for victory: Dravid

Dravid felt that the few spots on the track and some good bowling by Murali Kartik on the final day could force the home side onto the backfoot.

india Updated: Jan 05, 2004 15:26 IST

Indian vice-captain Rahul Dravid on Monday said the visitors need to put in a "great effort" on the fifth and final day of the decisive cricket Test here to have any chance of winning a historic series in Australia.

Dravid struck an unbeaten 91 in India's second innings score of 211 for two declared as the hosts were given a target of 443 to win the Test.

"We have 10 wickets to get on a very good batting track to win the match and the series. Australia are a quality opposition and 10 wickets are going to be hard work. It would require a great effort," Dravid said after Australia scored ten for no loss in their second innings.

However, Dravid felt that the few spots on the track and some impressive bowling by left-arm spinner Murali Kartik on the final day could force the home side onto the backfoot.

"There are a few spots on the pitch but those are not enough. They are on the leg-side of the right handed batsman.

"But Australia have four left-handers and that could help us if we put balls on the right spots," Dravid said, who believed that Kartik could play a stellar role tomorrow.

"He is a tough kid and fine bowler. He will bounce back once he takes two wickets or come up with a couple of good spells. I believe that tomorrow will be his day," Dravid said of Kartik, who conceded 122 runs in 19 overs as the Australian batsmen toyed with his bowling in their first innings.

Dravid said India's decision to allow Australia bat a few overs before the close of play today was part of a plan.

"We were playing to a plan. We had decided to consolidate our innings first by taking a lead of 425 to 440-plus. Light was a factor before declaration, but still we decided to ask them bat a few overs at close."

Dravid, who scored over 600 runs in the four-match series for a 100-plus average, said India's second innings got off to a slow start due to some "negative" bowling by the home bowlers.

"It was slow start today and that was primarily due to some negative bowling, mainly by their leg-spinner (Stuart MacGill)."

In a bid to slow down India's scoring rate, Australia adopted defensive tactics and both MacGill and left-arm seamer Nathan Bracken bowled a negative line, making it difficult for the batsmen to go for shots.

Dravid lavished praise on state-mate and leg-spinner Anil Kumble whose eight wickets earlier in the day helped India dismiss the Australians for 474.

"Today was Anil's day. He is fine bowler. It is a previlege to watch him bowling."

Kumble, who missed the first Test at Brisbane to Harbhajan Singh, is the leading wicket-taker so far in the series with 20 scalps, which included three five-wicket hauls.

On the cut on the ear suffered while batting in the second innings off a Brett Lee delivery, Dravid said "its nothing. Just a cut and have already a couple of stitches. So nothing to worry."

First Published: Jan 05, 2004 15:26 IST