India confident of winning series

Having levelled the series, stand-in captain Rahul Dravid was confident India will pull it off in the final match in Vijayawada to cap a fairly good performance of the team in this season.

india Updated: Nov 21, 2002 22:30 IST

Having levelled the series in the sixth one-day international here today, stand-in captain Rahul Dravid was confident India will pull it off in the final match in Vijayawada on Sunday to cap a fairly good performance of the team in this season.

"We have won our final matches in the last few games and there is no reason why we can't do it in Vijayawada," Dravid said after India's three wicket win over West Indies in the sixth one-day match here.

Dravid, who has proved lucky for the team having led India to victories in the all the three matches he has skippered, would be leading the side in the final match too since Sourav Ganguly has been rested.

But the stylish Karnataka batsman, whose impressive 58-run knock played a key role in India's victory today, said that was purely incidental.

"Its just been three matches. So we can't read too much into it. The fact is that we have been batting quite well in this series and today we bowled well too. I think we have a very good chance of winning in Vijayawada," he said.

Dravid was full of praise for all-rounder Ajit Agarkar who became the first bowler to be declared man of the match in this series after he returned figures of three for 24 from nine overs.

Agarkar himself looked quite satisfied with his performance especially since he was dropped from the side after the first three matches.

"Its not been a very great tournament for the bowlers. So it's really a very nice feeling to win the man-of-the-match award," Agarkar said.

"The bowlers have taken a lot of punishment in this series. One-day games are anyhow a batsman's show. But I was not thinking about the earlier matches when I went into this game.
"I tried to be very simple in my approach. I kept it as straight as possible and bowled wicket to wicket. It worked today," he said.

"The wicket was not very easy to play your shots on. And that helped. Also the fact that I had bowled long spells in the Ranji Trophy match against Delhi," he said referring to Mumbai's league match against Delhi which finished on Monday.

West Indian captain Carl Hooper, who was hoping to clinch the series here, said his side ran 30-40 runs short of what would have been an ideal total on this track.
"The wicket here was not the quickest and the bounce was also not as true as we got in the five earlier matches," Hooper said.

"Usually in a one-day game you are looking at a score of around 80-90 runs in the first 15 overs. But today both the teams struggled to get 45-50.

"This is the way sometimes the game goes. And you have to live with it," he said.

Hooper did not agree that the lack of a spinner in his side led to the defeat. "If you look at the bowling figures, all the three fast bowlers did really well today. And Mahendra Nagamootoo (not in the team today) wasn't performing very well in the earlier matches. So I don't think that made much difference."

First Published: Nov 21, 2002 19:01 IST