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India not to experiment too much

"We will have to play key players in positions suited to them," says Dravid.

india Updated: Feb 03, 2006 19:53 IST
SS Ramaswamy (PTI)
SS Ramaswamy (PTI)

Having learnt the lesson the hard way in the Karachi Test, India have decided to limit their experimentations in the one-day cricket series against Pakistan starting next week.

"Shuffling of batting order will depend on strategy and other conditions but the post-mortem of the Test series shows that we will have to play the key players in the positions suited to them," Indian skipper Rahul Dravid said on Friday.

The Indian team management has come under flak from various quarters for going too far with their experiments in batting order in the wake of their huge 341-run defeat to the hosts in the series-deciding third Test in Karachi.

Dravid also dismissed the notion of the team being low on morale and motivation following the Karachi drubbing.

"We do not need any extra motivation for the ODIs. That we are playing Pakistan is motivation in itself for the team," he said after unveiling the 'Hutch Cup' for the five-match ODI series alongwith Pakistan vice-captain Younis Khan.

Dravid said the one-dayers were an altogether different affair from the Tests and India would not make many changes to their regular one-day team.

"It would be an altogether different ball game from the Tests. We have a young team and we will not make many changes in it," he said while stating that it would be the trusted combination of Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag who would mostly open the innings.

"We would mostly be opening with Sehwag and Tendulkar. We also have Gautam Gambhir," he said.

Dravid did not agree with the suggestion that the one-day side lacked flexibility.

"After World Cup in 2003, we were not being flexible enough. Then we got good results against South Africa and Sri Lanka."

The Indian captain conceded that it would be a challenge to beat Pakistan who were in good nick.

"Pakistan are playing at home and we know that we are up against a good side. They've done well so far. It will be a nice challenge," the Bangalore batsman said.

Asked to comment on Sunil Gavaskar's criticism in his syndicated column, Dravid said: "We didn't do well with the new ball and we've to learn to play well under pressure. We also need to have a bowler who can take 20 wickets in Test."

Younis Khan, who donned the skipper's cap for the third Test, said Pakistan were not complacent after their win.

"The team which performs better on a particular day will win," he said.

"Everyone in the team is doing well, especially (Kamran) Akmal and Abdul Razzaq," he added.

Asked if he was ready to take over as captain, he said "Inzamam is fit. He is a legend."

First Published: Feb 03, 2006 16:09 IST