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Team must fall into groove soon: Dravid

He said India will try not to repeat the same mistakes which cost them the ODI series against Windies.

india Updated: Sep 14, 2006 11:30 IST

Indian captain Rahul Dravid on Wednesday asked his teammates to get into the groove quickly and not allow lack of match practice to be an excuse for failure in the DLF Cup cricket tri-series.

Dravid said it was important to start the series on a winning note as a consistent show right through the tournament would help the team for the upcoming Champions Trophy.

"The two other teams are good, so we have to get our act together very quickly. We are going to play our best," Dravid said on the eve of their opening match against the West Indies.

The Karnataka batsman said his players were starved of competitive cricket after the washout of the tri-series in Sri Lanka and were now keen to utilise the current tournament fully.

"In Sri Lanka it was a complete washout. We are raring to play after so much training. It will be a very good preparation for the Champions Trophy," he said.

Dravid said his team will try not to repeat the same mistakes which cost them the one-day series against the West Indies in May.

"It's a new series. Lessons have to be learnt from the series we played in West Indies. But, that is behind us now and we are determined to do well. The defeat is not playing on our mind and our focus is on what we have to achieve," he said.

The Indian captain refused to divulge the playing eleven, saying it would be decided after seeing the wicket on Thursday.

"The wicket will be a bit different. Today it is damp and team selection will be influenced by the conditions tomorrow. A few cracks are there and it all depends on how it dries," he said.

On the unavailability of middle-order batsman Yuvraj Singh for the match, Dravid said it was an unfortunate but the team could not worry on this front.

"He is an important player and he has been successful. He is good for middle overs. It's unfortunate that he cannot play. But it cannot be helped," Dravid said.

On the plans for the tri-series, Dravid said equal opportunities would be given to all the members of the squad during the tournament.

"We will try to give as many opportunities to all the players, but we cannot guarantee that. Some will get more and some will get less," he said.

Regarding the form of all-rounder Irfan Pathan, who is going through a rough patch, Dravid said the young Baroda paceman would bounce back soon.

"Irfan has been a success in ODIs. He is looking at different areas to work on. He is a young kid, a lot of success has come his way very quickly.

"There will be ups and downs. It is how you bounce back, it's all about your own assessment of yourself," he said.

On seamer S Sreesanth's omission from the Indian team for the Champions Trophy, Dravid said the Kerala player had taken the decision in his stride.

"Sreesanth has taken it very well. Until you establish yourself in an international team, there would be selections which would be very close. Sometimes you would be lucky, sometimes not. All of us go through that, but how we learn and accept the challenge matters a lot.

"Lots of people provide sympathy and advice but most important is how you react, how you improve your game and what realistic assesment you have on your own ability," he said.

First Published: Sep 14, 2006 11:30 IST