We did not bat well: Dravid
He was all praise for Yuvraj, Pathan and Agarkar and said their performances were the positives that emerged from the game.india Updated: Nov 17, 2005 12:21 IST
Indian cricket captain Rahul Dravid attributed the defeat in the first one-dayer against South Africaon Wednesday to the failure of top batsmen and said his team would have to play better in the remaining four matches of the series.
Addressing a post-match news conference at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Dravid, however, termed the match a close one and hoped that his team would carry forward the positive factors that emerged from it.
"We did not bat well upfront. We were 35 for five at one stage but Yuvraj (Singh) and Irfan (Pathan) managed well to take us to 249," he said.
"Had we scored few more runs and taken another South African wicket, things would have been different."
Dravid said he was not disappointed by the loss and denied that this would take away the spirit seen in the team following its 6-1 win over Sri Lanka.
"We knew that this is a good side. It is going be a tough series. We have to play a better game," he said.
"This defeat will not take away the spirit. We have to take every game on its own, and not worry about what happened in the past," the Indian captain said.
He felt that since the rest of the one-day matches were day-night affairs, the toss would play a crucial role.
Asked why he played Gautam Gambhir as super sub and not someone like Suresh Raina, Dravid admitted that this was a tricky decision.
"We had five bowlers and decided to play sixth batsman Gambhir as super sub. It was a tricky one. We had to play that card but it didn't work," he said.
Dravid defended the decision to send in Gambhir at number three, saying he was in good form and deserved a chance.
He was all praise for Yuvraj, Pathan and Ajit Agarkar and said their performances were the positives that emerged from the game. While the bowlers did a good job, the number of extras conceded was surprising. "Our bowling has to be more disciplined," he remarked.
Yuvraj, who was declared man of the match for his 103 off 122 balls, said he tried to play his natural game and was well supported by Pathan and others.