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We must find answers to tackle pace: Dravid

Jolted by the 157-run defeat, Dravid seeks to find a way to survive on bouncy tracks.

india Updated: Nov 23, 2006 18:24 IST

Jolted by the crushing defeat in the second one-dayer against South Africa, Indian captain Rahul Dravid sought to convey a strong message to his struggling batsmen, saying that they will have to find a solution to survive on bouncy tracks.

Dravid asked his teammate not to get disheartend by this defeat and take it up as a challenge for the rest of the series.

"It does not help to get disheartened. One has to come up with solutions both as a team and individually. This is the bowling we would face right through the summer. We need to try to find answers otherwise it's going to be tough," Dravid said yesterday after India's 157-run loss against South Africa.

Dravid played down the fact that how much the team relies on Sachin Tendulkar and himself under such conditions but said that the younger batsman need to apply themselves when the team wants them.

"It is not surprising that the team depends on us two key players. All the sides rely on their key men. South Africa for instance relies a great deal on Jacques Kallis and we saw it today how much he means to them," he said.

"But when the experienced cricketers fail, it is for others to stand up and be counted and give hope for their future careers. It would then mark them out as international class batsmen.

When being asked about team's experimentation, Dravid said, "I do not think we are experimenting; we are trying to win. If somebody is unfit and injured and cannot play then we can't do anything about it," he said.

"We have said it before that if we want to be competitive consistently abroad in such conditions, we have to prepare such wickets from junior to Ranji Trophy levels. It's not something that I am saying new, a lot has been said and written on it. But how it can happen and whether it can happen is to be seen," he said.
South African skipper Graeme Smith said they intend to better their performance in the coming matches.

"Our bowling was alright but I thought our batting is still rusty. We could have done with a total of 270 on this wicket. But we intend to get better in the coming games.

Smith also made a point that Indians were perhaps a bowler short in the game, a fact which also met the nod from man of the match Jacques Kallis.

"Indians looked to be a bowler short but overall they bowled very well. It was not a free-scoring wicket so I am pleased with my knock,"

On Andre Nel's explosive spell of four for 13, Smith said the right arm pacer deserved all the praise.

"He had an opportunity today. Normally Shaun Pollock and Makhaya Ntini walk away with the glory but today it was his turn," he said.

Man of the match Kallis, who scored 119 and captured three wickets, said he wished he could have done even better with the bat.

"I think I could have scored 15 or 20 runs more. Probably it was not my best knock," he said.

First Published: Nov 23, 2006 13:43 IST