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We struggled with fifth bowler: Dravid

India struggled in the absence of a regular fifth bowler and their total was short by 25 runs, captain Rahul Dravid said on Thursday.

india Updated: Nov 07, 2003 00:27 IST

India struggled in the absence of a regular fifth bowler and their total was short by 25 runs in the four-wicket loss against New Zealand in the TVS Cup triangular one-day international series cricket match, captain Rahul Dravid said on Thursday.

"We were probably short by 25 runs. Considering that the dew made it difficult for the spinners to get a hold, we were short by a few runs," Dravid said after India lost the day-night match at the Barabati stadium here.

"We also struggled in the fifth bowler department. The absence of a fifth bowler made things difficult in the end," he said.

"We have two crucial games coming up, and probably we will have to win both of them. So, there is still lot of cricket left to play," the skipper added.

Kiwi captain Stephen Fleming was a relieved man after notching up the win after two successive defeats against Australia in the previous matches.

"We seem to bounce back in must win situations," said Fleming. "It was disappointing to lose two matches to Australia."

Fleming said his team was looking to get good partnership going.

"That is what we talked about, and we could sense it was frustrating for the Indians when Scott Styris and Craig McMillan were going on."

Fleming said there were still a few areas for the Kiwis to improve.

"We have to better our top order batting and not put much pressure on the lower order."

Man of the match Scott Styris, who claimed three for 38 with the ball and then scored an important 68, said the Barabati track suited his style of play.

"The wicket suited me and I am pleased with the way I bowled. It is fantastic that we won this because it was a must win game for us," he said.

Styris said the slow start he and McMillan had during the 127-run fifth wicket partnership was not deliberate.

"We struggled to adjust to the bounce in the beginning. But later it started skidding and we also saw that the spinners were struggling to get proper hold (on the ball)," he said.

First Published: Nov 07, 2003 00:26 IST