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'We will turn the corner against WI'

Rahul Dravid is confident that his underperforming team will arrest its downslide.
None | By Press Trust of India, Nagpur
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2007 03:45 PM IST

Skipper Rahul Dravid sounded confident that the under-performing Indian team would arrest its downslide and do well in the forthcoming one-day series against the West Indies.

The batting stalwart also said that the team viewed the series against the West Indies and the subsequent one against Sri Lanka as part of its preparation for the World Cup.

“The team is looking forward to the current series (against the West Indies commencing here on January 21) and later against Sri Lanka (in February) as part of the preparation for the World Cup,” Dravid said after the first day of the four-day preparatory camp.

Weighed down by the team’s 0-4 loss to South Africa recently, the captain said that the team wanted to begin the series on a confident note and decided to have a short camp here to achieve that aim.

“We want to begin our campaign on a confident note and that is why we decided to have a four-day practice session prior to the first ODI,” Dravid said.

“Our players will get familiar with the local conditions and should do well in the series,” he added.

Dravid was not forthcoming on whether Sachin Tendulkar would open the batting, saying, “I don’t see too much in the batting order,” adding that it would be decided by the team management.

Asked about the appointment of Tendulkar as vice captain, Dravid said that for a player of his stature, it made no difference.

Dravid described the West Indies as good opponents, pointing out the Caribbeans’ good display in the ICC Champions Trophy, when they progressed to the final before losing to Australia. “The West Indies team is good and did well in the Champions Trophy,” he said.

Commenting on the changes made in the Indian team in the aftermath of the poor display in South Africa — with Sehwag and Pathan being dropped — Dravid said that it was always good to make some changes if it led to the betterment of the team.

The Indian skipper also dismissed speculations about fitness problems being faced by Tendulkar.

“Not only he, but Yuvraj also (recuperating from a knee ligament injury but not part of the team for the first two ODIs) is fine and both are raring to go.”

Yuvraj, who joined the training session for a couple of days, will leave for Kolkata to play a few matches and test his fitness, Dravid said.

“We are happy the way his rehabilitation has progressed and our physio, John Gloster, has taken care of (the process). Yuvraj has to prepare himself for Twenty20 (matches) in Kolkata. He will get his confidence back during the series (against the West Indies),” Dravid said.

The team members, who arrived here on Tuesday night, had a practice session on Wednesday. The West Indies squad will arrive here on January 19, two days before the opener.

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