Team ready for Lankan challenge: Dravid

India's new cricket captain Rahul Dravid today said his team had not only worked on its loopholes but had also drawn up a strategy against Sri Lanka.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:52 IST
  • Total Shares


India's new cricket captain Rahul Dravid today said his team had not only worked on its loopholes but had also drawn up a strategy against Sri Lanka. Dravid said the team members had discussed in detail about some matches where at crucial stages it had faltered, especially in finals in the one-dayers. "We have discussed these and have to keep working on the shortcomings. There's no magic formula. We have realised that situations may arise in games when someone should stand up and deliver. It's a bit of a mental one (block) too," Dravid said. Home advantage But Dravid said his team was better placed to counter the Lankans in home conditions. "They have a better record than us of late. But we are playing at home which is an advantage. In one-day cricket the team that plays well on the day wins. There are no underdogs," he said at the pre-match press conference. "The team is in good spirits. I am happy with everyone, the attitude and so on. It's going to be an exciting series. I have done well in Nagpur since my junior days." Coach Greg Chappell said the team had done its planning for the series keeping in mind all the key rival players, but added that the lesser known players could also prove crucial. "Lesser known players too can take the game away. We have to be careful," he said. Chappell said the Indian team too had some good utility cricketers like the Lankans and the team think tank was addressing this area. "We have a range of utility players who can be equal to any other team in course of time," the former Aussie captain said. No surprises Chappell said in world cricket there was hardly the surprise factor any more with most teams knowing about their rival players. "We have played against them (Lanka) recently and so we know their players. But they also know about ours." Dravid also said the new Powerplay rule could test the players due to the weather conditions of the subcontinent where the rule will be applied for the first time. "Power play is going to be a testing one. It could be a factor (in the game). We have to plan for it as it's going to be used for the first time in the sub continent," Dravid said. The Indian captain said the team management had finalised the thirteen for the match, leaving out pace bowler Rudra Pratap Singh and opener Gautam Gambhir. However, he refused to divulge anything more saying "it would help the opposition". Chappell too concurred with Dravid's view and said any detail would have to be awaited. "There a number of things that we have talked about. Some may be used and some others may not," he said. Dry wicket The Indian skipper said the wicket looked drier than what it appeared the last time he played here (on a seamer's wicket against Australia in which he led the team after Sourav Ganguly pulled out on the morning of the match citing an injury). "It looks drier than the last time. It looks a good wicket and might take spin as the day goes on," he said. Asked about the return of champion batsman Sachin Tendulkar after a lengthy injury-induced layoff, Dravid said the team was looking forward to have the master in the squad again. Dravid said according to him, Tendulkar-Virender Sehwag opening partnership would be the best bet to deliver. "According to me there is no better opening combination for us. But we have to give these two, who have done so well in the past including in the last World Cup, some time to settle down again as a combination," he said. Chappell said the nucleus of the team for the 2007 World Cup was already in place though there were a number of rubbers to be played before the mega event. "There are a number of series before the 2007 World Cup. But the nucleus is definitely there, yes," he said to a query. (PTI)