We can now fight back in the match: Dravid

Rahul Dravid on Saturday said India had to remain positive as "anything could happen" on a track which is showing signs of deterioration.

updated: October 14, 2008 11:35 IST
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Having clawed their way back in the first cricket Test against Australia with a brilliant batting by the lower order batsmen, Rahul Dravid on Saturday said India had to remain positive as "anything could happen" on a track which is showing signs of deterioration.

Dravid struck a fighting knock of 51 to revive India's fortunes before Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan joined hands to rattle up an astonishing 80-run partnership for the eight wicket to bring the hosts back into the match.

"Their (Harbhajan and Zaheer) partnership has given us a bit of hope. We know that wicket is not going to get easier as the game goes on. Still Australia has to bat third. I know they're tired at this stage. We still got to be positive.

"We still got to keep believing. A lot can happen on this wicket. Anything can happen and I think we're very positive," Dravid told reporters at the post-match press conference.

Dravid said the key for India lies in narrowing the lead and then taking early Aussie wickets.

"We can get a few more runs tomorrow. Maybe put some pressure on them by taking some early wickets when they bat. Obviously we're behind a little bit, but not far behind that we cannot fight back.

"We saw Clarke and White getting some turn. If our spinners can also do the same, two interesting days of cricket is left from here on," Dravid said.

Dravid though confessed that Indian batsmen struggled to settle on the dual-paced pitch.

"We could not trust the bounce as much as we would probably on a good wicket. We just had to be watchful. It was one of those wickets we never felt like we were in even if we batted for a long time, especially against quicker bowlers and with the ball reverse swinging."

The former captain though was satisfied with his own performance, hitting his 53rd Test fifty.

"I was pretty happy with the way I concentrated and with the way I played today. I would like to have carried on and got a few more runs. But it's nice to get a good start and I hope to get some good scores in the series," he said.

On whether winning the toss was advantageous to the Aussies, he said, "Yes, it happens in India. The wickets are quite slow and low. Team batting first obviously have that slight advantage. I think they batted well. With couple of hundreds they put pressure on us. But I think we could have batted a little bit better today and may be we would be in a better position today to force a result on day four and five."

Dravid played down the verbal spat between Zaheer and rival stumper Brad Haddin saying it was not of serious nature.

"Zaheer never told me what happened. I never asked him, he never told me. It's part and parcel of the game. So I don't think there was anything serious, if it was he would have mentioned it. He didn't mention, no one mentioned, so I don't think there was any issue," he insisted.