Hamilton:Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe feels beleaguered Indian batsman Rahul Dravid has regained his confidence and appeared to be in reasonable form to score a century in the first Test beginning from Wednesday.
"One man who will go into the Test matches with a lot of confidence from the Indian line-up would be Rahul Dravid. I worked with him closely during last year's Indian Premier League (IPL). He has obviously shown that he is in reasonable form in the warm-up game for Canterbury," Crowe wrote in his column for a cricket website.
"He is still a determined class act. I would imagine that if he can get in early in the first Test and feel comfortable, then the memories of batting in New Zealand where he has scored hundreds before will be there to help him to find three figures once more," he said.
Crowe said the combined effect of Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman gives Indian batting an edge going into the Test series.
"It is the experience of Rahul, VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar combined with Virender Sehwag which will give India's batting an added bow going into the Test matches this week."
"Just look at the final one-dayer and you will realise why Tendulkar is so important for India. They just could not adapt to the conditions, you could see that. When you win so easily as India did in this series, such things can creep in," Crowe said.
"But mark my words, Tendulkar will quickly bring them back down to earth, a new series will begin and they will look to surge forward to become the No 1 team in the world in the next year or so. For that they have to be at their best and I am expecting them to do that," he added.
On the debate over the race between India, South Africa and Australia for the No 1 spot in Test cricket, Crowe said "For me, India are still the form team in the world in terms of Test cricket. I expect them to continue with that".
"I am sure for India with Tendulkar back, Rahul back they will be amazing," he said.