WC 2003 - Dravid to don gloves in final in spite of injury

Published: Saturday, March 22, 2003, 0:46 [IST]
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Johannesburg: India's vice-captain Rahul Dravid will continue his role as a wicket-keeper in Sunday's World Cup final against Australia despite an injured finger.Dravid, the dependable batsman who took over as One-day wicket-keeper to maintain the balance in the Indian side, hurt the middle finger of his left hand during Thursday's semi-final win against Kenya in Durban.The injury, caused by keeping to the pace trio of Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra, saw Dravid concede 16 byes on top of the 15 wides sent down by the bowlers.India have a specialist wicket-keeper in the squad in 18-year-old Parthiv Patel, but team official Amrit Mathur said Dravid will don the gloves in the final."We were a bit worried on Thursday night, but Dravid says he will recover and wants to do the job he has been doing in the World Cup," Mathur said. India needs Dravid's new-found skills as a keeper as much as his batting at number five in a bid to stop Australia from successfully defending their title at the Wanderers on Sunday."I had a hard day behind the stumps during the semi-final, but my team is in the final now and that's a big satisfaction. It's part of the trade, Dravid told the BBC."This World Cup has been different for me compared to the last one where I was the highest run-getter in the tournament. I was just a batsman then but this time I am the vice-captain and wicket-keeper as well. I have delivered whenever my team have required it."The responsibilities of the three jobs are not too much for me because I think the senior players of the team have to take on extra pressure," Dravid said.Copyright AFP 2001

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