Thatscricket - ODI Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- India, Pakistan are evenly balanced, says Dravid

Published: Saturday, October 19, 2002, 0:08 [IST]
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Bangalore:Vice-Captain Rahul Dravid on Thursday said the current Indian and Pakistani cricket sides seemed "evenly balanced" and anticipated entertaining cricket and a trouble-free series commencing next week.

"Both the sides seem evenly balanced," he told reporters after receiving Karnataka's prestigeous "Ekalavya" Award.

On how he rated the Pakistan team, he said: "I have not seen much of the players. So, it's very hard to rate them. But I think they are definitely a good side. They have a mix of good, experienced and young players. Similar to us in lot of ways. India is also a strong, balanced side".

Dravid has played in Pakistan only once -- a One-day series that lasted a week.

He said the team was not anticipating any trouble in Pakistan. "We anticipate all warmth and friendliness. A good series played in a good spirit. Hopefully, there will be some good, entertaining cricket".

Dravid said the Indian team was not going to Pakistan with any preconceived thoughts or ideas. "We are going there with blank mind... in a positive frame of mind".

Dravid said the upcoming series in Pakistan was like any other overseas tour from players' perspective or playing point of view. Like elsewhere, India would try and do its best. "A difference is that most of the players have not gone to Pakistan since India is touring its neighbour for the first time in 14 years.

"I do not think playing in Pakistan, we can do things differently or we should try and do things differently. We are going to try and do our best", the stylish right-handed Karnataka batsman said.

But he admitted that from the point of view of Indian supporters and spectators, "the feelings are going to be different".

Dravid said Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh and Ajit Agarkar, who are on the injury list and are not in the team for One-day series, would definitely be missed.

"Players of the quality of Kumble, Harbhajan and Agarkar are not easy to replace. They are experienced bowlers who have been around in international cricket for a long time. They will definitely be missed". But he hoped that the trio would be back in the team for the Test series.

Dravid said that given the amount of cricket being played now-a-days, one had to learn to make do with some of key cricketers who get injured. "Hopefully, youngsters will step in and fill the breach and do a good job for us".

On the inclusion of Ramesh Powar, Dravid noted that he had done very well in domestic cricket and the team was looking forward to seeing him in the international stage.

"He (Powar) has come into the team on the back of a lot of consistent performances and hopefully he will recreate it in international cricket," he said.

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