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Thatscricket - ODI Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- All roads lead to Lahore for the summit clash

Published: Saturday, October 19, 2002, 20:54 [IST]
 
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Lahore:Looking for their first series win against Pakistan on their turf, India on Tuesday said they were approaching Wednesday's decider with a "positive frame of mind " recalling that they have always had the better of the home side in crunch situations such as those in various World Cups.

Vice-captain Rahul Dravid said on the eve of the fifth and final One-dayer that the Indian team had worked on the grey areas and would try to play to its full potential in the decider of the five-match series tied 2-2 at the moment.

"It is true that we have not done so well in finals, but it is mainly against Australia. We had not played to our full potential in the past and we are aware of it. If we play to our full potential, the result will take care of itself," Dravid told a pre-match press conference in Lahore.

But Dravid was quick to point out that the Indians had done very well against Pakistan in crunch matches in the past and would be keen to keep the trend going.

"We have not done well against Australia in the finals, but we probably have better results against Pakistan. We have to go into the match with a positive frame of mind," he said.

Dravid said the team had prepared well for the series-decider and had analysed the problem areas. "We have worked on the grey areas like improving the bowling in the middle overs. We bowled well in the first 15 overs in the last match but gave away a lot of runs between the 30-45 overs. We have watched the videos and discussed the problems," he said.

"You may plan a lot but ultimately you have to do it in the middle. It is a question of getting your focus right ". Asked whether the team management was contemplating making changes to the team for the last match, he said, "we have decided to retain the 12 players who played the last match. The final eleven has not yet been decided."

The Indian vice-captain admitted that the absence of regular bowlers like Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Ajit Agarkar and Ashish Nehra had made the Indian bowling attack rather inexperienced.

"We obviously miss such experienced bowlers. Our bowling lacks the experience as we have some young guys. But you can't use that as an excuse always. Lot of international matches are being played nowadays, and teams have to play even if your main bowlers are injured," Dravid said.

On Pakistan fast bowlers conceding a large number of extras right through the series, he said, "We are happy to receive that kind of help (of conceding runs through extras). Their pace bowlers come hard at us and are aggressive. Sometimes it can go against them."

Dravid also believed that the toss would not play a vital role in the day-and-night match on Wednesday. "I don't think the toss will make much of a difference. It will be a good batting track in the afternoon but the same team could be affected by the dew in the evening. So it neutralises the advantage."

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