Brave front - Ignore India at your own peril: Dravid

Published: Tuesday, February 4, 2003, 0:45 [IST]
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Durban: It would be a fallacy to write off India on the basis of its performance in New Zealand and the team would get back to its best in the lead-up games, the first of which starts at Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday, vice-captain Rahul Dravid said. While admitting that India had faltered in New Zealand, its last tour before the World Cup, Dravid said the team was looking to gain in confidence in the warm-up matches ahead.

"Basically we just did not play good cricket in New Zealand although the conditions were not ideal and the scores show that. But in those situations cricket is all about digging deep and we will have to improve," Dravid said. The elegant right-handed batsman however cautioned against writing off India's chances on the basis of its New Zealand tour. "Because of the conditions, it would be dangerous to read too much into those scores. After a great year leading up to that tour, the batsmen had a bit of a reality check and we have a good chance of getting things right for the World Cup," he said.

"We have two games against Natal, the first starting on Tuesday, on what should be good pitches and our first World Cup match is against Holland in Paarl, which is also good for batting," the star batsman said. Dravid, who will continue to double up as a wicket-keeper, said he loves batting at number five. "I have a lot of experience so it's good to bat at five. Also we have got a couple of very exciting youngsters coming in after me," the 30-year-old said.

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