We have to reassess our strategy: Dravid

Published: Monday, April 18, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:After India went down against Pakistan in the one-day series following an insipid show in New Delhi, captain Rahul Dravid on Sunday said his side must innovate ways to stem its poor run in limited-over matches.

"We have to think about it. We are not playing well in One-dayers. Our performance has not been good. India has to think about the strategy," Dravid said after India crashed to a 159-run defeat in the sixth and final one-dayer to lose the series 2-4.

"We are very disappointed. But its very difficult to pinpoint any particular reason. It's rather a combination of reasons. We must comeback with new ideas. We must give a good long and hard look at the way we play the One-dayers," a visibly disappointed Dravid said.

Dravid refused to blame the pitch for Sunday's loss though added that winning the toss had its own advantage.

Pakistani captain Inzamam-ul-Haq won the toss and elected to bat on a flat track on which the visitors piled on 303 for eight in 50 overs.

India, in reply, were seen having problem in adjusting to the pitch before they were bowled out for 144.

"I don't want to use it (pitch) as an excuse. But of course it's a definitely good toss to win.But then they won two games despite losing the toss whereas we could not manage that."

Dravid also dismissed the theory that India paid the price for taking Pakistan, who had come after a poor show in Australia, lightly in both the Tests and One-day series.

"We never took them lightly. We played them three to four times since our tour of Pakistan last year. So we knew how they had developed over the past few months. They are a very strong team in the ODIs."

The Indian captain agreed that the outcome of the series could have been different had India got a good start, in both batting and bowling. "A good start always makes a difference. Veeru (Virendra Sehwag) gave a good platform in the first two matches. He is an attacking player and you cannot expect him to do that everytime."

In the last match, he said, "The first few overs were really important. We did not get any crucial wickets in the first few overs. "redit to Inzamam and Younis Khan, they batted well to take the side past the 300 mark. Our batting in the initial overs certainly cost us."

Dravid, who was made the captain for the last two matches after Ganguly faced a six-match ban for the team's slow over rate in the fourth one-dayer, said: "I think the absence of one or two individuals from the team does not make much difference."

When asked that since India were playing in one-dayers without a genuine all-rounder, was it making the difference between winning and losing? Dravid said, "certainly".

"An all-rounder definitely helps. It obviously makes a difference in the One-dayers. But it's not easy to find someone like Kapil Dev. But there is opportunity who plays domestic cricket. Hopefully we will be able to fine one some day," he said.

Looking back to the previous season, the stylish Karnataka bastman said: "The One-day season was quite ordinary. And in Test except for the home series against Australia we did quite well. We are looking forward to the next season hoping for better results."

On the crowd trouble during the match, Dravid said, "It is disappointing to see bottles being thrown. Crowd disappointment is understandable but there are other ways to show frustration than throwing in bottles."

For Inzamam, it was a memorable moment since his side, which faced a lot of flak at the start of the series, could now return home with their heads high.

"It was a big series against India, the victory is big achievement," he said.

"The boys have worked very hard during this tour, we maintained the belief in our ability even when critics back home gave us no chance. The team at my disposal is inexperienced but talented. The way the team worked hard, it showed on the results. We Won the last four One-dayers to win the series," the 35-year-old said.

"We played the series under a lot of criticism. It was very nice to end the series on a high note," Inzamam said.

On performance of players like Shoaib Malik and Younis Khan, he said: "Malik did well in the One-dayers and Younis in the Tests. They are senior members of the side and this is the time for them to perform."

Inzamam said the decision to send Shahid Afridi as an opener in the series in India was taken after seeing the conditions. Afridi had batted down the order in the one-day series in Australia.

"He is a very flexible player. So he can be fitted in any place. We also took the decision seeing the wickets here."

Inzamam, who did not come to the field during India's batting on Sunday, said he was suffering a back problem and was hoping to be fit after three weeks of rest.

The Pakistani captain said he had no problem with the itinerary for the series even though it had come for flak from various quarters.

"Its okay. Only that the travel arrangements gave me a sore back," he said in lighter vein.

About Sunday's bottle-throwing incident, Inzamam said: "Such things do happen in cricket.But overall, we got very good response in India and people showed a lot of interest in the game."

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