~~Yuvraj-Raina partnership was turning point~~

Published: Monday, April 3, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Margao:Indian captain Rahul Dravid said the sixth-wicket partnership between Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina was the turning point of yesterday's match, which India won by 49 runs to take a 3-0 lead in the seven-match series.

''The way Yuvraj and Raina played was truly remarkable and also showed that if you spent time on this wicket you could score runs,'' Dravid said at the post-match press conference.

Commenting on the Virender Sehwag's form, Dravid said the opener was a proven performer and it is not possible for any player to always in good form.

''In a long season, some players may not be performing but as long as the team rallies around and gets the desired results it is fine,'' he said.

Team India coach Greg Chappell also supported Sehwag and Mohammad Kaif and said the two were versatile players.

''They are players we want as they contribute in many different ways and not just batting.

On Kaif, Chappell said, ''He is a young kid and more than technicality, I think his problem lies on the mental side. It is not that he is out of form, having made a hundred in the warm-up match against England.'' ''It is just that once you fail, you get out to shots played out of anxiety to get back among the runs. He (Kaif) needs just a bit of luck and I am sure he will fire in the coming matches,'' Chappell said.

Speaking about the winning streak that India is on at the moment, Chappell said though it was important to win but more important was to maintain the winning streak.

Chappell also praised Mumbai off-spinner Ramesh Powar, saying, ''He is an extremely clever bowler and I am very happy with the way he has performed here as well as at Faridabad.''

On whether they were thinking of promoting Suresh Raina up the order, Chappell said ''At the moment we are happy with the way he is responding to the challenges we are giving him. Maybe, in the later matches in the series, we might think of giving him something different and promote him but at the moment he is fine where he is batting.''

England captain Andrew Flintoff, meanwhile, admitted that playing just one spinner here hampered their chances, but ''We are confident of coming back in the rest of the matches.''

Flintoff said Yuvraj-Raina assault took the game away from them and this is where ''We lacked the services of a second spinner. It was a huge total and after the early loss of wickets it became that much more difficult to come back into the game.''

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