Dravid blames batsmen and fielders for defeat

Published: Monday, May 29, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Port of Spain:Yet to come to terms with the 1-4 series defeat against the West Indies, Team India skipper Rahul Dravid blamed the debacle on butterfinger fielders and unimaginative batsmen.

Talking to reporters after losing the fifth and final match by 19 runs here, Dravid, in his post-mortem of the series came out with the observation that sloppy fielding and poor shot selection led to the defeat.

''All the matches were close and fielding made the big difference.

We were not catching well and throws from the deep were generally weak. West Indies, on the other hand, fielded brilliantly throughout the series and that made the difference,'' said Dravid.

Not sparing the batsmen either, Dravid pointed out that the top order couldn't adjust well to the slow and low wickets.

''Our batting failed because we couldn't adjust to the wickets.

We probably lost 25-30 runs in the middle overs that cost us the close matches,'' said Dravid.

He also admitted that the team badly felt the absence of Sachin Tendulkar.

''We missed Sachin. Obviously he is a quality player. I had to open because Sachin was not here. Also his spin bowling on these pitches would have come very handy,'' said Dravid.

However, he put on a brave face and said that the morale in the team was not down and his team was going to bounce back in the Test series.

''The same boys have won many matches for us, so there is no need to be overly critical. We have the potential and we have to get the results in Test matches. It will be great to win a Test series in West Indies after 35 years,'' said Dravid.

West Indies skipper Brain Lara also felt Tendulkar's absence made a big difference to the Indian team.

''Even in the Super Series we missed Sachin Tendulkar. He was not there and we lost all the matches. Sachin is the best batsman in One-day cricket and him not playing made all the difference,'' said Lara.

Despite leading the side to their second successive ODI win, Lara was not ready to drop the guard and said though the team would celebrate, they are not going to lose focus for the Test series.

''Test match is very different thing. I won't say that winning in one-dayers give us psychological edge in Test matches too. We have bigger fish to fry. Test cricket is more important,'' said Lara.

He also refused to write off India.

''We have great respect for the side. They will be different in Tests. Their spinners are world class and we need to play really well to get the same results in Test,'' said Lara.

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