Dravid is one of all-time greats, says Chappell

Published: Tuesday, July 4, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Jamaica:Describing Rahul Dravid as one of the greatest batsmen of all time, Team India coach Greg Chappell said the captain was a constant learner of the game and was prepared to take tough decisions, which has helped them win their first Test series in the West Indies in 35 years.

''His captaincy has been very good. He is improving all the time.

Most importantly he is prepared to take the tough decisions. Batting first in Antigua or here wasn't the easiest of decisions but they were the best decisions. He is continuing to improve on his captaincy and he will until the last day when he retires,'' said Chappell.

Chappell also said Rahul's batting in this series was outstanding and it makes him one of the best batsmen of all time.

''Dravid's performance in the tour has been outstanding, his performance in the last two innings was fabulous. On that wicket, he was the outstanding batsman on both sides. What's great about him is that he is continuously striving to be better,'' Chappell observed.

''For a batsman to have that dedication, the desperation, determination and the technique to cope with difficult conditions is fantastic. He is one of the best batsman for any team, anywhere, anytime. He makes runs anywhere and does it consistently that's why he is such a great player,'' said Chappell.

Chappell also said it was very heartening for him to see the young fast bowlers learn quickly.

''We have been able to win a Test series with young fast bowlers is a great credit to them. The boys have learnt quickly and adjusted to the demands of Test cricket, it's heartening. To win anywhere you need good pace bowlers, with the young four fast bowlers we have got the variety and depth to look forward with confidence to play anywhere,'' said the Indian coach.

Having defeated West Indies in their backyard, Chappell feels that the team should not be carried away.

''Its great feeling that this team has done something that hasn't been done in 35 years. It's a good step forward. It's a part of development for this team, for Rahul Dravid's team to become a good test playing team. But we still have a lot of work to do. We are at no point short of being a great Test team. This is a very important step in that process,'' he said.

''We need to be careful, we should not expect players to be able to play immediately. I think Test cricket takes 20-30 matches before a player really understands what Test cricket is all about, what the demands are and how different they are from one-day cricket. It is all part of the job that we as a coach have to do -- to keep expanding their minds as much as their bodies to understand Test cricket,'' he added.

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