Team ready for Sri Lankan challenge: Dravid

Published: Friday, August 11, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Bangalore:Indian cricket team captain Rahul Dravid said that his team was fully geared up and raring to meet Sri Lanka and South Africa to be played in the Island nation from August 14.

Talking to newsmen before team's departure to Colombo, he said ''the boys are really looking forward to this series. Mood is upbeat and they have developed good sprit and geared up for the series.'' Defending the short practice session for three days, he said, ''We have enough time to practice in Sri Lanka before our first match and get into the groove.'' Though the series begins on August 14, India would be playing its first match on August 16 against Sri Lanka.

''Both Physical fitness and mental alertness is important to build good spirit. The training the boys had at the fitness camp and the army base will certainly help in building the players' physical strength as well as concentration,'' he added.

To another question, the skipper declined to reveal the team's strategy for the series, saying that ''I cannot reveal the match strategy a week in advance. No team announces the strategy in advance.''

Dravid said that the tour would be a good challenge since Sri Lanka was in good form and South Africa was ahead of India in the ranking list. ''The series is a very good opportunity to prove ourselves and in the process we will try to bring out entire talent of the players.'' To another question, he said that who would be opening the innings for the country in the match was not important, all players, whether be it an opener or a tailender, playing well was importnat.

On curbing extra runs through wides and no balls, as the team had given away 445 wides in the last 45 matches, Dravid said ''it is difficult to fully curb bowling wide, but no ball was an area that the team is looking at restricting,'' he said.

Replying to a question about Irfan Pathan's poor form during West Indies tour, Dravid said that ''he is doing well in ODIs and I have confidence he and other players will play well in the tri-series.

there will be bad patches, in long term what matters is how he performs overall,'' he added.

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