Dravid blames own form for DLF Cup debacle

Published: Saturday, September 23, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Kuala Lumpur: A dejected Team India skipper Rahul Dravid has blamed his own poor form for the heart-breaking 18-run loss to Australia in the must-win final league match of the tri-nation DLF Cup here.

The loss ended India's campaign in the tournament also featuring West Indies.

''It is important for all of us to be counted. I didn't have a very good tournament. I would be the first one to put my hands up and say I should have performed much better in the tournament. If I had a great opportunity to bat through 50 overs and result could have been different,'' Dravid said after the loss.

''Responsibility starts from the top. I need to bat better and that probably goes down the line. Everyone in the team have to look up and see how they played in the situations,'' he added.

The captain, who had an ordinary tournament, also blamed the top order for the loss, which ousted them from the series, and felt expecting the lower order to bail out always was not the right approach.

''The instruction was for the lower order to see if they can stay till 50 overs and see if Mongia can finish the job. But it's not always easy for a number 10 or 11 to bat well under pressure,'' he said.

''The problems were in top of order. Even Dhoni is a natural stroke maker, can't blame him only. We have to take the responsibility collectively,'' he added.

However, the skipper was happy with his bowlers and fielders and said despite the disappointment of the loss, there were positives for the team.

''In losses like this we tend to forget positive. Our bowling and fielding was great. We will focus on keeping our good work in bowling and fielding in future tourneys. But we have to bat a lot at nets and spend time and practice for Champions trophy,'' said Dravid.

Dravid defended the experimentation with the batting order and said the constant changes were planned to try new combinations.

''We thought we should try something new in the two tourneys in Sri Lanka and Malaysia. But rains prevented that. Changing the middle order was also a part of that but we didn't get enough matches,'' the skipper felt.

Dravid also said he was disappointed that India failed in one more tour outside home.

''We haven't really played well outside India for a long time...now that's something which needs to be corrected and the only way we can do that is play more,'' he elaborated.

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