Time for young pacemen to step up: Dravid

Published: Saturday, June 16, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Bangalore:Predicting that the forthcoming Ireland and England tours would pose a tough challenge, Team India skipper Rahul Dravid today said young pacemen in the team should take full advantage of the chances in the ODI against South Africa and the practice matches scheduled during the event.

''Young bowlers have lot of energy and would get sufficient time to prepare well for the Test series against England. It is crucial for the team. We need to field good fast bowlers for the first Test against England," he said, talking to newsmen at the conclusion of the four-day Skill Camp for Ireland bound Team India players.

He said South Africa were a good team and we would have the advantage of playing on neutral pitches.

Expressing confidence of performing well in the series, Dravid said a winning note at the end of the tour would also boost the morale of Team India.

Asked about the composition of the team in playing Tests against England giving weightage to more number of bowlers, he said it would depend on the condition of the pitch.

Referring to Dhoni being appointed as his deputy, he said ''Dhoni's elevation was a reward for his performance in the field both as wicket keeper and a batsman."

''I am looking for his support to work together both on and off the field,'' Dravid said.

Answering a question, Dravid said the batsmen should perform well to give enough opportunity for the bowlers to concentrate on taking wickets. Stating that Team India's Test performance was not bad, he said, ''I think batting is very important. It would give bowlers time to perform well without pressure.''

''We have upcoming good pace bowlers. However, what was needed was executing well in the field,'' he added.

Dravid was not worried about the team not having a coach.

''Whether you call in the name of coach or manager there should be somebody who can look after the players' needs off the field.

''As a captain, we cannot give due attention to all the players.

While a coach or manager can attend to their requirements and help in improving their performance in the field.'' He said whether there was a coach or not, senior players should help the youngsters on and off the field.

Asked about the absence of the newly appointed manager Chandu Borde, he said Borde's presence would have given the opportunity for the players to interact. It would have also helped Borde to get to know the players. However, since the camp was very short, players would get an opportunity to interact during the long tours of Ireland and England, he added.

Asked whether it was an opportunity lost for Team India when Graham Ford declined to accept the post of coach, he said, ''It was not an opportunity lost. If he cannot accept we cannot pursue.''

Dravid, however, declined to comment on the special committee for selecting Ford.

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