India must beef up for England ODIs, demands Dravid

Published: Friday, August 17, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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London: India skipper Rahul Dravid insists his side must step up a gear in their last one-day clash before the NatWest Series with the England Lions at Northampton on Saturday.

India cruised to a seven-wicket victory in their first official one-day international against Scotland in Glasgow on Thursday.

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But they conceded 26 extras, including 20 wides, as the Scots made 203 for nine.

That is one aspect Dravid is determined to see improved at Wantage Road as his team complete their preparation for the start of a seven-match NatWest Series against England next week

"You could see there was maybe a bit of rustiness among some of the guys who weren't involved in the Test series," said the India captain.

"Maybe one or two who did play in England struggled to adjust to one-day disciplines."

Even so, Dravid accepts there was mitigation at Titwood.

"In fairness, conditions were difficult with dampness around and a strong wind - but we don't want to make excuses," he said.

"The wides are an area we will work on - and we will get better before the one-day series."

Dravid was happy with his team's opportunity to return to the limited-overs format, before facing an England second string due to be captained by Vikram Solanki and include the likes of World Cup players Ravi Bopara, Ian Bell and veteran wicket-keeper Paul Nixon.

"Overall the Scotland game was a good exercise," said Dravid.

"It was good to get a game in, despite the weather, and some of the boys are taking some good form into the game against the England Lions.

"Gautam (Gambhir) and Robin (Uthappa) put together a good partnership at the top, and Yuvraj (Singh) came back into the side and looked good."

Following the disappointment of their disastrous World Cup campaign, Dravid knows victory in their seven-match series with England is a must for India.

"We've moved on since the World Cup and have built some good one-day form in Ireland and Scotland," he pointed out.

"We must take that on against the Lions and then concentrate on trying to get a series win against England."

Lions have a formidable batting line-up with Solanki, Shah, Bell, Maddy and Luke Wright in their ranks while bowling department looks bit inexperienced with the likes of Kirtley, Snape and Bresnen. However pacers Kirtley and Bresnen enjoying a good run county games have the ability to trouble the tourists.


England Lions: Vikram Solanki (capt), Darren Maddy, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Owais Shah, Luke Wright, Tim Bresnan, Paul Nixon (wk), Jon Lewis, Jeremy Snape and James Kirtley.

India: Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Rohit Sharma, Rahul Dravid (Capt), Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk, vice-capt), Piyush Chawla, Ramesh Powar, Ajit Agarkar, Zaheer Khan and Munaf Patel.


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