Dravid determined to stay positive

Published: Sunday, September 9, 2007, 17:43 [IST]
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India captain Rahul Dravid was determined to stay positive despite his side's seven wicket defeat to England on Saturday.

Dravid said there were plenty of positives to take out of a tour that saw India win their first Test series in England for 21 years, but lose the one-day series 4-3.

"The resilience and intensity that we showed throughout the summer has been a positive," he said. "I think there has been a lot of learning on the tour, a lot of the youngsters have learnt a lot this summer, and I think that's another positive.

"Winning the Test matches was fantastic. It was a little bit disappointing today, but it was not to be and credit to England, they deserved to win.

"I think we gave it our best shot on the field. The disappointing thing was not getting more runs. When you get 187 you have to keep attacking, you have to set really attacking fields, and even though they were 11-2, or 74-3, we needed wickets at that stage.

"If we'd had the opportunity to spread the field, and protect the boundary we would have had a much better chance, but with 187 and a fast outfield, if they bat well then you're always going to struggle.

"We are disappointed that we couldn't win the one-day series as well. But credit to England, I think 4-3 is a true reflection of the series.

"They played some very good cricket in the series, we always had our backs against the wall right through this series, we fought back well last week, but to be honest they are a slightly better side than us in the one-day game."

It is no coincidence that England put India under most pressure when Andrew Flintoff was in the side. And Dravid believes that his sheer presence makes the team better.

"He's absolutely critical to England, he's half their side to be honest," he said. "He makes a huge difference to England; with the composition of the side, the team they can play, coming in as the first change bowler, his batting, his slip catching.

"I don't need to say it, I think it's pretty obvious that he makes a huge impact to England."

One quantifiable positive for India has been the steady improvement in the fielding in the last month.

And with India heading to the Twenty20 World Cup on Sunday, Dravid, who is not playing in the tournament, believes they will have a side more than capable of competing.

"The ground fielding was better again today, and I think we have improved a lot," said Dravid. "I think our fielding will be much better in South Africa, no doubt about it, with the composition of the squad that is going.

"There are some very good attacking players going, some of the more experienced players aren't going. I'm pretty confident that India will put up a good show there and they have what it takes to do well in that format of the game.

"Like any other tournament you're going to need a few things to go your way, but if they do I think India can be very, very competitive."

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