Dominica, July 5: The Indian top-order star who is leading the run-charts in the ongoing Test series against the West Indies has set his sites on the third and final encounter, beginning July 6. Indeed, Rahul Dravid, who has aggregated 212 runs from four innings, is raring to go for a 2-0 series wrap. He figures that safety and excessive caution should not form the crux of India's outlook in the third Test, scheduled to be held at Dominica.
"The Test match is an important one," Dravid said. "We are not worrying about the series. We've got the team to win this Test match."
Dravid pointed out that rain effectively ruined India's chances to win the series at Barbados itself, but with the forecast looking bright at the next venue, he is looking forward to his team putting on a good show. "We would have liked to win the series in Barbados but to lose 130 overs due to rain was disappointing. We were in control of that Test match, especially from the second innings onwards. This is a good chance to win a series here again. We have to put up five days of big performance here."
Dravid believes that for the new Indian batsman, the Test series in the West Indies has been a baptism by fire. But the veteran who has been supportive and encouraging of the stock of youngsters says that such a learning curve would bode well for them in the future.
"It's been tough for the batsmen," Dravid said. "It's not been easy for young batsmen to come in and face the new ball on these tracks. I have played four tours here and this has been some of the toughest tracks I have faced. Guys will learn a lot from this experience. It will hold them in good stead. As I was telling some of them they probably might not play on these kinds of tracks."
New-comers like Virat Kohli and M Vijay haven't been able to stand up to the pace and bounce in the Caribbean during the Test leg of their tour. Vijay battled hard for nearly two hours in the first innings of the Test and Kohli fought hard in the second innings, but neither were able to turn their starts into sizable innings. Abhinav Mukund managed to put up 48 runs in the second innings, but couldn't move on.
"It's been a tough, hard series from the batsmen's perspective," Dravid said. "The tracks have been slightly tilted towards bowlers, which is good. The West Indies' bowling has been good. From that perspective we have been challenged in this series and that has been good. People might say the batting hasn't fired but in the context of the series we have not done too badly."
Dravid lavished praise on Ishant Sharma for making waves with his 10-wicket haul in the second Test. "Ishant has been sensational. Praveen Kumar, Harbhajan Singh, Abhimanyu Mithun and Amit Mishra all have done their job. The slip catching has been good."
Dravid observes that the pitch at Dominica sees conducive to seamers and added that he is all set for another grueling and challenging face-off.