Special Correspondent

Canberra: Rahul Dravid, who made 62 on the first day of the tour cricket match against the ACT Invitational XI, said his batting was “coming together” after the struggles of the first Test. He was “pretty relaxed,” he added, “irrespective of the impression some had.”

Dravid scored a gritty half-century in the first innings of the second Test and seemed to have re-discovered his timing in the second when he received a shocking caught-behind decision.

“I feel like I have been spending time in the middle, the timing just hasn’t been as good,” said Dravid, who batted at four on Thursday.

“It’s hopefully coming together, today and the second innings at Sydney (second Test). It was a good hit-out and it was nice to spend time in the middle..”

What did he put the struggles down to? “A lot of balls you think and go ‘Shucks! I should have hit that for four,’” said Dravid.

“It’s sometimes just about piercing the field a little bit more. You only have to do that four or five times in 100 balls to make a substantial difference to your score.”

Asked if he would continue to open, Dravid said, “I’m happy to play for my team, irrespective of where I bat. I’ll take it as it comes depending on the conditions.”

Jaffer solid

How did he assess the performance of the openers on Thursday? “It’s nice to see Wasim (Jaffer) get some runs (92) and look solid,” said Dravid.

“Viru (Sehwag) looked good I thought. He got out to a good catch. He was one of the guys who really needed some match batting. It’s about guys on the fringes giving confidence to the tour selection committee.”

Dravid said Yuvraj could turn it around in the second innings of the match.

Asked if he thought the left-hander was burdened by being the cause of a batting reshuffle, Dravid said, “I don’t think it should play on his mind. Two Tests back he got a brilliant hundred, so that’s the kind of thing he needs to look at as positives, like his one-day success.”

Mark Higgs, the ACT Invitational XI captain, said, “It was just a good day of cricket and we feel it’s an honour to play India.”

Had he been instructed not to sledge the Indian players? “I don’t think we are sledgers. We are one of the smaller State sides and we sort of look up to the bigger guys,” he said.

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