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India played better cricket: Dravid

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IN FINE FORM: Ishant Sharma (in pic) and Zaheer Khan have combined well to provide a potent pace attack for India.
IN FINE FORM: Ishant Sharma (in pic) and Zaheer Khan have combined well to provide a potent pace attack for India.

Sports Reporter

NEW DELHI: Rahul Dravid has spent enough years in international cricket to know that the Mohali defeat must be “hurting” the Australians a lot but going into the third Test at the Ferozeshah Kotla here he sees an opportunity for the home team to seal the series in its favour.

The Kotla has been a happy hunting ground for the Indians over the years and the host side has not lost in the last six Tests played here. Well aware of this fact, Dravid thinks there is a chance to extend that record.

“It’s a great venue for us. I haven’t played in a Test that we have lost here. So it’s always nice to come back here. Hopefully we will wrap it up here and make it seven in-a-row,” Dravid said after a two-hour practice session of the Indian team on Sunday.

‘We are ready’

Dravid said he thought India played better to win the Mohali Test and should be prepared for a tougher challenge ahead.

“We outplayed them in all three departments of the game. They will be hurting. They have had a lot of success over a long period of time.

“They have not seen many failures and would be keen to come back. But rather than thinking about them, we will focus on our preparations. They would want to prove a point here but we are ready.”

Other than the spinners, the pacers played a crucial role in India’s thumping 320-run victory in the second match and for Dravid it made all the difference. “I will put that down to our bowling. Zaheer (Khan) and Ishant (Sharma) have bowled really well, all credit to them.”

Effusive in his praise for Zaheer, Dravid said, “I think he is hitting the right areas consistently.

His rhythm is fantastic. Standing in the slips, I can see how good a rhythm Ishant and Zaheer have. Zak has put in a lot of bowling and that is showing now."

Talking about his own batting, the 35-year-old batsman said he hoped that very soon he would have a big knock.

“It has been a little disappointing for me. I played on good wickets in Bangalore and Mohali but couldn’t convert the good starts that I got. Generally when I am batting well, I know that runs will come and this is how I feel right now. I will just try and keep batting well. Keep the routine and runs will come.

“My runs-per-ball average is pretty good this series. I think you have to be a little patient and I am ready to be patient,” the man known as ‘The Wall’ for his stout-hearted defence, said.

Big names

About the opposition bowling attack, Dravid said the Aussies were missing some big names.

"It is not easy to replace (Glenn) McGrath, (Jason) Gillespie, Shane Warne and (Michael) Kasprowicz. But still I won’t say the attack is bad, it is just inexperience. But even experience doesn’t count for much if you don’t put the ball in the right areas.”

Dravid did not lay much importance on Bishen Singh Bedi helping out the Australian spinners before the third Test.

“Cricket is a global game. People share knowledge and ideas.

“We also benefit from foreign players when we tour abroad. Sharing of knowledge happens a lot in international cricket and it’s a good thing,” he said.

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