SPORT

`A good sign going into the World Cup'

Special Correspondent

VISAKHAPATNAM: "The team has depth and flexibility and has gained a lot of confidence, it is a good sign going to World Cup," observed Indian captain Rahul Dravid after winning the Hero Honda Cup ODI series against Sri Lanka 2-1 here on Saturday.

With two successive series wins, Dravid spoke mostly about the World Cup that was around the corner.

"The team played well in the series, coming back from a 0-1; it's also the way we played, with a lot of confidence. We got to play this kind of cricket. It was nice to get confidence from the two series and also nice to create some doubt in the minds of other teams before the World Cup", he said.

Options, options...

There were many options for the opening pair, he said, mentioning Saurav Ganguly, Robin Uthappa and Virender Sehwag. His going to bat at No. 5 in the Baroda ODI only showed that there was a lot of flexibility in the team.

On injuries to players, Dravid said there were only minor problems and there is no need to worry since the World Cup is one month away, he said.

Dravid noted that Yuvraj Singh's strong return after a layoff due to injury before World Cup was a good sign.

He appreciated the bowlers for doing very well in the two series. But he also said the team ought not have conceded so many runs in the `death'.

Failure to capitalise

Sri Lankan vice-captain Kumara Sangakkara said the team could not capitalise on the good start in its innings and failed to take early Indian wickets.

In addition, many wides were bowled and Yuvraj and Uthappa played well during the powerplay, he said.

"India played a good cricket. Indian new ball bowlers were good," he observed.

Sangakkara conceded that the team was not consistent enough with the new ball in the series and this had to be discussed and sorted out.

He also expressed disappointment at his own batting form.

He expressed hope that the tour would turn out to be a good lesson for the young members of the team.