India will look to wrap up series in Delhi, says DravidOctober 26th, 2008 - 9:17 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Oct 26 (IANS) Rahul Dravid said Sunday that the five-day break after the Mohali Test has refreshed the team and they are looking to wrap up the series against Australia by winning the third Test starting here Wednesday.India lead the series 1-0 after they thrashed Australia by a record 320-run margin in the second Test in Mohali.
Dravid felt that India outplayed the visitors in all the three departments and will repeat their performance at Ferozeshah Kotla here, which has been a happy hunting ground for the hosts.
India have won seven Tests here on the trot since 1993, and against Australia, the hosts have lost just one, way back in 1959. Overall, of the 29 Tests played here, India have won 10, lost six and 13 were drawn. The last time the two sides played here in 1996, India easily beat Australia, then led by Mark Taylor, by seven wickets.
“Delhi is a great venue for us. I have not played in a Test here which we lost. There are three local boys (Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Amit Mishra) in the team, so there will be a huge support for us. We would look to wrap up the series here,” Dravid told reporters after a two-and-half hours of training session.
The 35-year-old batsman, who is India’s mainstay in middle-order, also said the team is not taking Australia lightly, despite enjoying the lead.
“They are obviously hurt. They are a good side and they will bounce back. But rather than focussing on them, we will have to execute our plans properly,” he said.
Dravid said the team had a meeting in the morning, where they discussed the Mohali Test. “We discussed the positives of the last Test match. We can’t get carried away.”
He had words of praise for fast bowlers Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma and said captain Anil Kumble will recover in time to lead the team in the crucial third Test.
Kumble, who skipped the Mohali Test due to a shoulder injury, bowled and batted at the nets.
“The physio was happy with Kumble’s recovery and he can play the match.”
On the Australian bowling attack, Dravid said: “It is not going to be easy to replace players like Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Jason Gillespie and Michael Kasprowicz. This team lacks experience. But again that should not be the reason because at this level bowlers should know to pitch in the right areas.”
The middle-order batsman was concerned about his own form. In the two Tests he has scored just 95 runs with his highest being 51 in the first innings in Bangalore.
“It has been really disappointing for me. It happens at times. I will like to prepare for this match as I do for others. I know there are runs for me round the corner,” he said.