We have to win The Oval Test to restore pride: Dravid

August 17th, 2011 - 7:04 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 17 (IANS) Former captain Rahul Dravid has said India have to restore their pride by winning the fourth and final cricket Test of the series against England at The Oval.

Dravid, who has been India’s most prolific scorer with two centuries in the series, admitted it has been a tough outing for the visitors for a combination of reasons.

“It has been a tough series for a combination of reasons. The pitches here have been conducive to good seam bowling and the quality of English bowling. All the three pacers have bowled exceptionally well. They bowled beautiful lengths and pitched the ball up,” said Dravid.

Dethroned as the No.1 Test team and staring at a 0-4 whitewash in the series, Dravid said India have to win The Oval Test.

“We have to win it. That is the objective. We are not the No.1 any more. The goal for us is to fight our way back there. It is about restoring some pride and show what we can do. But if we want to climb back to No.1 Test spot then every Test matters,” he said.

When pointed out that England have taken India by surprise, Dravid said: “We expected them to be good, but we expected us to be better. To be honest we haven’t been good enough.”

Asked whether England didn’t allow the visitors to be better, Dravid said: “In some ways it is true. They have bowled really well and they are a good side. They have young skilled bowlers in these conditions. They have too win in places where they have not won before. They have not won in India in the last 25 years. They have to come and do it. They have the skills and I have no doubt that they have the team to do it as well. But still it has to be done and I hope we can stop them for doing it.”

Dravid also recalled the incidents of the Edgbaston Test where he was given caught behind but TV replays showed that the batsman didn’t edge and the bat only kissed his shoe laces.

Dravid admitted that he should have asked for a review.

“I wish I had gone for a review. Unfortunately what happened was that I played the ball and my first instinct was that I didn’t hit but there was a loud noise. I could not figure out where the noise came from. And I knew I haven’t hit the ground, pad or the shoe. So from where could the sound come from. It confused me totally. I was also confident that I didn’t hit the ball so I walked down to my partner at the other end and he told me ‘Rahul there was big noise’ and Simon Taufel is a very good umpire. And when the world’s best umpire gives out out, when your partner says there was a noise and when you hear a noise, I felt may be it was one of those instances. It was a freaky thing. Only when I saw the TV replays I thought I could have asked for a review.”

Dravid lamented that had he stayed on longer India would have given a tough fight.

“We were having a very crucial partnership. Had we seen off the (James) Anderson spell till lunch, who knows it would have been very different. At least we would have put up a better fight,” he said.

Asked why he rushed off the field before getting dismissed, Dravid said: “I rushed off the field because I wanted to go to toilet and it is very uncomfortable to bat with a full bladder. I didn’t want it to be in the back of my mind. So I just wanted to get over it quickly.”

Dravid also revealed the key to batting long hours.

“Early on in my career I used to blank out thoughts. But I found out it was too draining. It was tough on me mentally. Now when my mind wanders off after playing a ball, I take two deep breaths and it helps me to get connected back in my own space. Then I take my stance and the key word for me is watch the ball,” he said.

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