Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Team behind Dravid, says Zaheer:

Hitting the nail on the head, assistant coach of the Indian team Lalchand Rajput said the failure of the famed batting line-up in the first Test against Australia was the result of a defensive mindset rather than any technical flaw.
India suffered a huge 337-run defeat to Australia on Saturday after the visitors were all out for less than 200 runs in both the innings of the match and Rajput said the players lacked in self-belief.

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"They do not have any technical problem. It's the one in the mind. They need to apply and believe in themselves. Self-belief is very important and it can help you survive in any field," Rajput said.
Rajput denied that Rahul Dravid's failure in this game would prompt any knee-jerk reaction. He said the former captain could still be asked to open the innings in the second Test.

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"Dravid opening the innings was a team management's decision. When we come overseas we see what is best for the team.
"Dravid too does not have any technical problem. It's more in the mind and I am sure he will comeback strongly. I do not think there is any need for drastic changes. We will show some aggression on the ground and more intensity."
Rajput said the management believed in the ability of the batsmen as well as the tremendous record they have in all conditions.
"This is a side which has done very well in West Indies, England and India. I am sure our players will come back.
"When we start a Test, I think we have to be in a frame of mind where we are positive. The start was very crucial which we never got. It put a lot of pressure on the rest," he said.
Rajput asserted that the team would bounce back in the second Test in Sydney, starting on January 2.
"There are two strategies in cricket -- one to be defensive and the other to be offensive. In the first Test we were a bit defensive. We do have a strategy and we will come back," Rajput said.

*Team behind Dravid, says Zaheer

Runs may have dried up for Rahul Dravid but there is no dearth of support from his teammates including Zaheer Khan, who believes the right-hander is due for a big knock against Australia.
A team man to the core, Dravid agreed to the makeshift opener's role, a move aimed at accommodating Yuvraj Singh in the playing eleven, only to cut a sorry figure in both the innings of the Boxing Day Test.
Zaheer, however, asserted that despite his poor show in Melbourne, Dravid continued to have the wholehearted support of his teammates and exuded confidence that the former captain would soon hit the purple patch.
"We always back our players. That's what is more important at this level. He's a great batsman and that's why he's ready to accept that," Zaheer said.
"He is definitely due and we are all behind him," he added.

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