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West Indies series will be tough: Dravid
April 29, 2006 21:41 IST
Skipper Rahul Dravid on Saturday played down suggestions that India went into the upcoming tour of the West Indies as the favourites, saying such soothsaying had turned out to be wrong on previous visits.
"The West Indies are a difficult team to beat at home. We need to play really well if we have to win the series. People said the same thing during our last two tours, that we had a great chance. I think they will be a very good and competitive team," the Indian skipper said.
India are to play five one-dayers and four Tests on the upcoming tour from May 18 to July 4.
They have not won a series in the Caribbean after the historic 1-0 triumph under Ajit Wadekar in 1971. They lost 0-1 in the five-Test series played in 1997 and then 1-2 on the next and last visit in 2002.
Dravid said it was imperative that India play well right through the series, which they didn't do in the last two visits.
"We need to play good cricket right through the tour. I think we played good cricket in patches on the last two tours. We had our opportunities," the captain told reporters on the sidelines of a promotional event.
On playing against Brian Lara, who has been appointed captain of the West Indies for the third time, Dravid said he was looking forward to the face-off against his rival-cum-teammate.
"Brian (Lara) has always been a great and phenomenal player. Obviously he's got knowledge and idea of the game."
"Having played against and with him (in the ICC Super Series in Australia), I can say he's been a terrific role model for West Indies cricket," Dravid said.
"I am looking forward to the challenge of playing against him again. It should be a very good series.
"We will try and maintain our performance and sort of ensure that we can keep producing good results.
Asked about the burning question of excess cricket, Dravid said it was more important to have gaps between series and the way a team manages its resources.
"I think 12 Test matches and 30 one-day internationals is probably the sort of agreed limit. It's probably a good number that can be played in a year.
"We would like to have gaps in between series as far as possible. It's also a question of managing the resources. We know there's going to be lot of cricket, a lot of matches.
"There's a challenge for the selectors and the team management to manage the squad in such a way so that they can rotate the players," he said.
Dravid refused to comment about scheduling the ICC Champions Trophy in October-November this year, barely six months before the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies.
"It's hard to get everything perfect, I guess. These tournaments have been scheduled long ago. I don't want to make comment on the scheduling of these tournaments and would rather stay away from it," he replied.