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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Zaheer's absence was crucial, concedes Dravid

Zaheer's absence was crucial, concedes Dravid

December 18, 2010 08:20 IST

Admitting that India finds itself in a difficult position in the ongoing first Test against South Africa, batting mainstay Rahul Dravid said the visitor's inexperienced pace attack missed injured Zaheer Khan's services badly.

- Scorecard

"To be honest, we are far too behind in this match," Dravid told reporters after South Africa piled up 366 for two on the second day in reply to India's paltry 136 in the first innings in Centurion.

"Our bowlers tried their best but the conditions had changed. The wicket was playing differently and the South African batters played well.

"But, yes, we could have bowled better. We were lacking in experience. Zaheer's absence was crucial. He is leader of the bowling group and if he was there the bowlers could have bowled better," he added.

Dravid, however, said India is not yet out of the contest.

"There is lot of cricket to be played in this Test and in this series. We have to believe in our ability. We have to keep looking up. We have to bowl better on the third day and, most importantly, we have to bat really well in the second innings," he said.

"We cannot think or plan about whole innings. We have to play ball by ball and hour by hour and session by session. Wicket has certainly improved. So batting well in the second innings should be possible," Dravid stressed.

To a question, he said India are slow starters in away series and they need to make considerable improvement on that front.

"Though we have tried our best to change this scenario, we, in a way, are slow starters when we are playing overseas. But we certainly can improve."

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