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Rahul Dravid on how Team India can get back to No. 1

Last updated on: September 23, 2011 14:33 IST

Rahul Dravid on how Team India can get back to No. 1

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Harish Kotian

The Board of Control for Cricket in India may have stopped short of ordering an inquest into India's debacle in England, but Rahul Dravid, India's best performer of the tour, has identified the team's grey areas and suggested remedial measures.

For starters, he believes India needs to sort out its bowling woes to get back to the top of the Test rankings.

- Exclusive interview: Rahul Dravid

"We need to recognise that bowling is a very important part of Test cricket. If we want to remain in contention for the number one spot, we need to get that side of things right," Dravid told rediff.com in Mumbai, on Wednesday, where he launched Gillette's new range of shaving blades 'Gillette Fusion'.

The legendary batsman believes that irrespective of the quality of batting at the team's disposal, it is the bowlers who play an integral part in winning Tests.

"Obviously, bowling is very important in Test cricket. If you want to win a Test match, you got to take 20 wickets. You can score as many runs as you want, but Test matches are only won when you take 20 wickets.

Image: Rahul Dravid

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'The bowling of our fast bowlers was heartening over the last decade'

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"I think that was the secret of India's success in the last decade or so, when we won Test matches all over the world. We had a bowling attack that could take 20 wickets, not only in India, but in other conditions too. We have always possessed a bowling attack that could take 20 wickets in India, because we have had some great spinners.

"But the bowling of our fast bowlers was heartening over the last decade. A lot of them came together at various stages and bowled well," he said.

Dravid, who hit three centuries, was the lone bright spot in India's disastrous showing in the Test series in England, where they were whitewashed 4-0. Injuries to key players throughout the tour, combined with England's stellar showing, played a major role in India's downfall.

Thus, it was a "bitter-sweet feeling" for the 38-year-old, having enjoyed one of his best displays with the bat overseas.

"Personally, there is satisfaction that I scored some tough runs there and did pretty well in those conditions. But it is much nicer when you do really well and the team wins as well; there is a lot more to celebrate about and lot more to be happy about," he said.


Image: Rahul Dravid

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'They were some of the toughest conditions I played in'

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The former India captain wants the humiliation of the England tour to hurt and spur the team to perform better in future.

"I am happy that the hard work I have put in has paid off, but, as a team, we need to digest this loss; it should hurt us, and, hopefully, make us get better from here."

Dravid, who top-scored for India with 461 runs in the four Tests, revealed that the conditions in England were among the toughest he played in.

"From a purely personal batting point of view, probably, they were some of the toughest conditions I played in. From that point of view, there is a lot that I can learn from and gain. I hadn't done too badly in the few tours to England before this, but I hadn't set the standards earlier.

Image: Rahul Dravid

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'The disappointment of not holding the No 1 ranking stays'

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"It is nice to do well, because there are a lot of people who support you and go through the tough times with you; like your family, friends and people close to you -- they suffer with you. In tough times, it is not easy for them, so sometimes it is nice to give something back to them to be happy about," said the batting ace.

Known for his serious approach to the game, Dravid also admitted that the disappointment of losing their number one ranking still rankles the team.

"We knew it was a high-profile series; it was a series to hold on to our number one ranking and we didn't do well. So, that disappointment does, definitely, stay!"

Image: Rahul Dravid

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