'England series would have little bearing on Aus tour'
Senior batsman Rahul Dravid feels that the nightmarish tour of England is a thing of past now and a full-strength Team India would certainly do well in the upcoming Test series in Australia.
"The tour of England was a huge disappointment for us and there were fitness problems too. We could have done better there. However that is a thing of past and the tour Down Under gives us another opportunity to do well. Hopefully, we will have full-strength side and do well there," Dravid said.
Dravid has often spoken about ticking a few "mental boxes" prior to a series and it's his own expectations that is more important rather than what the world expects of him.
"Everyone thrives on doing well and expectations from one's inner self are high. Which is the rival team – England or Australia -- nothing matters but the pressure from inner-self and the desire to do well," he added.
Image: Rahul Dravid
'Zaheer's presence will boost Indian bowling'
Asked about India's inexperienced bowling attack, Dravid expects that Zaheer Khan will be fully fit to don the mantle of a pace spearhead.
"He has been included in the team and is getting back to his full fitness. He bowled in a Ranji match and there are all chances that he would be fit and raring to go for Australian Tour. His presence would bolster the Indian bowling," he said.
Talking about Ravichandran Ashwin and about chances of him being sorted out like Sri Lankan Ajantha Mendis, Dravid said that the young offie is still on a learning curve.
"He is young and new in the trade. He is improving and learning. He can do well in Australia," he opined.
Image: Zaheer Khan
'I love Test cricket'
When asked if his agreeing to lead Rajasthan Royals was in contrast to his decision of quitting One Dayers and T20, the gritty batsman said that his first priority was Test cricket.
"At the age of 38 years, I know my body. I love Test cricket, which is the ultimate in the game. IPL is a domestic tournament and together with Test cricket it is fine for me. I want keep myself fit and ready for Test cricket at any point of time and that is why bid adieu to international one day and T-20 cricket."
On a lighter vein, he said that he would never play a 'Dilscoop' and stick to basic cricket shots. "But I would not go for fancied shots like Dilscoops in IPL and would leave these for the likes of Dilshans. I will stick to my style of cricket and would try and accelerate scoring rate through traditional cricket shots," he said.
Image: Rahul Dravid