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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > PTI > Report

Dravid should not keep in World Cup: Healy

February 09, 2003 14:16 IST

India are taking too much of a risk by asking Rahul Dravid to keep wickets in the World Cup, Australia's Ian Healy said in Cape Town on Sunday.

"I am worried about it. I wouldn't have been worried if it was a Test series, but in an event as important as World Cup, a specialist wicketkeeper is a must," he said.

"If Dravid drops one crucial catch, it could keep India out of a critical game. It might keep India out of the competition," the former wicketkeeper said.

Healy, who took part in three World Cups and has a record 397 dismissals in a career spanning 119 Tests, said Parthiv Patel could be a better choice.

"I haven't seen Patel, but a specialist wicketkeeper is a far better choice than a makeshift one."

Healy dismissed the notion that Dravid's double role allows India to go into a one-day international with seven batsmen.

"I don't think it's a balance. I think his batting on whole has suffered because of his wicketkeeping. If he drops a batsman of Tendulkar or Lara's class in an important stage of the innings and he goes on to get a big score, then you need 11 batsmen and not just one.

"I agree wicketkeeping is not rigorous in one-dayers as batsmen don't leave too many balls and the keeper doesn't have to do much, but it's a critical area and one that needs to be stressed. A batsmen may succeed with gloves but it's unrealistic to expect them to be either an Adam Gilchrist or Andy Flower."

Healy rated Gilchrist as an excellent wicketkeeper but considered South Africa's Mark Boucher as more solid and consistent.

"Gilchrist had an average summer with the gloves last year, but when he is in form, he is very good.

"But in my opinion, Mark Boucher is consistently a very good wicketkeeper. He is very solid and works hard. Next to them is a young breed of wicketkeepers who are talented but would take at least two years to make the grade."

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