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Home > Cricket > The Cup > Reuters > Report


Dravid expects few batting heroics on slow Cup pitches

N.Ananthanarayanan | March 07, 2007 10:16 IST

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Indian skipper Rahul Dravid believes crucial World Cup games could be decided on how one settled batsman performs if pitches played slow in the Caribbean.

Dravid took the lead on Tuesday by top-scoring with 74 to lead his team's 182-run rout of minnows Netherlands after electing to bat on a pitch with early life and seam movement.

Sachin Tendulkar weighed in with a fluent 61 and the experienced duo put on 116 runs for the fourth wicket to help reach 300 for nine. The Dutch were all out for 118.

"We spoke about this game and wanted to be as clinical and professional as possible," he told reporters. "We did that."

"We decided to rest Ajit Agarkar and Zaheer Khan, our frontline bowlers, just to give a bit of a bowl to others."

Occasional left-arm bowler Yuvraj Singh took four for 12 to boost Dravid's options for a fifth bowler.

REVISED PLANS

Dravid said slow pitches could mean teams will have to revise their batting plans.

"The wickets will remain a bit slow," he said. "In tighter and closer games, the one batsman who gets set on these wickets will have to go on.

"It is not going to be easy for a new batsman to come in and rotate the strike easily.

"In this tournament we will see (only) one or two big scores in each innings.

He felt conditions could be the same in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad where India play their group B matches against 1996 winners Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and debutants Bermuda.

"Trinidad can't be very different from this," he said.

"We just have to be flexible and play according to the game."

Dutch captain Luuk van Troost praised all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate for claiming five wickets but bemoaned the inability to try to chase the big total or last 50 overs.

"Our gameplan was to chase 300," he said. "We adjusted our goal, to bat 50 overs, because in the last World Cup in most matches we didn't do that.

"I'm very disappointed that didn't work out."


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