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Home > Cricket > The Cup > Reuters > Report


Dravid wants India to repeat past fightbacks

N.Ananthanarayanan | March 23, 2007 12:45 IST

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Skipper Rahul Dravid has urged the Indian team to draw inspiration from past comebacks when they face Sri Lanka in Friday's crunch World Cup game they need to win to avoid first-round elimination.

"We keep reminding the boys about some of the successes we've had," Dravid told reporters on Thursday. "There is quite a lot of resilience in this group.

"We've come back after losing tests to win one-dayers and sometimes one-day series after losing tests."

Like Pakistan, India face an early exit from the tournament after their shock Group B defeat to Bangladesh.

Volatile Indian fans burnt effigies of Dravid and coach Greg Chappell after the defeat and any repeat on Friday would renew calls for their sacking.

Sri Lanka look set to qualify for the Super Eights regardless of the result because of their better net run rate, which will be decisive in case of a three-way tie.

If India lose, Bangladesh would qualify if they avoid defeat in Sunday's final group game against debutants Bermuda.

Dravid's team rallied in West Indies last year to record their first test series win in the Caribbean for 35 years after losing the one-day series 4-1.

They also fought back to beat Sri Lanka 2-1 in a home one-day series at home last month.

Dravid said his players were not contemplating defeat.

"I'm not thinking about that," he said. "We're trying to stay positive, win this game. I'm trying not to entertain any negative thoughts."

Dravid and Sri Lanka coach Tom Moody believe the toss could be crucial on a Queen's Park Oval pitch which has helped seamers in the morning.

Trinidad has received intermittent rain since Tuesday and showers interrupted practice on Thursday.

"We're looking forward to finishing it off with a positive," Moody said. "One big advantage is we've played a lot of good cricket on this wicket. It is not an easy wicket to adapt to.

"They tripped at the Bangladesh hurdle which was not expected by everyone. We're expecting them to come at us hard tomorrow. We will be ready for that."

The World Cup concludes with the final in Barbados on April 28.


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