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Rahul has not kept well: Ganguly

Ashish Magotra in Bangalore | November 13, 2003 05:32 IST

Sourav Ganguly has been an ardent advocate of the plan to use Rahul Dravid as the wicket-keeper in Limited Overs Internationals, so that he can pack seven batsmen into the Indian side. Though Dravid has made no attempt to hide his reluctance to keep wickets, Ganguly has insisted that he fulfil the role in the team's interest.

But after yesterday's big defeat against the Australians, the skipper may finally be looking at the matter afresh.

Dravid, who was the stand-in skipper when Ganguly was out of action because of an abscess in his right thigh, had not kept wickets since the World Cup final on March 23 until the previous match against New Zealand at Cuttack on November 6, and the rust is showing.

Ganguly too realises it. "Rahul's performance in the last two games has not been up to the mark," he said. "Maybe it is due to lack of practice, but we missed crucial chances because of that. We will have to definitely think about this again. Maybe even for the next game against New Zealand at Hyderabad."

India's second consecutive loss to Australia in the TVS Cup Tri-series, their fourth defeat in the last five matches against the Kangaroos, came as a bitter disappointment for Ganguly, who made no attempt to hide his annoyance.

Asked what he thought of his side's bowling performance, the captain replied, "The score says everything. The batsmen batted well, but the bowlers were just unable to give of their best. We need to do well in both departments of the game if we want to win."

Ganguly, however, gave the world champions their due. "They played very well," he said, "and took the game away from us in the last 15 overs."

India lost a rash of wickets in their bid to score quick runs, but Ganguly felt the team had no option as the asking rate was climbing very steeply.

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