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Captaincy will not affect batting: Dravid

Our Correspondent | October 15, 2003 21:20 IST
Last Updated: October 15, 2003 22:13 IST

When India skipper Sourav Ganguly ruled himself out of the second Test against New Zealand, cricket fans almost immediately turned their attention to Rahul Dravid.

Ganguly underwent a minor surgical procedure for an abscess on his left upper thigh on Tuesday evening, following which doctors advised him rest, thus rendering him hors de combat for the crucial match.

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Dravid has been in the form of his life since last year and the double century at Ahmedabad only added to his already overflowing kitty. But while Ganguly has always been an outspoken cricketer, one could say Dravid is the perfect diplomat. Just as their personalities differ, so do their brands of captaincy.

So, how will the Indian team adjust to his captaincy?

There are many questions, but one can never doubt the India vice-captain's self-confidence.

"It is a great honour to lead the side. I am really looking forward to the game," Dravid said on the eve of the Test in Mohali.

The stand-in captain sought to allay fears about the team being under pressure, saying, "We will concentrate on playing good cricket. Since it is a series-decider, we have to get the basics right and ensure that all we have planned is implemented."

Dravid, who will be captaining India for the first time in a Test match, said captaincy will not affect his batting.

While Ganguly had indicated in Ahmedabad that he would go into the Mohali Test with five bowlers, Dravid has a different game-plan in mind.

"I think two spinners and two pacers is not a bad idea for the balance of the team," he said.

Talking about the Kiwis, he felt they have adapted well to Indian conditions.

"Obviously, they played quite well to save the Test in Ahmedabad. I think their batsmen have adapted to the conditions better."

What does he think about the Mohali track, said to be one of the best in the country for fast bowlers?

"It looks a good wicket. The bounce may get a little lower at a later stage of the match. I think it will produce a good contest between the bat and the ball."

But he was also quick to point out, "At the end of the day, you cannot get a perfect wicket.

"Sometimes you get slow tracks, sometimes bouncier ones. But then, you have to play your game on whatever track is given to you."

Winning a Test series is always a challenge; playing without your captain is an even bigger one. Dravid has it in him to respond to both.

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