Australia v India, 2nd Test, Sydney, 3rd day

We need to show some fight - Rahul Dravid

Sidharth Monga at the SCG

January 5, 2012

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Rahul Dravid has said he expected India to do better in Australia than they did in England, but both their batting and bowling have been disappointing. India lost the first Test of this tour inside four days, and are struggling to save the second. With two days to go in Sydney, they need 354 more to make Australia bat again, with only eight wickets in hand. That leaves the last eight wickets at least five sessions to bat. There is rain around, but on the third day it arrived only well after stumps, and only for about 10 minutes.

Rahul Dravid was bowled between bat and pad, again, Australia v India, 2nd Test, Sydney, 3rd day, January 5, 2012
Rahul Dravid: "I feel I have been batting well, but I am just getting out." © Getty Images

Dravid said there was not much to aim at right now, except to bat for a long time. Looking back, though, he admitted they expected a better performance. "It is disappointing," he spoke of the five-match losing streak overseas, which is likely to reach six at the SCG. "Obviously we didn't play well in England. We thought definitely we would play much better here. Things haven't worked here, but still time to go. It is disappointing and we are not happy about it."

A big share of the blame, he said, lay with the batting. "The key for us is to keep them on the field for a long period of time," Dravid said of the Australian bowlers and fielders. "If we can keep their bowlers and fielders on the field for more than 100 overs, then we can put them under pressure and see some of their bowlers wilt. Sadly, in the three innings we have played so far, we haven't been able to do that. They kept us on the field for a long time today. We need to try and do that.

"They are coming in hard, running in hard. After drinks, the last 15 overs they came in really hard. Hopefully, if we are batting after tea tomorrow, that's where their real challenge is. If we can hang in there, play out time, and have them on the field for a long timeā€¦"

Dravid has been bowled in three out of four innings but said he wasn't unhappy with his touch. "To be fair, there have been a couple of pretty good balls," he said. "It's not like I have got out, you know, inner-edging. A couple of good balls, a couple of things I could have done differently. I feel I have been batting well, but I am just getting out. Hopefully in the next couple of Tests I will be able to convert one of these starts. I got 60 in the first game, I thought I was batting well in the second innings, till I got a pretty good one."

Dravid admitted his side was against a good attack, but that was no reason for India to sit back. "They have bowled well," he said. "No point saying they have bowled well. We have got look at ourselves and do something about it. They haven't given us loose balls. Even today, even though we were playing solidly, they didn't give us too many loose balls. They have bowled well, they are a good attack, but I believe we should play better as well."

Another disappointment, Dravid said, was how listless India looked on the field. "In the sense, okay in England, we were not always with our best attack. Due to injuries and various other reasons, our bowling attack in England wasn't the best possible attack," he said. "Here we had the best bowling attack we can possibly hope for. Obviously disappointed. Once partnerships develop, and runs go, we need to pull it back and try to control the runs. Having said that it's not easy. Even if we don't take wickets, we have to stop the run flow."

Saving the Test, according to Dravid, was not on the Indian players' minds at the moment. "I don't think we can think about saving this game right now," he said. "We need to go out there and show some fight. And bat as long as we can. Who knows what can happen? We have got quality batsmen who can bat long periods. It's hard to think about two days from now right away. I am sure the guys will go out and fight and do the best they can. And we will take from there."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2012, 6:47 GMT)

Where will India team get this inspiration.. Will gods or former greats will come and teach Indian team how to bat well. It is time for Dravid to retire gracefully and let Indian team try with some young players. Even players like Laxman, Dravid or Sachin able to save India in tests. So, what is the point of them being in the team?

Posted by DINESHCC on (January 6, 2012, 5:01 GMT)

DRAVID_GRAVITAS: "Retirement" may be a honour for them. But "sacking" will be the correct proposition.

Posted by agneepath007 on (January 6, 2012, 4:59 GMT)

Dravid is defending himself only...actually he better had to admit that he has a weakness rather than still saying that he batted well..and a very good ball got him out.... Its a real shame for the World Champion to lose 6 Test Matches away..!!

Posted by   on (January 6, 2012, 4:56 GMT)

Dear Dravid, dont mind these critisms... Whn u played well in England there was none to encourage your good innings.. People always see the bad in us and not the good.. Love to see a very good innings in the up comming matches...

Posted by coolitbaby on (January 6, 2012, 4:34 GMT)

@Ahsan Naeem : Agree with you completely. First ones to go should be Dravid and Tendulkar. Sehwag needs to play in middle order, and Laxman at 3. Pujara and Vijay need to come in, and one of them should open with Gambhir.

Posted by maddy20 on (January 6, 2012, 4:00 GMT)

@Rakim The wall has lost its bricks in between bat and pad. The very basics of cricket are not being applied. Dravid should blame himself first for batting like a rookie. ITs about time we kicked him out of them team, coz it does not look like he is playing good at all. Too many inside edges, beaten outside off on numerous occasions. He's lost it!

Posted by satish619chandar on (January 6, 2012, 3:58 GMT)

Yes.. Dhoni need to be relieved of captaincy in tests for sure.. When things go awry, he makes things more awful.. Give him one or two series as non captain and if his batting doesn't improve, remove him from tests too..

Posted by mtrivedi19 on (January 6, 2012, 3:42 GMT)

Dhoni looks totally disinterested in playing test matches, I think he's been forced to play test matches. Believe my words you will see totally different dhoni once one-day series and T20 starts. India seriously needs to look for quick apt replacements for Sachin/Dravid/Laxman. As of now we havent even found number 6(Ganguly's) replacement. if this three dont click no one does anything overseas. I wasted my time and money to see this deflated indian team playing test matches. Lots of words no action..'We will bounce back', 'Two weeks coming before series begin will perform better',two practice matches will help us acclamatise'. Sehwag in both the matches have shown world and australians how technique is very important and not just strokeplay and hand eye coordination. Openers are there to wear of new ball so middle order can easily accumalte runs, if you dont have patience just keep playing One days and T20. No wonder why we dont have spectators in ground in india 4 any test matches.

Posted by Alexk400 on (January 6, 2012, 3:41 GMT)

Thank non existent God for stopping sachin from scoring 100. All sachin fandom would have forgotten india's stinging loss. I think it is better to use younger players and Drop dhoni from Test. he can't captain well. He can't bat well. He can't wicket keep well in TESTS.

Posted by Anil_Koshy on (January 6, 2012, 3:37 GMT)

India will go down 4-0 in Australia, then they will win against some other side at home. Nobody, will remember what happened in England and Australia, the problem will never get resolved, India will continue to be Lions at home and Lambs abroad. India should develop a side that can play in different conditions, Dhoni should lead India only in helpful conditions because he does not have the calibre to handle things in difficult condition, he should focus on IPL and TV commercials where he is good at.

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