Pakistan v India, 3rd Test, Rawalpindi, 3rd day April 15, 2004

'Patel has a big future' - Wright

John Wright preferred to stay in the background and heap all the plaudits on the players after India reached a comfortable position in the third Test. Wright praised Rahul Dravid's effort in making 270, but reminded everyone that eight wickets remained to be taken.

Rahul Dravid: the backbone of the Indian innings © AFP

On Dravid's innings
He was the foundation of our innings really. He was there during three century partnerships and another that was nearly a hundred partnership with Yuvraj [Singh].

On the position India find themselves in
We had a slight advantage last evening and we looked to consolidate on that and press home the advantage. We wanted to be in a stronger position tonight than we were last night. It was a bit of hard work, concentrating on the sessions, getting through the first hour, and putting partnerships together. We wanted to bat till at least tea and in that sense the first session was critical. We're comfortable with the position we're in but we try to take it one day at a time. The first hour tomorrow is important once more. Their batsmen have to start again and there are opportunities for us. It was good to get two wickets today.

On the effort put in by the back-room staff
People like Andrew Leipus and Greg King have done a lot of work. Different players respond to our training regimes in different ways. Rahul [Dravid] is very conscientious. He is in one of the guys who has really worked hard on hit fitness levels and if you look at his scores in the last 15 Tests this has paid dividends. Andrew [Leipus] comes into play, like last night, treating Rahul, Greg [King] monitors the dehydration levels of the players, and Rahul is one of the players we have to be careful with. We do our best to try and support the players so it gives them the best opportunity to go out and achieve things.

On the pitch
It's still a good batting track. Their legspinner [Danish Kaneria] was getting a bit more out of the wicket today than he did yesterday and we would not be disappointed if that trend continues.

On the decision to open with Parthiv Patel
There was a lot of discussion and good debate in the media about the various candidates for the opening slot. The thing about Patel is that he was quite happy to do the job, which is a good thing. The other thing is that we bowled them out within a short period of time, and this allowed Patel to go out there as an opening batsman. This caused least disruption to the middle order. It allowed Sourav [Ganguly] and Yuvraj to bat in pretty much the positions they usually bat in. I make no secret of the fact that I think Patel has a very big future.

On the efforts of the bowlers
The progress of [Irfan] Pathan and [Lakshmipathy] Balaji, both of whom had hardly played any Test cricket before the Australian tour, has been very heartening for the Indian team. They have really done themselves proud and I'm sure they will have a lot of fans back in India for what they have done.

On how he reacted to Ganguly's dismissal
I didn't need to react. Sourav probably understands the importance of grounding his bat even more now. When you are well set and miss out on a hundred it's disappointing, so I'm sure he'll learn from that little experience.