IPL news May 18, 2011

Lack of experience hurt us - Dravid

ESPNcricinfo staff

Rahul Dravid has said the lack of experience in the Rajasthan Royals squad hampered the team's performance but was confident of a better show in the next season. Rajasthan were top of the table midway through the season but four straight defeats have put them out of contention for a play-off spot.

"Our side has got a little bit of inexperience," Dravid said on Tuesday. "There are 10 teams and at the end of the day other teams probably had more experienced players in this competition." While most of the other franchises picked up at least a dozen players in January's auction of top cricketers, Rajasthan were content with buying only six players with international experience and building the squad with lesser-known Indians.

Even a victory in Rajasthan's final league match, against Mumbai Indians on Friday, won't lift them above sixth spot. Dravid, though, said there were bright spots for Rajasthan in the campaign such as the performances of 20-year-old Ashok Menaria and 22-year-old Ajinkya Rahane.

"We have some youngsters doing well for us. We can improve next year," he said. "Happy to see some young players like Ajinkya Rahane and Ashok Menaria come through ... they have shown a glimpse of what they can do. Rahane has done well for Mumbai in Ranji and domestic cricket while Menaria has done well for Rajasthan."

After the IPL, Dravid's next engagement is the West Indies tour, with the Tests starting June 20. One of his career highlights was leading India to their first Test series win in the Caribbean in 35 years when they toured five years ago, and Dravid hoped the team could repeat that success.

"We won the series there last time around, but I hope we will do better this time," he said. "If the West Indies play their full strength side, they will be a tough team to beat. But it will be interesting to see if they have their full side."