Dravid: 'Our one-day performance has not been good'

After India let their 2-0 series advantage slip, Rahul Dravid and their coach John Wright addressed the media.

Rahul Dravid
On the series
It is disappointing. We had an advantage at 2-0, but they won a couple of games and got the momentum going, so credit to them.

Whether the toss played a factor
I don't want to use the toss as an excuse. It was definitely a good toss to win. That's all I'd like to say. They won two games of the series after losing the toss. We couldn't manage that.

About India's ODI performances
We'll think about it because we haven't performed well for 100 overs. Our one-day performance has not been good. Not only this one but even for the last few series we haven't played good one-day cricket and that's something we have to think about. We'll have to think again about our strategies.

On the importance of individuals
I'm a firm believer that one or two individuals don't make a difference. I think it's a team game and a team sport and teams win and teams lose.

On India's lack of quality allrounders
We've had players of the quality of Kapil Dev and Ravi Shastri, and it's not easy to find players of that quality. The selectors would love to be able to pick someone of that quality. So perhaps there's an opportunity for someone in domestic cricket to look at that spot and say 'perhaps the Indian team needs someone of that quality'.

On whether India should infuse new blood
If there are quality players who can replace the personnel, then fair enough. But it is the responsibility of the new selectors to try to raise the game. If all of us can look to individually improve our skills and perform better, that adds to the side.

What Wright brought to the team
I think professionalism, planning, organisation, discipline, team ethics. I think he helped create a good team culture, and he made the team look beyond themselves and achieve greater things. We did that in some areas, we failed in some areas.

About the bottle-throwing incident
It was disappointing to see the bottles being thrown. I think there are other ways of expressing your frustrations. While the players might not live up to your expectations, they are always trying their best.

About the last season
It's been a long one - and we haven't kicked on; there's no doubt about it. Our one-day performances this season were very ordinary. Our Test performances, other than Australia, I thought we did quite well. But the Australian series was the biggest one for us this season. Australia came here and beat us. There wasn't much shame in that because I thought we competed hard in the four games and we were beaten by a better side. Hopefully it [the season] is just an abberation and we can move on from here next season.

John Wright
On the manner in which his tenure ended
It's a tough way to finish. I think being two-nil up in the series and then not being able to win it - or even share it - is disappointing.

About India's performance in the last season
We struggled with our batting, coming back after the Asia Cup and we never really got batters in form, which had been a strength of the one-day team. We didn't really get any momentum going in the one-day game. We have to learn from the last season in our ODI performances. I am very confident that we tend to play big tournaments well and this is a bitter pill to take, but it gives the selectors and my successor the chance to really think and do some detailed studies on the slump and put that right and build in a measured fashion for 2007. I think both these sides will do very well in 2007 and have an opportunity. I felt the fourth game was a critical one. When you put 316 on the board and don't convert that into a win. If we had converted that opportunity, it could have been a completely different outcome. I feel the ingredients are there. I feel optimistic about India being a strong force in 2007.

How far have India really travelled?
I think the side is half-way down the road. I think there's much more improvement needed, and there are certain areas that need to be looked at. Test wise, we're nearly there. Just some changes perhaps to the way we play ODI and it could sort itself out pretty quickly.

What his plans are
I'll go home and probably take time to put things in perspective. It's been an interesting ride. Life has never been dull in this position. It is something I'll consider: where to go from here. I think sometimes a period of reflection is good. There will be other challenges for me, I'm sure of that. I said this before. I've always felt that the passion of the Indian fans is very special and those are the people for who cricket plays a big part. I've always felt they deserve a good team. They understand that winning and losing can be part of the game but they deserve a good team to make them proud. During the tough times, that sort of kept me going.

Should the coach also be able to select, given he knows the players better than anyone else?
There are arguments for it, yes. And there are other systems, such as Australia, where Buchanan started off having that role and now does not. So there is a balance there. I must admit, sometimes I envy the soccer manager's role; he seems to be in that situation.

On work ethics and improvement
I've always believed that if you want to be successful in any walk of life, there's a price to pay - and that's hard work. So I think the work ethic is very important. Certainly the fitness, fielding and running between the wickets were issues. The understanding of the team is the most important thing and that's why no one's bigger than the team. I must say I've been very lucky to have the backing of an excellent support staff. I also have a lot of support from the senior players. Sometimes they haven't agreed with me but I've had excellent support. Improvement is ongoing. It's a never-ending process.

Whether he will watch India in the coming years
Like a hawk.

About his connection with India
My son and daughter support India. Of course I will follow India. They say that India touches you and that is correct in my case as well.