Batting great Rahul Dravid has said India could well have nailed the series 2-0 in the second Test.
“We would have liked to win in Barbados. But we lost 130 overs due to rain. We were on a roll from our second innings.”
The pitches for both the first and the second Tests had juice in them for the pacemen and Dravid, predictably, is the leading scorer from both sides in the series so far. The batsman with technical purity and wonderful temperament has notched up 212 runs at 53.00.
Dravid said, “The two tracks (in the series) have been the toughest I have played on in my four trips to the West Indies. These surfaces were hard on the batsmen. From what I believe, the pitch in Dominica too would have pace and bounce. Bowling has been very good. Both the tracks were slightly tilted in favour of batsmen which is good.”
He added, “These pitches have had a lot of pace and bounce but were good cricket wickets. And the quality of bowling has made it more challenging. The wickets have been good advertisement for Test cricket.”
Dravid defended the young batsmen who had failed in the first two Tests. “Our batting hasn’t fired but in the context of wickets and series, we haven’t done too badly. These were the toughest wickets they would have come across. It would have been a learning experience for them.”
The erudite Dravid believed India had the team to win the third Test. “Everybody wants to finish on a good note. Having said so, we need five days of big performance.
“The attitude within the squad is very positive.”
Dravid complimented the Indian bowlers. “Our bowling has been exceptional. Our slip catching has been top class. It’s been a great positive,” he said,
The West Indies paceman Fidel Edwards declared, “My aim has been to become the number one. I will strive for this.”
Despite some fine performances in the series including a five-wicket haul in the Indian second innings of the second Test at Kensington Oval, he said “I do not think I have been consistent enough. I am not consistently putting the ball in the right areas but hopefully it will come together in the final Test.”
He added, “I don’t think I am back at my best. My pace has been up and down. I can definitely bowl my first spell with greater pace. I have not been bowling my first spell in the right areas. Hopefully I will improve with this game,” remarked Edwards.
The fast bowler said, “My reverse swing has worked for me in this series. I have been training hard for these deliveries.”
Words of approval
Edwards had words of appreciation for Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman, “I grew up watching them. Laxman copes with the short-pitched ball very well. Dravid is excellent too.”
The West Indian fast bowler had words of comfort for the younger Indian batsman. “I think Raina has played me well. Kohli has been fighting hard but has been a victim of some good deliveries.” Hindu