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Dravid says India not WACA-scarred

February 04, 2004 12:12 IST

India would not carry any scars from the two league matches here at the WACA ground, stand-in captain Rahul Dravid said although he admitted that his batsmen could have done better on the bouncy track.

"I think our bowlers did better than our batsmen in these conditions. I think we could have batted better," said Dravid after his side survived a scare before beating Zimbabwe by four wickets in the final league game of the VB Series.

"But the finals are a fresh game and a fresh start.  Everyone starts with a clean slate. There are no psychological winners," he said.

India was thrashed by five wickets by Australia here on Sunday with Brett Lee unleashing a fiery spell of 10 overs, which fetched him three wickets for 22 runs. But Dravid sought to defend his batsmen saying they would have adjusted with some more time.

"It definitely is one of the bounciest pitches I have come across. The bounce here is a bit unique. But given some time, I am sure our batsmen would have adjusted here as well.

"It is not the easiest of wickets to get used to. We played only two one-day games here so it can get tough. But once you are set, you can play your shots here. It had more pace today than Sunday as it had probably dried up," he said.

"All in all though we could have done better as a batting unit. We accept that," said Dravid.

Looking forward to the first final beginning on Friday, he said the familiar conditions of Melbourne and Sydney, where his side had done marvellously well all summer, would allow them to flourish again.

"We are going back to places where we have really done well. Our batsmen have been in very good touch and form through these two and a half months."

Dravid discounted any fears on the count of openers Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar who appeared a bit rusty in the two games at WACA.

"Both Sachin and Sehwag are quality players. I don't think we need to worry about them. They have had a lot of success. It wouldn't be difficult for them to come back."

Dravid was all praise for young Irfan Pathan who was declared man-of-the-match for his four for 24 in 10 overs.

"He has been the stand-out young bowler for us on this tour. He has really come of age. He has developed as a young cricketer of promise and that is a positive for us."

Pathan was also pleased with his performance and said his poor show against the Australians on Sunday when he conceded 69 runs in eight overs, had made him doubly determined to do well against Zimbabwe.

"I didn't bowl well against Australia. So when I came in today, I had a mind to bowl line and length. I knew if I could do it, I would definitely do well."

Zimbabwe skipper Heath Streak was all praise for the Indians too and particularly the medium-pacers who he said bowled extremely well in pairs.

"I have been very, very impressed with Irfan Pathan.  He bowls a really good line and doesn't allow a batsman width to cut or pull. In fact all the Indian bowlers were very impressive today," Streak said.

Zimbabwe finished their tri-series campaign without a single win under their belt and Streak felt it were the batsmen again who let the team down.

"I think we suffered in batting again today. If we could have gone on to make 200, it would have been a good game.

"We lost a crucial wicket by run-out and then could not take our catches. It had a telling effect."

Seeking to draw positives from the tri-series outing, he said, "We still go away from this series with the knowledge we could have won two or three games. Also, some players have developed so it has been a good tour overall."

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