ICL: Indian Cricket League

Rahul Dravid eyes end to away series victory drought


DravidIndia’s Test tour of West Indies starting this week is an excellent opportunity to end their 20-year run without a major series victory outside the sub-continent, captain Rahul Dravid said on Monday.

“It is always a big challenge touring West Indies,” he told reporters. “It is a great opportunity for us to do well, try and correct the record of not winning outside the sub-continent for so long.”

The world’s third-ranked Test side last won a major series outside the Indian sub-continent in England in 1986. Their best efforts away from familiar spin-friendly pitches were 1-1 draws in England in 2002 and in Australia in 2003-04.

The team leaves on Friday on a 47-day trip, playing five one-dayers followed by three Tests. India have shown terrific one-day form since Dravid took over as captain in October, drubbing Sri Lanka 6-1 and England 5-1 at home and claiming a 4-1 triumph in Pakistan.

However, the have often struggled for consistency in Tests, losing 1-0 in Pakistan early this year and allowing an injury-hit England to rally to draw a three-Test series 1-1 in March. Dravid said the arrival of talented youngsters had boosted one-day performances, but they needed more time to replicate the efforts in Tests.

“We’ve lost a couple of Tests and I won’t say it is very bad,” he said. “For younger players getting used to it, adjusting to Tests is harder. “We are working on becoming an all-round side which can do well in both forms of the game.”

Premier batsman Sachin Tendulkar will miss the one-dayers following a shoulder surgery. Experienced spinner Anil Kumble and batsman Vangipurappu Laxman no longer figure in the one-day squad.

Although West Indies are a shadow of the force they were until mid 1990s, Dravid felt they could not be taken lightly. West Indies rallied to beat India 2-1 on their previous Test tour in 2002, but have managed just four series victories out of 15, three of them versus lowly Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

Source:The News

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