Rahul Dravid is backing Pakistan to beat England


Indian skipper Rahul Dravid is backing Pakistan to beat England in the four-match Test series this summer, writes Khalid Hussain.

Dravid, who led an International XI against Pakistan in a match to raise funds for last year’s earthquake victims at The Oval on Monday night, told reporters that he believes Pakistan were a stronger team as compared to England.

“Pakistan are a superb side and in spite of injuries to some of their players I expect them to play good cricket and win here,” Dravid told reporters after his team lost against Pakistan in the charity game.

However, Dravid doesn’t expect the hosts to go down without a fight. “England are also a capable team and playing at home they should do well against Pakistan.”

Dravid also gave his team-mate Sachin Tendulkar a vote of confidence after the batsman scored a sparkling fifty against Pakistan. “Batting has never been a problem for him (Tendulkar),” said Dravid who refrained from commenting on Tendulkar’s shoulder problem that is seen as a hurdle for his India comeback.

When asked to comment on twenty20 cricket, Dravid said that he fears that if fully implemented at the international level, it might dilute the more conventional 50-50 overs game.

“Twenty20 cricket is ok. Some people enjoy it and I believe it has a place at the domestic level. But we must try to make it sure that it doesn’t dilute one-day cricket.”

Indian cricket authorities have been against introducing twenty20 to their domestic season even as some of the other major cricket-playing nations have added this version among their first-class teams.

Dravid said he and his team-mates were happy to play in the charity twenty20 game at The Oval.

“It was fantastic to play an event like this for the victims of the earthquake,” he said.

For Dravid, the high point of the charity game that was reduced to 10 overs a side because of wet conditions was to see Tendulkar and Brian Lara open the innings for the International XI.

“It was a dream opening pair as Tendulkar and Lara are the world’s best batsmen,” said Dravid who many Indian now believe is their country’s greatest batsman after his key role in India’s rare Test win in the West Indies earlier this summer.

Source:The News

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Written by Team CricketViewer on July 12th, 2006 with no comments.
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