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Dravid wants consistency in West Indies

By Sanjay Rajan
May 11, 2006 23:22 IST
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India captain Rahul Dravid urged his team to maintain consistency as they prepared to depart for their West Indies tour on Friday.

"Tours of West Indies tend to be long ones, it is important to play well right through the tour," Dravid said on Thursday ahead of five one-dayers and four Tests starting on May 18.

India last won a Test series in the West Indies in 1971.

"From what happened on the last couple of tours we had opportunities to win the series.

"We did win a Test match at Trinidad in the last series," said Dravid, who toured the Caribbean in 1996-97 and 2002.

"We had an opportunity to win the series going into the final Test but we didn't play well in Jamaica," he told reporters.

India have won just three out of 38 Tests in the West Indies.

"We did not play as well as we could have but we have obviously played against some good sides in those 35 years," Dravid said of India's unenviable Caribbean record.

"The conditions in the West Indies can be a little tricky, and West Indies do play well at home.

"Australia are probably the only team that have consistently beaten them at home in the last decade or so."


India's captain welcomed the seven-day break between the second and third Tests, saying it would help the bowlers in particular to recuperate.

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"We spoke to our board about it. Australia had a similar break last time they came here. It helps."

India have performed well under Dravid, especially in one-dayers where they have an 18-6 win-loss record.

But they lost the Test series in Pakistan early this year and England held them to a 1-1 draw on their recent tour.

"We put as much thought into Test match cricket as we put into the one-day game," said Dravid. "It is just that we have done better in the one-dayers. We see ourselves as trying to be a good team in both forms of the game.

"We want to do well on this tour. If we do well and have a few successes and learn some lessons from it that will help in the (2007) World Cup -- that's great."

West Indies rallied to beat India 2-1 on their previous tour in 2002 but have managed just four series victories out of 15 in total, three of them against lowly Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

Dravid cautioned that West Indies should not be taken lightly.

"Their attack might not have big names but from what I have seen of them in the tri-series in Sri Lanka last year they are good."

Coach Greg Chappell said West Indies batsmen were quite experienced.

"Any batting lineup with Brian Lara is a good one. They are tough to beat at home. If we play the right sort of cricket and apply ourselves I think we can expect to do well."
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Sanjay Rajan
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