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Dravid promises tough tour

Source - rediff.com

With the World Cup humiliation still fresh in the mind, captain Rahul Dravid on Tuesday cautioned his teammates not to take the "much-improved" Bangladesh lightly in the one-day series, beginning on Thursday.

Dravid said India are determined to play some tough cricket and not allow their opponents to repeat their World Cup feat.

"We expect to do well here. They (Bangladesh) played really well against us in Trinidad. We have come here to play some tough cricket. We will show that we can play really well," Dravid told reporters after team's practice session at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium in Dhaka.

India were beaten by five wickets in their lung opener in the recent World Cup, which led to a first round exit from the tournament.

Bangladesh had also defeated then number one team South Africa in the Super Eight stage of the World Cup.

"Bangladesh have improved a lot. There are no doubts about that. They are playing very good cricket. We expect a stiffer challenge than what we got on our last visit here. And we are aware of it," he said.

Dravid said his team is eyeing both the one-day and Test series victories.

"The idea is to win both the Tests and one-day series," he said.

On how he rated the present assignment, Dravid said, "Any assignment is difficult or easy as it is made out to be. I don't say whether some are more difficult and some are less. Each of them have their own challenges.

"It's a good opportunity for us to play well after a disappointing World Cup," he added.

Dravid said he had only a quick look at the pitch in the afternoon and it appeared to be fast.

"I will take another look tomorrow. But it looks fast with lot of grass on it. I have never had an issue with wickets. It will be the same for both sides. We get to play in different conditions on different types of wickets. That's the challenge of international cricket," he said.

On chances of the rookies making it to the final eleven, Dravid said "Everyone who is in the team has a realistic chance. We are going according to the conditions and the quality of the opposition. We are very clear about that. We will try to put the best team on the field to win. So, some have to sit out. Some will be making their debut, some will not."

Local journalists showed keen interest in getting to know the cricketing backgrounds of Manoj Tiwary and Piyush Chawla.

Dravid gave them the details about the youngsters' recent showings in domestic cricket, and termed them as exciting talents.

"There are a few others also in the side who are exciting talents. It seems they have a long term future," he said.

Dravid said Chawla, who had captained India in the Under-19 World Cup, is being groomed for quite some time now.

"This tour is part of the long process. It's part of their learning experience."

An Indian journalist drew Dravid's attention to the youngsters in the Bangladesh side.

"Yes, they do have a young team. That's a big positive for them. The young boys can benefit a lot as they get experienced in the next couple of years," he said.

However, he turned diplomatic when asked whether India should take a leaf out of Bangladesh's book.

"That's up to the selectors. There is place for youth and experience. We have a good combination of young and experienced players. At the end of the day, you have to put together a team that can win both the Test and One-Day series," he said.

Dravid said the hot and humid conditions would be a challenge for the bowlers.

"It's the same for both teams. In India also we have similar conditions. Probably, the humidity is a bit more here."

The Indian captain said his boys are keeping themselves hydrated by consuming plenty of liquids and following a diet prescribed by Physio John Gloster.

According to the Indian captain, the May 2-6 conditioning camp in Kolkata prior to the tour had served three purposes.

"It helped the new three-member coaching staff to see all the players, including the young talents, in action."

With Greg Chappell having resigned as coach, the BCCI appointed Ravi Shastri as a stop-gap cricket manager and named Venkatesh Prasad and Robin Singh as the bowling and fielding coaches respectively.

"And this being the end of the domestic season in India, nothing much was happening. So, it gave us some good practice."

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