The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Focus won’t be on World Cup’
- Tour of WI
- Dravid says consistency the key

Mumbai: Hours before embarking on a gruelling tour of the West Indies, Team India captain Rahul Dravid reminded his young teammates to concentrate on getting the basics right and not get weighed down by history.

Dravid also said the team should try not to get distracted by the World Cup next year and focus instead on the current series in the Caribbean, where India have not won a Test rubber in the last 35 years.

“We had our chances during the last tour of the West Indies (2002) but we could not grab those opportunities, we have to concentrate on doing the basics right,” Dravid said at a pre-departure press conference on Thursday.

Dravid also maintained the key for his side would be to forget the World Cup and focus on the job at hand.

“We are not going to focus on the World Cup on this tour. Yes, there is a huge buzz as the World Cup is next year. But we can’t do anything about it. We just have to focus on the current series.”

In 2002, India won the second Test in Trinidad before losing the third and fifth at Barbados and Jamaica. The last time India won the Test series was in 1971 under Ajit Wadekar’s captaincy.

Dravid also felt consistency needs to be maintained.

“Tours of the West Indies tend to be long ones, it is important to play well right through the tour,” he said.

“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.”

The Indian captain welcomed the seven-day break between the second and third Tests, saying it would help the bowlers in particular to recuperate. “We spoke to our Board about it. Australia had a similar break last time they came here. It helps.”

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