| Rahul Dravid
Mumbai: Rahul Dravid said on Tuesday his team could have a “very good series” if it played to potential.
“If we play to our true potential, I think we can have a very good series. We have to play good cricket and maintain the performance right through the tour,” Dravid said before the squad’s departure for tours of Ireland, Scotland and England.
Dravid said this would be his last tour of England and a victory in the Test series over Michael Vaughan’s men would make it a memorable trip. “This is my last tour of England. I am not going back in four years’ time and I have to win the series to make it a memorable one for me,” he said.
“England have experienced bowlers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have an advantage. At the end of the day, performance is what counts,” he said.
On bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad, Dravid said: “He has a lot of experience and has been working hard with the youngsters. It will give him a chance to look at strengths and weaknesses of the bowlers… he has a big role to play.”
Dravid singled out Zaheer Khan, saying he would have to spearhead the bowling attack and play the role of a mentor for the young pacers.
“Zaheer has the experience, having played in the County circuit. He also has a big role to play.”
Sourav Ganguly is also looking to put up a solid all-round show, as well as don the mantle of a senior pro. “I will have to play the role of a senior cricketer to perfection, support my captain and guide the juniors whenever they seek help,” Sourav said.
“I would also like to be successful with both bat and ball as the English conditions suit me,” he said.
Asked what would be Chandu Borde’s role, Dravid said: “Borde would be part of the team management... He will take part in meetings and help in formulating strategies.
“He has so much knowledge and experience. He will get to know the players and how the team works during the early days and get comfortable with everyone.”
Borde described the tour as a challenge and said he was used to handling such situations.
Dravid added that a tour of England was always special for the players.
“It is a country of rich cricketing history. To play in grounds where great players have played will be special,” he said.
“The crowd always appreciates good cricket. The Tests are well attended,” Dravid said.
No separate administrative manager is accompanying the 15-member squad on the gruelling 80-day tour.
“No administrative manager is going with the squad. The support staff can manage the affairs,” BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah said.
Ajit Agarkar, Piyush Chawla, Robin Uthappa and Rohit Sharma would return after the ODI against Pakistan in Scotland.
Wasim Jaffer, V.V.S. Laxman, Anil Kumble, Ishant Sharma, Ranadeb Bose would join the squad for the three-Test series in England for which the selectors have chosen 16 players.
The squad for the ODI series against England has not yet been picked. (PTI)