The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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A big knock due from me: Dravid
- Coach John Wright gives batsmen a vote of confidence

Kanpur: Rahul Dravid sounded a warning to the South Africans on Thursday: a big knock is round the corner.

'I have been practising hard. If I get a start, hopefully I can play a long innings. A big one is due from me,' Dravid said ahead of the first Test starting at the Green Park on Saturday.

Dravid aggregated just 167 runs in the recent Test series against Australia at an average of 27.83. The Team India vice-captain refused to treat the inexperienced South Africa side lightly. 'It does not matter that some players are not experienced,' Dravid said. 'They have a quality side, and we can't take them lightly. They will be hungry to do well.'

Asked why India have struggled to win matches at home recently, Dravid said: 'The (touring) teams are getting better. They do their preparation before coming here, and play much smarter cricket. It's not very easy nowadays' we have to keep working harder.'

Dravid ducked a question on the Green Park wicket, saying he was not good at assessing pitches. 'The fact is, we have to play on this track' we have to take it day by day and try and play good cricket. It is important to execute our gameplan perfectly.'

Team India coach John Wright and consultant Sunil Gavaskar plan strategy during a practice session at Green Park in Kanpur on Thursday

Dravid & Co. may not have distinguished themselves against the Aussie bowlers, but coach John Wright gave his batsmen a vote of confidence ahead of the two-Test series. 'The batsmen have not performed to potential for some time now. The guys are class players, I back them and am quite sure they will click sooner than later,' Wright said.

'Players like Laxman were nominated for two awards recently. Tendulkar, Dravid and Sehwag ' they have a lot of class. They have done the job in the past. They have to do it now.

' They will be under a little pressure, but they are all experienced to handle all these things,' he said. (PTI)

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