The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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International cricket doesnít begin or end with one series: Dravid
- ĎItís very sadÖ For this to happen on somebodyís first tour Ö We feel for Tiwaryí

Dhaka: Thanks to the unusual happenings in recent weeks, thereís much riding on Team Indiaís tour of Bangladesh. And, so, itís unlikely that captain Rahul Dravid will have many quiet moments to himself. On Wednesday morning, he interacted with the media and, then, briefly spoke to The Telegraph separately.

The following are excerpts

On the sting operation by a TV channel back home

Iím not going to react to sting operations... I got as much support as I could (from teammates) during the World Cup... I was happy with the team I had.

On everything that has happened after Indiaís shock first-round exit in the World Cup

I step back and see things in perspective... Thatís how I play my cricket... I suppose itís part and parcel of the game...

On whether the contracts issue is a distraction

No... Thereís a simple formula for us players ó we love the game and want to play it. Itís not that the boys are constantly thinking (about the contracts)... Weíre focused on cricket... What needs to be taken care of will be taken care of.

On the spirit within the team

What happened in the World Cup was disappointing, but the spirit is back... The spirit was good during the conditioning camp in Calcutta and itís good here.

On the focus still being on Indiaís poor World Cup performance

I donít look at just one tournament or event... International cricket doesnít begin or end with one series... Itís an ongoing process...

On Ravi Shastriís appointment as (interim) cricket manager

As he himself told us, there canít be magic in a few days... Heís very experienced and has a lot of knowledge... Has played a lot and has been doing commentary for years... He has been sharing knowledge... These are still early days... However, coaches canít play and players have to stand up and take responsibility.

On Venkatesh Prasad and Robin Singh being part of the support staff

Itís about preparing the boys in a manner that the best is got out of them... One canít suddenly change the way one plays. Ö The support staffís work isnít rocket science.

On rookie Manoj Tiwary being ruled out of the ODIs

Itís very sad... For this to happen on somebodyís first tour... We feel for him... He has the Board and the teamís support... Of course, heís young and is going to get opportunities... Right now, he has to focus on recovering... He has accepted the situation in a mature manner.

On his one-on-one with Tiwary

I said heís young and is in good hands (physio John Gloster)... I added that he must remain positive and work towards getting fit. I like his attitude.

On Bangladesh

Theyíve done well in the World Cup... Now, weíve got more first-hand information about their players...

On explosive opener Tamim Iqbal

Heís good... He played well (a dashing 51) against us in the World Cup and took us by surprise... If itís his day, he could play another innings like that or we could get him (quickly).

Finally, on Brian Laraís comment that ďRahul Dravid is the one player I could go and watch. Come to think of it, if I wanted someone batting for my life, it would be RahulĒ

(Smiles) Iím honoured... Thatís all.

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