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I am ready to open in Tests: Dravid
- ‘As a professional cricketer, it is important to adapt and adjust’

Melbourne: Rahul Dravid is ready to open the innings in the challenging four-Test series against Australia starting here on Boxing Day.

The former India captain said on Thursday that he had no problems in facing the new ball bowlers led by Brett Lee on the bouncy tracks Down Under.

“If I am asked to open in the Test matches, I will be happy to do so,” Dravid said after opening the innings with Wasim Jaffer on Day I of the three-day warm-up tie against Victoria.

“I am comfortable in any role that is given to me by the team management. I try and do the best I can irrespective of where I bat,” said Dravid, who had opened the innings on several occasions earlier.

Dravid was unbeaten on 33 after a two-and-a-half-hour stint when rain and thunderstorms forced play to be suspended post tea on Thursday.

Dravid had hit two centuries against Pakistan as an opener.

According to him, good starts are necessary for the middle order to pile up big scores.

“If the management feels that the best chance for us to do well in Australia is by promoting me to open, that’s fine with me. We have a very strong middle-order... A constant one for some time now. But there are a lot of good youngsters coming in and they can’t be ignored.

“It is important to get off to good starts in Australia. If you can see off the new ball without losing too many wickets, you can make it count later on.”

On the differences between batting at No. 3 and opening the innings, the former India captain said: “There is little difference… At No. 3, you sometimes come in early as well.

“Right from my school days, I have played in the middle order and I have got used to it. But as a professional cricketer it is important to adapt and adjust. I have done it before and if I am asked to do it again, it is a question of figuring out my routines.

“The crucial thing is the 10-minute changeover between innings. You have got to rush in and get ready in those 10 minutes. You need a different mindset, that is probably the only difference.”

Dravid admitted that just one practice game prior to the Test series wasn’t an ideal preparation against the mighty Australians.

“Ideally, yes, we would have definitely liked more than one game. Our preparation on our last tour was ideal — we had two practice games and good practice in Brisbane before the Tests. But international calendars are cramped these days and that is not an issue anymore. We have just got to knuckle down and get on with it.”

Dravid, however, played down the threat of bouncy wickets in Australia.

“You expect the bounce here, but it is a question of getting used to it. If you get set, the bounce opens up your back foot game, it opens up a whole new range of strokes and gives you a lot more opportunities to score runs.”

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