Dravid needs a break: Gaekwad

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New Delhi, Nov 15 (UNI) Former selector Anshuman Gaekwad feels Rahul Dravid, who was totally off-colour during the home Test series against Australia, is in urgent need of a break from international cricket to regain his form.

''He is a great player and it is just a matter of one good innings. It does not take them long to come back. Since the Tests against England will start in December, he can play in domestic matches. If he still does not get runs, he can think of taking a break and come back fresh. But then, it should be his decision,'' Gaekwad said.

''I think the selectors should also talk to him and take him into confidence rather than dropping him. He still has a lot of cricket left in him and needs to be handled properly,'' he added.

The Karnataka batsman was in woeful form during the last two series against Sri Lanka and Australia. He accumulated just 148 runs at an average of 24.66 in the three-Test series against Sri Lanka while his performance dipped further in the recent four-Test series against Australia with an aggregate of 120 runs at an average of just 17.14.

With Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble retiring recently, there has been intense speculation that the 35-year-old Dravid could be next in the line.

However, Gaekwad feels that Dravid is under a lot of pressure and needs a little bit of luck to overcome the form slump.

''The more you fail, the more you feel the pressure. I think he is putting pressure on himself and therefore cannot bat as fluently as he is known to. Because of a lack of confidence, his feet are also moving as they should,'' he said. ''All players go through such a period in their careers. There is no reason why he can't come out of it. It is just a matter of one good knock.'' UNI AB PY GC2152

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