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Antigua Test ends in draw; excellent match says Dravid

Written by: Staff
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St John's, Antigua, June 7 (UNI) Antigua Test had a nail-biting finish and even though India failed to force win but skipper Rahul Dravid feels that it was an excellent match that he was proud to be part of.

''It was a great game of cricket, West Indies bowled well on day one and then we didn't bowl that good in first innings. They got big lead and then we fought back well on third day and then batted beautifully on fourth day. We bowled excellent today to take 9 wickets but some of their tail-enders batted well. It was a great test match that went down to the last ball, not many matches go down there and I feel great to be part of team that played in that test match,'' said Rahul Dravid.

He said that there were four options available to him to bowl the last over and Sehwag was one of them.

''Sehwag was rolling his arm again and again. He looked quite eager to bowl. We were thinking of Sehwag but the end from where he was bowling wasn't assisting much turn. I stuck with pacer because the ball was swinging,'' Indian skipper said adding ''we were unlucky some edges were missed barely. Sreesanth bowled a good over earlier and he was bowling in the right area so I gave him the last over.'' Dravid said that he was very impressed with the bowling performance of his young seamers on the last day.

''It gave me a lot of heart to see the length they were bowling today. Lot many people in India when they see a young bowler with potential start saying that he is quick bowler or fast bowler but we have our own strengths. We cant bounce them out but should concentrate on the right lengths, he added.

The Indian skipper also heaped praise on Jaffer saying that he has matured a lot.

''Jaffer played brilliant innings that turned the match for us. He batted beautifully and some of the shots he played weren't easy to play on this wicket. What I liked the most about his batting was that he didn't lost concentration and batted long. It's important for him to be consistent, he has got all to be successful at this level,'' said Dravid.

We would relax a bit. Boys are putting in lot of hard work.

Playing test matches back to back is not easy. Players who want nets will have nets, said Dravid.

Meanwhile, West Indies skipper Brian Lara said that draw was a befitting end to a great test match.

''It was a nice test match that went to last ball and still no team won. It was tremendous effort from our players and it is exceptional test match to end cricket at th ARG,'' said Lara.

''With our lead of 130 we should have pressed hard but we lost Fidel Edwards quite early and Collymore was not hundred per cent.

Then Jaffer turned on the game. But I think our guys batted very well today. You have to take 20 wickets to win and our batsmen fought well till end,'' he said.

About the confusion regarding Dhoni's dismissal yesterday, Lara said that the two captains have sorted out the matter but it was 'silly.' ''We all make mistakes. In the end I had chat with the umpires and Rahul Dravid and that's itm, said Lara.

''Cricket is a team game and it's the squad thats playing.

Sometimes situations arise whenthe umpires can't make decision. You have to trust on the squad, the players and back them even if they are in the opposition,'' said Lara.

UNI XC SK VP0740

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