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18 July 2024

No rift in India team, says Dravid

By Reuters

Senior batsman Rahul Dravid has batted down suggestions of a rift in India's struggling test team and said he was working hard to correct flaws in his defence which has been repeatedly breached in the series against Australia. 

India trail the four-match test series 2-0. Their build-up to the third test starting in Perth on Friday has been overshadowed by Australian media reports of a rift in the side, while the tourists have also come under fire from Indian media for enjoying a go-karting session on Monday. 

"When you lose 2-0, that's part and parcel of the game," Dravid, who celebrated his 39th birthday on Wednesday, told reporters. 

"Suddenly everything is wrong. There's absolutely no truth to those (reports about a rift)... the spirit in the team is really good." 

Dravid, who has compiled 13,206 runs in 162 tests, said the karting session was not an indication of the team losing their focus. 

"A lot of discussions happen in the dressing room, in the course of dinner and when we go for go-karting. 
"Lots of conversations can happen in times like that which are very useful, and that's how you learn. You don't learn through sitting in meetings, having powerpoint presentations. That's not how teams work. 

"Obviously there is a sense of disappointment in the result we had so far. We'd like to do better definitely but in terms of spirit, it has been very good. 

"One of the good things about travelling away from home is that you are in a bit of a cocoon. You don't tend to know what's happening back home." 

Dravid has been far from his best in the series, bowled four times so far, including by a Peter Siddle no-ball in the Melbourne test. 

"Obviously when you get (bowled) out three times, you think about it, there's no doubt about it. I worked on a few things. Hopefully it will be better," said the player nicknamed 'The Wall' for his otherwise impregnable defence. 

"I don't think anything has drastically changed since what was a successful year for me. I have looked at some of the videos and can't see any difference. I hope it's a coincidence and I can set it right. 

Fellow senior batsman VVS Laxman has not done justice to his reputation as Australia's bogeyman either, managing just one half century, prompting calls for his exclusion from the side. 

"I don't think it has affected Laxman too much," Dravid said. 

"I have not really read the comments and I don't think Lax is really bothered either. We have been around long enough and we learnt to accept it as part and parcel of the job. 

"Personally I know Lax is a relaxed character, a top class performer and I'm backing him to come good in one of the two test matches," added Dravid.