Dravid expects India to wrap up series at Kotla

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/r/rahuldravid_ap.jpg' class='caption'> Rahul Dravid does not rule out an Australian backlash in the third Test but the he expects the hosts to wrap-up the four-match series at Ferozeshah Kotla.

Updated: October 27, 2008 17:49 IST
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New Delhi:

Rahul Dravid does not rule out an Australian backlash in the third Test but the former India captain expects the hosts to wrap up the four-match series at their happy hunting ground, Ferozeshah Kotla. India has not lost at the Kotla in the last six Tests and Dravid said he was confident that the hosts would maintain the unbeaten streak.

"It's a great venue for us. I haven't played in a Test that we have lost here. So, it's always nice to come back here. Hopefully we will wrap it up here and make it seven in a row," Dravid said after Sunday's practice session.

Dravid also issued a warning to his teammates, saying Australia, trailing 0-1, would do everything to bounce back in the series.

"Definitely, we outplayed them in all three departments - batting, bowling and fielding (in Mohali). They will be hurting. They have had a lot of success over a long period of time," Dravid said.

"They have not seen many failures and would be keen to come back. But rather than thinking about them, we will focus on our preparations," Dravid said.

"They would want to prove a point here but we are ready," he added.

Dravid attributed India's thumping 320-run win in Mohali to the bowlers.

"I will put that down to our bowling. Zaheer (Khan) and Ishant (Sharma) have bowled really well, all credit to them," he said.

Zaheer, in particular, has become a thorn in the Aussie flesh and his ability to reverse swing the ball has made him almost non-negotiable for the rival batsmen but Dravid said it was a simple case of hitting the right areas consistently.

"I think he is hitting the right areas consistently. His rhythm is fantastic. Standing in the slips, I can see how good a rhythm Ishant and Zaheer have. Zak has put in a lot of bowling and that is showing now," Dravid explained.

Zaheer maybe in the form of his life but Dravid himself is struggling. The veteran right-hander, however, insists he is in good touch and a big innings was just around the corner.

"It has been little disappointing for me. I played on good wickets in Bangalore and Mohali but couldn't convert the good starts that I got. Generally when I am batting well, I know that runs will come and this is how I feel right now.I will just try and keep batting well. Keep the routine and runs will come," he asserted.

"My runs-per-ball average is pretty good this series. I think you have to be a little patient and I am ready to be patient," he added.

The Australian bowling has been at best ordinary in the series so far and Dravid said the world champions are desperately missing the likes of Glenn McGrath.

"It is not easy to replace McGrath, (Jason) Gillespie, Shane Warne, (Michael) Kasprowicz. But still I won't say the attack is bad, it is just inexperience. But even experience doesn't count for much if you don't put the ball in the right areas," he said.

The spin attack is turning out to be the weakest link of the Aussie team and they have sought Bishan Singh Bedi's help to deal with it. Dravid said it was nothing more than a healthy exchange of ideas.

"Cricket is a global game. People share knowledge and ideas. We also benefit from foreign players when we tour abroad. Sharing of knowledge happens a lot in international cricket and it's a good thing," he said.

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