Monday, November 9, 2009

Dravid happy with Ranji warm-up for SL Tests

New Delhi: Rahul Dravid, gearing up for the Test series against Sri Lanka at home next week, feels the start of the Ranji Trophy Super League couldn't have been timed better.

Dravid, who is here to play the Ranji tie against Delhi, starting on Tuesday, felt that for him the national championship matches ahead of the Test series was important to be match sharp.

Dravid, who was dropped for the one-day internationals against Australia, is bound to figure in the Test series against Sri Lanka, who arrived in Mumbai on Sunday to play three Tests, five one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches.

Dravid is leading Karnataka in the absence of Robin Uthappa, who is away playing for the Board President's XI against the Lankans.

"It's good to play some domestic cricket and get some time in the middle leading up to the Test series. It should be a good series. So, I am looking forward to the match," said Dravid.

The 36-year-old India stalwart says he enjoys playing for Karnataka where in he has rubbed shoulders with three generations of payers.

"I have always enjoyed playing for Karnataka. I have now played with three generation of players from Raghuram Bhatt, Sujit, Sunil Joshi, Anil (Kumble) Srinath and Venky. Now, we have a whole new bunch of players coming.

"There are some of the young boys I haven't even seen before and this gives me a chance to see the talent and help them if I get a chance to do so," he said.

When asked how his side is preparing to take on an injury-hit Delhi, Dravid quipped: "I don't like to take any depleted side lightly."

"We are playing them in their home conditions so it's something we need to be aware of.

"To beat Uttar Pradesh at home was a very satisfying way to start off the season. We have a young team and the win has given them a lot of confidence," said Dravid who struck 97 and 51 not out in match.

"Our side has some potential youngsters. Abhimanyu Mithun bowled beautifully on a lifeless pitch. Manish (Pandey) showed a lot of promise. He showed it in Twenty20 and it's good to see he is doing so well at the Ranji as well."

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