India not to focus on Mendis: Dravid

Colombo, Jul 21 (UNI) With spin sensation Ajantha Mendis grabbing all the attention in the run-up to the upcoming Test series, former India captain Rahul Dravid today said it would be a mistake to ignore other weapons in the Sri Lankan bowling armoury.

''It will be a mistake to focus just on Mendis. Sure, Mendis is going to be one of their four or five bowlers, but you cannot just focus on him,'' Dravid told mediapersons here. ''They have got a couple of other guys (Muralitharan and Vaas) who have got 1000 wickets between them.'' ''They have got the right balance in these conditions. They are always a big threat at home. Muttiah Muralitharan is a big impact and Chaminda Vaas is a clever bowler in these conditions,'' he added.

Dravid was confident that the Indian batsmen will be able to get the better of the mystery spinner who played a crucial role in Sri Lanka's victory over India in the Asia Cup final recently.

''We will just play it as we see it. We have come against a lot of bowlers in our times and we have succeeded against them,'' he said.

Sri Lanka also has a formidable batting line-up and that should make the series interesting, reckons Dravid.

''They have a good batting line-up that adapts well in these conditions. They can bat for long periods. But we have come here with a good team as well. If we play to our potential, I think it will be a good Test series,'' he said.

The series holds a special signifance for master blaster Sachin Tendulkar who is just 172 runs short of Brian Lara's world record of 11,953 Test runs. However, Dravid insisted that the team focus on winning the series.

''There has been no talk in the dressing-room of the record or anything like that. We are focused on winning the series and so is Sachin,'' he stated.

''I hope he achieves the landmark here. We are hoping it is in the first innings of the first Test on the first day itself, so we can have a big celebration,'' he added. ''It's obviously a great achievement for him and the team when he eventually gets there.'' UNI XC AB RN2111

Story first published: Monday, July 21, 2008, 22:03 [IST]
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