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SA v IND: Would love to have more big scores from batting line-up, says Dravid (ld)

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Johannesburg, Jan 2 (IANS) India head coach Rahul Dravid said he would like to have more big scores from the batting line-up in the second Test against South Africa beginning at the Wanderers on Monday.

He also hoped that the second as well as the third Test will give a chance to the batters to step up and convert a good start into a big knock. India, 1-0 up in the three-match series, will be looking to seal the series in the second Test.

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“We would love to have more big scores from batting line-up. But you never really are in such conditions and it’s not often that you see all batsmen being able to convert. We had Rahul being able to convert for us in the first innings, batted beautifully and really well. All of them batted well and looked really good in the time they had at the crease.

“Hopefully, this Test and the next one will probably be one of their opportunities to step up, play a big knock and convert one of those starts,” said Dravid in the pre-match virtual press conference.

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Asked about his assessment of India’s 113-run win in the first Test at Centurion, Dravid sounded happy with the efforts of bowlers but batting could have done better. “We had a really good Test match. The bowling was absolutely phenomenal. To get South Africa out twice below 200 is an absolutely great effort. I thought we batted really well on day one. To be 272/3 at end of day one is something which doesn’t happen really often. We did really well there.

“Going ahead, we could have got more from 272/3 to being bowled for 327, that’s an area we would really like to improve. I thought we could have batted better in the second innings as well. A good Test match but a few areas in which we can learn, improve and get better because we know we have to do in this game.”

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Dravid backed captain Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane to convert their starts into big scores after missing out on doing so in Centurion. “It happens due to a variety of factors and happens to people when they play in various stages of their career when you play for a long period of time. There are phases in your career when you feel you are batting well but big scores don’t necessarily come. It happens to everyone, just that two-three of them are going through that phase at the same time.”

The 48-year-old pointed the positive point after seeing them bat in practice sessions.

“The good and heartening point is they seem to be batting well, getting off to starts and they know to convert. It’s not like these guys don’t know how to get these hundreds or haven’t done it before. It’s just a matter of time. They are preparing, practising well and in really good space. As a coach, looking at them, watching them train and looking at the space they are in, I just feel that there could be some runs around the corner.”

–IANS

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