India must play Nehra if he is fit: Dravid

Last Updated: Mar 09, 2011, 00:13 AM IST

New Delhi: Former India cricket captain Rahul Dravid feels paceman Ashish Nehra should be a part of the team in the ongoing World Cup if he is fit as he has got the experience of bowling at the death.

"I would have definitely played Ashish Nehra if he was fit as he has got the experience of playing in the World Cup and also has the ability. He has got a good experience of bowling at the death overs," said Dravid.

India have played three matches so far in the mega-event, winning all of those but the team`s bowling has struggled even against the weakest of the opponents.

The experienced left-arm pacer from Delhi, who is an important wicket-taking bowler with genuine swing-bowling capabilities, has not been included in the playing XI because of fitness issues.

Dravid, however, said it is still early part of the tournament and there is enough time for the team to get into the rhythm.

"This is just the early part of the tournament and there is no need to get too concerned. In fact, the part-timers are doing well on these sub-continental conditions. The others can also do very well on these tracks and also have a scope to improve," said Dravid after inaugurating the Castrol Cricket Performance Centre here on Tuesday.

The Test batsman however added that India would be benefitted greatly if they figure out their main bowlers before the knockout stage.

"India have enough time to get into the rhythm and if at this league stage, they can decide on their top four bowlers then it would be good for them during the knockout stage," said Dravid.

Nonetheless, the 38-year-old admitted that it was not possible for a team to go into a match with a particular mindset all the time.

"Zaheer will obviously be a part of India`s final eleven. But whether to play with a three seamers or go for two spinners would depend on the conditions. There is no set mindset one can go with," Dravid said.

"If you are playing in Delhi where the track may spin, you may go with two spinners but if you are playing in Mohali or Ahmedabad then you must play with three pacers. So it depends," said the Bangalorean, adding India`s decision to play with 6-7 batsmen is right in these conditions.

When asked about the controversial Decision Review System (DRS), which has come under a lot of criticism as well as praise from different quarters, Dravid said mistakes are a part and parcel of every technology.

"I have nothing much to say about the DRS other than the fact that there are going to be mistakes in anything that you do. Just got to learn from them, keep improving on them and keep getting better. Try and improve technology as much as possible."

Stating that he was in favour of the DRS, he said, "There have been errors but sometimes there are good decisions also. I am definitely in favour of trying to improve technology and trying to get it better. I am personally in favour of trying to improve technology.”

"And if you want to remove technology and only want to have on-field umpires then you got to accept the mistakes and don`t worry about them."

Stressing on the importance of the associate nations, who are a part of the sporting extravaganza but yet to make a mark, Dravid said if one wants cricket to grow then minnows of the game must be encouraged.

"ICC can make the World Cup a 10-team affair in future but they should give more opportunities to the teams to qualify in the top 10. So, may be a pre-qualifying tournament and then the World Cup would be a good idea.”

"I think the associate nations are putting in a lot of efforts and they have worked very hard to have come to this level. So, I think we need to be encouraging them. It is important to recognise the effort they are putting in. If we want cricket to grow, they must be encouraged," said Dravid.

PTI