London: Senior batsman Rahul Dravid termed the upcoming Test series between India and England as a fight between the bowling attack of the two sides.
"They have a good attack; they have improved since we last played them. We respect them but we know we can also play well. It might be the contest (which decides the series)," Dravid told the mediapersons on Tuesday.
England`s three-pronged attack of James Anderson, Chris Tremlett and Stuart Broad along with off-spinner Graeme Swann commands a lot of respect from opposition while India has great players like Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Dravid himself. The trio share 99 Test centuries between them.
"The two teams have played well over the last few years. We are very proud of our record at both home and away and England has a great record too. It surely gives edge to the series," commented Dravid.
The stylish right-hander believes it is important that his side gets off to a good start, something which can set the tune for the high-profile series.
"It`s important we start of well. We do realize that sometimes it hasn`t been as good as we would like it to be. We want to start well for it can make a big difference."
The senior batsman feels at home whenever he plays at the Lord`s where he made his Test debut 15 years back.
"Personally, it has very special memories. In a strange way you feel at home here, it`s a place which truly understands history and tradition of the game.”
"That 95 which I scored (in debut) meant a lot to me. I had played five years of first class cricket and scored a lot of runs. But I wouldn`t have given odds to play for the country, given the team we had.”
"A few injuries presented me with an opportunity. I knew this one was the only one or it would be back to domestic cricket where everyone scores a lot of runs. It was very tough," he recollected.
"I remember, I was on 50 not out and walking across the Lord`s with Srinath that evening. I realized it was a very significant innings and had given me some more breathing space. I never expected it to lead to anything, certainly not that 15 years later I would be talking about it here."
Dravid recognized his role in the team was to lay the platform on which a few of the more exciting stroke-makers of his team could build a huge edifice.
"With the advent of one-day and Twenty20 cricket, a lot of shots are played which is fantastic and great to watch. But every team has players with specific role, specific skills and you need all kind of them. Men like Jonathan Trott have similar kind of role. Men like Viru, Sachin and Laxman are more expressive stroke-players. You know all it takes all kind of players to make a good team."
Indians had a disappointing outing against Somerset but Dravid said it wouldn`t unduly worry his team.
"It can happen sometimes in tour games. Having come from the West Indies and worked hard for runs, you could experiment in such games and play too many shots.”
"But we have learnt our lessons and have the skill levels to bounce back."
Inevitably, questions on coach Duncan Fletcher were asked and if he was fitting in well with the Indian team.
"He has a calming influence and just speaking to him you know he`s someone who has seen a lot of situations, batsmen, techniques.”
"He is still feel his way a little bit for besides the ones who were in the West Indies, others have been around with him for only 3-4 days."
The Lord`s Test is the 100th between England and India, as well as the 2000th of the Test history but Dravid isn`t the one to go misty-eyed at the forthcoming milestones.
"I know a lot of stats and numbers are floating around this Test. Frankly, it makes no difference to you when you walk out into the middle and face the first ball.”
"You never think about stats and try to do as best as you can," he concluded.