London: Rahul Dravid, India`s only batsman to have clicked in the England Test series, conceded that his side have been beaten by a much better team and the collective failure of the visitors needs introspection.
"Sadly, collectively it`s been a tough tour. It`s been a long time since it has happened. Generally 2-3 guys succeed in every series, people have bad tours but this is rare all batsmen have not played as a unit which is sad," he said at the post-match press conference.
"We`ve been found wanting against a better team and we need to look at the set of skills we have and how we need to get better at it," he added.
Dravid`s superb form has been in complete contrast to the wretched form of his team-mates but he did not put it down to lack of effort on their part.
"It`s not for lack of effort with the guys. But cricket at the end of the day is a mental game also. It`s also about the space of your mind and how you get it right," said Dravid who has scored three centuries in four matches, including the unbeaten 146 in the final Test.
Dravid said India`s batting failure and England`s bowling superiority has led to his side`s series loss.
"(Our poor performance) has been a combination of things. Their bowling has been very good, they have shown a lot of discipline the ball has swung at pace right throughout, sometimes in 70-80 overs, the wickets have been spicy and we have not been on top of our game.”
"There are lessons to be learnt. England are a well-drilled team at top of their game. They have good skills, good fitness. We were not up to scratch and they showed us. There are lessons to be learnt, things to work upon and get better," said Dravid who became the fourth highest century maker in Test history with his 35th ton.
"It`s been very satisfying for the quality of my batsmanship against a very good bowling attack. It`s an attack which has all of its bases covered," said Dravid who carried his bat for an unbeaten 146 in India`s first innings.
Inevitably, Dravid was drawn to reply by mediapersons on his opening the Indian innings after Gautam Gambhir could not do the job yesterday as he was rushed to the hospital.
"It did help because of the rain break (yesterday), I had an idea England would declare and I would be opening. It help. Generally when I have to rush in and come out, I feel rushed," said Dravid who was not a great fan of opening the innings.
Dravid was asked how he recovered his breath in the 10 minutes between India`s two innings today and whether somebody in the Indian team offered to open the second innings in his place.
"There wasn`t any debate. Gautam was still not feeling great. I knew I would be opening. I felt in flow. I stretched, took a bit of liquid. 10 minutes is not a very long time. It wasn`t ideal but these were exceptional circumstances.”
"Even while I was batting, I was mentally ready, it was back of mind right through (that I could be opening the second innings in a short while)," he said.
Looking ahead on the final day with India facing a daunting task to save the Test, Dravid hoped Tendulkar would come good and his side would be able to draw the match.
"Hopefully Sachin would have his big day the whole of England has been waiting for this summer. We would have been happy if Laxman was still around. Losing him towards the close was a blow. It does make a difference with two set batsmen coming the next day and bat out for one hour. It gives confidence to dressing room.”
"The first session is really important. The way Sachin is batting, he is looking good. We are hoping to draw this Test," he said.