'A team can always bank on Dravid'

Vimal Kumar | Updated: March 31, 2008, 10:28 PM IST
'A team can always bank on Dravid'

New Delhi: One player, the Delhi Daredevils will be looking at for early breakthroughs, will be Pakistan's Mohammad Asif. In an interview with CNN-IBN, Asif reflected on the IPL and the batsman he admires the most - Rahul Dravid.

Mohammad Asif: A new trend has started - these Twenty20 matches. Cricketers from all over the world will be playing in this IPL tournament. I think there won't be fights or rivalries between the teams or the players playing in IPL. It won't be anything like we recently witnessed when India toured Down Under. With players from different countries playing together, matches are expected to be friendly.

CNN-IBN: What do you have to say about Virender Sehwag's triple-century knock during this recently concluded India-South Africa Test match in Chennai?

Mohammad Asif: When South Africa were batting first during their first innings, I was watching the match and I was thinking that if it is the ideal pitch, then Sehwag must score 150 at least. But he went on to score 300 plus runs and I think it is really good for Indian cricket that a player like him has made a comeback. It will be really good for our Delhi Daredevils team as well, when we will play in the IPL tournament. He has overcome his bad patch and is now back to form.

CNN-IBN: Everyone considers Rahul Dravid's wicket as a crucial one when you are in the opposition team. You yourself being a fast bowler, how crucial for you is Dravid's wicket in the context of this Indian batting line-up?

Mohammad Asif: When the top-order fails and the team is in crisis, Dravid is one player, who the team can bank on as he can change the game all together. He has always done that. In this Chennai Test also he scored some valuable runs. He is a steady player and he judges the ball first and then plays it very late. As a result, by the time his bat touches the ball, the swing of the ball is almost gone.

CNN-IBN: If you are asked to choose one Indian batsman to you would like to play in the Pakistan team, who will he be?

Mohammad Asif: It would be Dravid. He is one batsman, who is like a backbone for a team. Since the time I am watching him, he is like a backbone for the Indian team. He has always scored runs for his team whenever the team needed him.

First Published: March 31, 2008, 10:28 PM IST

Team Rankings

RankTeamPointsRating
1 India 3925 123
2 South Africa 3050 117
3 Australia 3087 100
4 England 3362 99
5 New Zealand 3114 97
FULL Ranking