India Pakistan Cricket series - Special Coverage




India rue another missed opportunity


LAHORE, April 8 - India's stand-in captain Rahul Dravid was left lamenting another missed opportunity to take control of an overseas series after Pakistan levelled the three-match series 1-1 on Thursday.

The loss was the fourth time since 2001 when India have won a test only to lose the next with the nine-wicket defeat in Lahore following a trend started in Zimbabwe in 2001, continued in West Indies in 2002 and then in Australia last year.

"It's an area of concern for us that needs to be addressed," Dravid told reporters. "It's disappointing to lose another test abroad after winning the previous one."

India have not won an overseas test series since beating Sri Lanka in 1993-94, though Dravid, who is expected to step down from the captaincy when regular skipper Saurav Ganguly returns from a back injury for the third test in Rawalpindi, said the team was still hopeful of breaking that run.

"This series so far has been a very even contest and there is little difference between the two sides.

"It's been a competitive and intense series that has produced some great cricket and it should be no different in the third test."

India were bowled out for 287 and 241 after Dravid chose to bat on a greenish wicket with seam bowler Umar Gul picking up his first five-wicket haul in the first innings.

"Gul was a surprise package for us," said Dravid. "His dismissals of (Virender) Sehwag, myself, Sachin (Tendulkar) and (Vangipurappu) Laxman were a big blow and we lost the initiative of winning the toss.

"If I'd known we would be four down at lunch I would have done things differently."