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'250-260 should be a good target'

October 03, 2010 20:08 IST

Yet another Indian collapse.

That is the lone way one can describe the batting of the home team in the opening Test against Australia at Mohali -- which saw them collapse from 382 for five to 405 all out in the first essay, thereby handing the visitors a 23-run lead, on Day 3.

- Images from Day 3 

With two days left, on a fast deteriorating wicket, and India batting fourth, a win seems improbable and, for that matter, even any result out of bounds. A draw seems an imminent outcome.

However, if Rahul Dravid is to be believed the probability of a result still exists.

"There is a good chance of a result in this Test," said the veteran batsman, before going on to elaborate his point of view.

"The first one-and-a-half sessions tomorrow are going to be decisive," he explained, adding, "If we take a couple of Australian wickets early on, we still have a chance for a result."

The 37-year-old didn't mince his words when describing the Indian collapse.

"We had the upper hand, especially when Sachin [Tendulkar] and [Suresh] Raina were going well at 354 for four," explained Dravid, before admitting, "But we let it (the match), I won't say slip, come back to an even keel."

The former India captain also did not buy the argument that the tail-enders batted recklessly; instead, he credited the Australian bowlers.

"You cannot expect the tail-enders to do it every time," he argued, adding, "sometimes you have to accept the fact that the opposition has played well.

"[Mitchell] Johnson bowled a good spell towards the end. And [Nathan] Hauritz stuck to his task throughout." Dravid, who made 77, wasn't too happy with his own batting as well.

"Laxman had back spasm and could not come out and bat. I should have taken more responsibility," he said.

Asked what he believes would be an ideal score to chase in the fourth innings, Dravid was more forthcoming.

"Anything between 250-260 should be a good total to get on this wicket," he said.

Whether India can win the match or it becomes yet another anti-climax remains to be seen.

Bikash Mohapatra in Mohali