India's Dravid hoping for third time lucky

India’s coach Rahul Dravid is hoping his team can put behind memories of two finals defeats last year when they face <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:South Africa;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">South Africa</a> in Saturday's T20 World Cup final. (NOAH SEELAM)

India head into Saturday's T20 World Cup final against South Africa hoping it will be third time lucky as the cricketing powerhouse looks to deliver a world title after successive defeats in finals.

The combination of coach Rahul Dravid and captain Rohit Sharma experienced the double disappointment last year of defeat in the World Test Championship final and the 50-over World Cup -- losing both to Australia.

The country which more than any other popularised the shortest form with the hugely successful Indian Premier League now stands on the brink of their second T20 World Cup title and first since the inaugral edition in 2007.

Dravid, who is standing down as coach after this tournament, prefers to view the two runners-up spots as a positive sign of the team's consistency across formats.

"I think it's good that we are consistent and playing good cricket. For many years, especially in the last year, being number one in all three formats, playing in the finals, it gives a lot of credit to the boys who are Test cricketers, who are our one-day players and also our T20 players.

"Indian cricket has shown a lot of consistency and it is a very happy thing. And if we play well and if we have the rub of the green, then we will win," he said.

The 50-over World Cup defeat was particularly painful with the expectant home crowd in Ahmedabad expecting a celebration but witnessing Australia win with seven overs to spare.

Dravid doesn't believe there is a need to approach Saturday's game at Kensington Oval any differently than for last year's ODI defeat however.

"I thought we were very well prepared in that final in Ahmedabad as well. We had done all the things, we had ticked all the boxes and, on the day, the other team played better and that's part of the sport," he said.

- 'Two top teams' -

"The other team that is coming there to play has also obviously reached the final, because they're a good team and they're playing very good cricket as well. So, they have as much right to win it as we do. But we hope that we will play better cricket on the day," he added.

South Africa certainly fit that description -- like India they head into the final unbeaten throughout the entire tournament.

South Africa are looking for their first World Cup title having never managed to clinch in either format since their return to international cricket in 1991.

But Dravid doesn't think that pressure of South Africa's long wait, which was punctuated only by a Champions Trophy win in 1998, will add extra pressure.

"It's not that the same players have been playing since 1991. Many players have come and gone. I don't think that really matters. I can't speak for any of them. I don't think players go in keeping the baggage of the past and what has happened in the past," he said.

"Every day is a fresh day. Players are very good at moving on from things, of recognising things. So yes, I think just as we will move on from Ahmedabad, I'm sure they will not be thinking about history and it will be a fresh day," he said.

The surface in Barbados should be one of the more batting-friendly surfaces in what has been a low-scoring tournament and Dravid expects an entertaining spectacle.

"Two good teams, two teams I think that everyone will agree that probably the top two teams in this tournament played the best cricket I think in this tournament, both South Africa and India.

"So, deserving finals for both the teams and hopefully it's a great game of cricket and hopefully we fall on the right side," he said.