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IPL desk in Mumbai 06 March 2012 - 01:31pm IST

Warne’s had a great influence: Dravid

RR captain acknowledges predecessor’s contribution

Rahul Dravid led Team India in 25 Tests and 79 ODIs. He then captained the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the inaugural edition of the IPL, in 2008. The batting legend is now back at the helm, leading Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2012.

It’s been a while since Dravid’s assumed the role of leader, but the legend is unperturbed by the hiatus.

"Yes, I am leading a side for the first time after 2008, but that doesn't make a difference at all. I am mentally prepared and geared up for the challenge," Dravid said at the launch of the Royals’ new jersey for IPL 2012.

Dravid takes over the reins of the Royals from Shane Warne, who captained and mentored the side for four IPL seasons, also leading them to the crown in 2008. Dravid appreciates the work put in by the Australian legend in creating the team that he is now in charge of.

"Warnie has had a great influence. I've also learnt a lot in the little time I spent with him last season. I even had a chat with him while I was in Australia recently. There are a lot of things that he shared and I am hopeful that this bunch will come good," Dravid said.

Joining Dravid at the jersey launch was S Sreesanth, picked up by the franchise at the IPL Player Auction 2012. Commenting on what he expects from the talented but volatile Indian medium pacer, Dravid said, "Sree has been a world-class performer and is capable of taking wickets with the new ball. That is what counts in any form of the game. I expect him to take a lot of wickets for us and help us repeat our success in the first edition.”

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