Chance for a few to push for the one or two spots: Dravid

Rahul Dravid. File.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Ahead of his maiden assignment with India’s senior team as head coach, Rahul Dravid has said that the forthcoming limited-overs series in Sri Lanka will offer fringe players an opportunity to make one last push for the T20 World Cup.

“These are the only games before the T20 World Cup, and am sure the selectors and management have a fair idea by now on the squad they are looking for,” Dravid said on Sunday. “It’s a chance for a few people to push for the one or two spots the management may be looking for, just to give them a few more options over the next few T20s.”

Dravid will be in charge along with captain Shikhar Dhawan for the tour, comprising three ODIs and three T20Is, starting on July 13. The squad will leave for Colombo on Monday. The head coach said he will have a detailed discussion with the leadership group of the Test squad in England before the Sri Lanka series.

“I have had a little bit of contact with the team management in England, didn’t want to disturb them during the WTC final but will touch base over the next couple of weeks on what their plans are,” Dravid said.

The absence of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma has meant Dhawan will lead India for a full series for the first time. Stressing that it’s “an honour” to lead India, Dhawan said the squad has the firepower required to succeed in the shorter formats.

Lot of excitement

“This is a very good team. We are positive and confident that we will do well. There is a lot of excitement. It is a new challenge and a great opportunity for all of us to show our talent,” he said.

Dhawan is set to open the innings with Prithvi Shaw, who has earned a recall, with promising openers Dedvutt Padikkal and Ruturaj Gaikwad also in the squad. Coach Dravid, clarifying that everyone in the squad of 20 is unlikely to get a chance, stressed that the youngsters shouldn’t treat the tour as the only opportunity to impress the selectors.

“It’s a crucial tour for a lot of members in the team. That doesn’t mean it’s a life-or-death situation, it doesn’t mean if you don’t have a good tour of Sri Lanka, you’ll never make it. Neither does that mean that if you do well against Sri Lanka you automatically make it. There’s a lot that goes into it,” he said.

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2021 10:54:56 PM |

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