Ind-SA T20I series: Dravid looking to give players long rope for staking claim to World Cup spots


The buzz in the T20I series between India and South Africa was linked to Umran Malik, a 22-year-old fast bowler who regularly challenged the speedgun during the Indian Premier League. India played five matches – the last game in Bangalore on Sunday was abandoned after 3.3 overs due to rain – but Malik didn’t get a single game. Welcome to Rahul Dravidgurukul.

This episode was Malik’s apprenticeship along with left-hand seamstress Arshdeep Singh, giving the feel of an Indian locker room. Dravid believed in the process as a player and later as a captain. He follows him as the head coach of the Indian national team.

Back in 1996, when the Indian team was probably in camp before the World Cup, Dravid, as a young player, was a strong contender to make the final team. However, the then selection committee preferred the experience of youth, and Dravid’s roommate, current Indian batting team coach Vikram Ratur, confirmed that the former told him about how he scored hundreds of points in the following Ranji Trophy matches to earn his selection for participation in the test series. in England which followed the World Cup.

Dravid believed in gradual progress. Maliki and Arshdipas will have to serve their period of extra work.

Even as calls to bring in Malik grew louder, after the hosts suffered back-to-back losses and a double loss in the series, the head coach remained deaf to the outside noise. The same 11 players were selected for all five matches, and the main thing in the game is stability. The T20I series, ahead of the World Cup in Australia in four months, is the preparation for the ICC tournament, and players need to play several matches in a row to prove their mettle. A young team without superstars has shown that it has the character to bounce back from setbacks.

“I don’t like to judge people after one series or one game. The guys who got the opportunity here really deserve this opportunity. They have earned it. In this game format, you will have some good games and some bad ones. Shreyas (Ayer) at the beginning of the game on a couple of tricky wickets showed a lot of intentions and played very positively for us. Ruthuraj (Gaiquad) showed in one particular inning what qualities and skills he has,” Dravid said at the post-match press conference.

He added: “As you get closer to the events, you want to be able to strengthen your latest lineup. You obviously only take 15 for the World Cup, but you obviously want to have 18-20 players (in the mix) and you clearly understand that. We certainly strive to strengthen this squad as quickly as possible.”

Inspiring performances

The series ended well, but there were plenty of positive conclusions for India. Ishan Kishan came here after a miserable IPL for Mumbai Indians. 206 runs in five games with 150-plus strikes will help him regain his confidence. Harshal Patel took seven wickets, including four for. He can claim a place in the T20 World Championship. The most inspiring aspect was how he learned from his mistakes. After being sent to the purge by David Miller in the first game in Delhi, the average player reversed his length against the South African Marauder, taking him down in both Vizag and Rajkot. The rear end is where Miller is most vulnerable in this format. His hitting rate drops to around 112 from his career hitting 141.71 with bowlers targeting that 10-meter mark (from the burst crease). Harshal quickly realized this and neutralized the southpaw’s power punch.

Dinesh Kartik found a second wind, confirming the decision of the selectors to return him to the fold of India on the basis of his exploits in the IPL. Together with Hardik Pandya, he could play the role of a finisher in the World Championship.

The biggest positive was Bhuvneshwar Kumar, a revived bowler who won Man of the Series honors. The average athlete looked like he had run his race after the last T20 World Cup. But the breeders and management of the team believed in its quality and experience. Kumar took six wickets in four innings in that series with an economical rate of six runs per over.

“I’m always focused on getting stronger again, whether it’s bowling or fitness. I have been playing for many years; my role has always been the same. Second bowl in Powerplay, second bowl at the end. These things are always the same, but as an elder I always think about helping the youth. I was lucky that the captain gave me a full hand and said do what you want. In that regard, I have been blessed,” the 32-year-old said at the presentation on Sunday.

The refreshing change in approach to batting was another positive. India appears to have finally abandoned its outdated slow-burn tactics, instead embracing aggression from the outset. “From the beginning we wanted to play a slightly more positive and attacking form of cricket and we knew that it would not always work out. But we are certainly clear about the kind of cricket we want to play,” Dravid said.

revolving doors

It is unlikely that he will be overly concerned Rishab Panta string of low ratings, although the nature of the substitute skipper’s layoffs was very similar. Before Sunday’s match, the head coach was seen working with a left-hander at the gate. A player with his talent will sooner or later regain form.

India captain Rishab Pant, right, and South Africa’s Keshav Maharaj pose with the winner’s cup after the last Twenty20 cricket match between India and South Africa was canceled due to rain in Bangalore, India, Sunday, June 19, 2022 . (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

Of Pant’s captaincy thrown into the deep end after KL Rahulinjury, it was supposed to be a work in progress. “Captainship is not only winning and losing. He is a young captain. He is constantly learning and growing as a leader. It’s too early to judge him (after one episode),” Dravid said.

India will have a new captain, Hardik, for the upcoming two-match T20I series in Ireland, as Pant joins the test team in Birmingham. Over the past eight months, India has had five different captains in different formats and Hardik will be the sixth. The head coach saw this as a plus.

“It was fun. It was also difficult. Probably in the last eight months we had about six captains with whom we worked, this was not part of our plans. But yes, it’s just the nature of the pandemic game and the number of matches we’re playing. Managing the squad, the workload, and also changing the captain… It meant that I had to work with quite a lot of people,” he told the leading TV channel.

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Half of the team would choose themselves for the World Cup. Otherwise, Dravid makes sure they don’t play (in the run-up) by looking over his shoulder. Seizing opportunities will keep them in competition. Those who miss their chances do not deserve to be selected for the Cup.



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