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‘Not going to reveal our cards, but…’: Team India head coach Rahul Dravid on opening pair | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Head coach Rahul Dravid remained tight-lipped when questioned about India’s opening combination for their T20 World Cup opener against Ireland on June 5. While Rohit Sharma is anticipated to partner with Virat Kohli at the top of the order, there is also speculation regarding Yashasvi Jaiswal as a potential option.
“We’ve got options, so we are obviously not going to reveal our cards just yet, but certainly we’ve got options.We have Rohit and Jaiswal and Virat opened in the IPL as well.
“We picked the team keeping in mind that we have three options and we could pick and choose what we wanted depending on the conditions and kind of combination we go into these games with,” said Dravid while talking to reporters in New York.
The playing surface at the Nassau County ground has drawn attention due to its inconsistent bounce and sluggish outfield. However, Dravid chose not to voice any grievances regarding the pitch conditions. Dravid emphasized that his squad will focus on adjusting their game to suit the current state of the ground.
“We had three practice sessions here. From the third session onwards, the wicket became better. But a wicket is a wicket. We don’t want to label it as bad or good. It is a wicket and you have to manage and you have to adjust to it. So we will not complain about the wicket.”
A score of 200 was considered a par in the recently concluded IPL, but here at this venue, it appears to be more than just a par score; it seems like a winning score.
“As we talk about T20 cricket, maybe we won’t be able to play like that in this tournament. Maybe in this venue. We will hopefully play in many venues. So, it will be different there. So, it will be important to adapt.”
South Africa captain Aiden Markram echoed sentiments about the challenging batting conditions after the low-scoring game against Sri Lanka on Monday, emphasizing the tough surface to bat on.
Dravid emphasized once again that his players will need to adapt to the varied conditions, echoing the sentiment of resilience and flexibility in approaching the game.
“I didn’t watch the match today. We will see the recording. But the score was a little low (Sri Lanka were shot out for 77). I have no idea what exactly happened. But if it is like that, then you will have to fight and make 140.
“Maybe that will be the winning score. In some matches, there will be a winning score of 200. So whatever the score is, you will have to react and adapt.”

‘We have played good cricket in world events’

Dravid defended the performance of the players in the recent ICC events, acknowledging the team’s efforts despite falling short at crucial moments. India lost the WTC final and ODI World Cup final to Australia last year, extending their title drought on the global stage.
The team’s last ICC title came in 2013. While the outcomes may have been disappointing, Dravid likely emphasized the need to learn from these experiences and strive for improvement in future tournaments.
“To be very honest with you, I think we’ve actually played really well in these World Cup tournaments. In terms of our consistency, we’ve been very consistent,” said Dravid when asked if the past defeats have made the players better prepared for this event.
“Obviously making the semi-final in Australia (2022). The World Test Championship is slightly different, it’s not one tournament, but it’s a whole cycle but playing extremely well in that cycle to get to the final there again.
“And then we know the 50-over World Cup where we had a great run and went into the final. So, in terms of our consistency and quality of cricket that we have played in these big tournaments, we’ve been right up there with some of the best teams.”
The coach expressed the team’s determination to maintain their high standards and aim for ultimate success.
“Yes, we probably haven’t been able to get across the line in the knockout game. So, we just probably haven’t been able to execute in that last phase. So, hopefully we play good cricket to get ourselves into those positions again and then maybe play good cricket on the day to cross the line.
“The important thing when you start these tournaments is not to think about that, is to actually think about getting into those positions. You have to find yourselves in those positions where you are pushing for glory and that’s all you can do as a group and as a team,” said Dravid.
He also expressed missing the buzz that is typically associated with a world event but remained hopeful that it would change when Team India plays their games.
“The buzz that you have around these events, obviously with cricket not being, say, one of the major sports in this country. So you don’t kind of feel that kind of buzz over here. But hopefully once our game starts and a lot of the Indian fans do start coming in, you start seeing that similar kind of excitement.”
(With PTI inputs)

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