After India’s disastrous 1-2 loss against Sri Lanka, India’s head coach Rahul Dravid has stated that some of the youngsters were under-prepared but insisted that the talent wasn’t missing. Dravid also was vocal that he wasn’t disappointed with the efforts and stated that they will keep improving.
While India dominated the first T20I of the three-match series, the two matches post the win has been a landslide loss for the visitors, who missed almost eight players because of the COVID-19 protocols. Despite the challenge, the visitors fielded a playing XI, that consisted of only five specialist batsmen, which ultimately was the difference in the last two encounters.
India’s loss at the hand of Sri Lanka has definitely irked several fans but India’s head coach Rahul Dravid was having none of that, revealing that some players were underprepared but definitely admitted that the talent was there. Alongside that, the former Indian batsman stated that ‘time’ and experience would allow the youngsters to improve several facets of their game in international cricket.
“To be honest, some of them were under-prepared. But I don’t think the talent is missing, either in spin bowling or in the batting. We just need a little bit more experience in being able to figure out a few more different kinds of shots when we’re challenged with these kind of pitches. We just need to figure out a couple of more options. It was tough batting for them (Sri Lanka) as well,” stated Rahul Dravid in the post-match press conference.
Dravid also backed the young team to improve over the years, narrating his own personal experience stating that everyone in their career have struggled to play quality bowling, early on in their careers. The Indian coach also stated that battling in the challenging conditions certainly was a great learning curve for the young stars.
“We’re kind of used to playing games where the scores are 160, 180, sometimes 200. But sometimes in challenging conditions, you’ve just got to learn how to scrap and fight your way to 130-140. I think that’s a great learning for our young players.”
Alongside that, the former Indian batsman insisted that the younger generation of players need to be blood with the senior players, which would then allow for them to ease into international cricket, which is a big step up from the domestic games. He also added that the series provides a great opportunity for the youngsters to reflect on their performances.
“I’m not disappointed. They are young batters, they have to keep improving and getting better. The Sri Lankan team’s bowling attack is their international bowling attack. They’re missing a few batsmen because of various reasons, but this is a top quality attack. So it’s a great opportunity to reflect on these performances, reflect on these conditions, and maybe come up with some slightly better strategies,” he added.
While the majority of the squad was built up with youngsters, the presence of Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar certainly brought about a sense of responsibility and leadership in the camp. Dravid applauded the duo and the leadership group for creating an environment that was terrific.
“The way Shikhar and Bhuvi [Bhuvneshwar Kumar, vice-captain for the tour] and the leadership group [led], the environment that they created was terrific as well. Just as much as it was tough for us and not an easy situation to be in, we’re lucky to play cricket as well,” he stated.
Dravid also touched upon the bio-bubble fatigue, stating that the series was a great breakthrough during the tough times and applauded the team for handling themselves shuttling between the ground and the hotel rooms over the past 45 days, with only six matches being played.
“In times like this over the last year and a half, we’ve seen a lot of people go through a lot of suffering, go through some very, very difficult times. In some ways, we feel blessed to be able to do what we can and what we do. I can’t really be more proud of the way the boys handled themselves over 45 days, having only six matches to play.”