Top three to get role clarity from Rahul Dravid
Head coach Rahul Dravid has said that on the road to this year’s T20 World Cup, it will be important to give captain Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli clarity regarding their respective roles.
Rohit and former captain Kohli aren’t part of the five-match T20I series versus South Africa, where India will be led by Rahul. But the trio are expected to be the top three in India’s batting line-up in the World Cup and the games preceding the showpiece event.
“We know the quality of our top three. They are simply top class. In general, you want people to play positive cricket in T20s, and these people do that.
“Their roles might be slightly different to what we expect of them. But we’ll be giving them a lot of clarity as to what their roles are. I’m confident anyone in the top three will be able to play the role in accordance with the match situation,” Dravid said on Tuesday, ahead of Thursday’s series opener at the Kotla in New Delhi.
The team management’s focus is on ensuring the likes of Rohit, Rahul and Kohli remain fit for all the major competitions and it’s crucial to manage their workload, Dravid categorically mentioned.
“It’s unrealistic to expect all the all-format players to be available for every series,” Dravid said. “We need to ensure that they are fit for all the big tournaments and are peaking at the right time. We also have the Test match in the UK spilling from last year and we need to ensure we have the best side for that.
“With the kind of busy schedule we have, there are times we need to rest our big players. It gives youngsters opportunities and increases the depth of our squad.
“It’s the balance between managing the workload of some of the players. We’ll do that over the next six months,” the head coach added.
Alongside leading Gujarat Titans to IPL triumph in their debut season, Hardik Pandya contributed with both bat and ball to finish with impressive figures. Dravid acknowledged that as a plus.
“Hardik at his best is a fantastic cricketer with both bat and ball. His leadership was very impressive in the IPL.
“Also, you don’t have to be designated as a leader to be part of the leadership group. At this point in time, from our perspective, it’s a positive that he has started bowling again. It’s about ensuring that we get the best out of him as a cricketer in terms of contributions,” Dravid explained.
About pace sensation Umran Malik, Dravid said the youngster might have to wait a little before he gets a chance in the playing XI.