England has made a lot of buzz around the cricket world with their latest Test performance. Their aggression, their belief, their ideation, and execution have been perfect and any team that plays against them would be wary of their talent. But it is the ice-cool coach of team India, Rahul Dravid who is unfazed about any progression. He is focused on the team’s performance and playing a positive brand of cricket. Let’s learn what he talks about the upcoming India-England Edgbaston Test.
“Any which way they play gives us opportunities, to be very honest. I mean, we are leading the series 2-1 and any which way you play the game, we believe it’s up to us. We’ve got to focus on our cricket and not so much worry about what England is doing and what it is they’re playing. We’ve got to focus on what we’ve got to do.
“Credit to them, they played well but we’re pretty confident as well. We believe we’ve been playing some very good cricket, positive cricket over the last few years. We believe that if we play well then we’ve got every chance to do well against them.”
Talking about captaincy woes, Rahul Dravid seemed unclear about who could be the captain. He said, “The update on Rohit is that he’s being monitored by our medical team. He has not yet been ruled out,” Dravid said. “Obviously, he needs to get the negative tests to be available, so we will keep monitoring that; we still got close to 36 hours to go. He’ll have a test later tonight and maybe one tomorrow morning as well and then we’ll see. Obviously, he’ll have to come out of that (isolation) and it’s really up to the medical team and the sports science team to decide.
“I think (who the stand-in captain could be), it’s probably better than the communication comes from the official sources… Once we have some clarity on the exact situation of Rohit, you’ll hear from the official sources. It’s not for me to give out official communication.”
He also talked about which pair is likely to open the innings in the Edgbaston Test.
“Obviously Mayank is a regular opener. We have other options; Bharat has opened in a lot of games for Andhra and showed in that side game that he is batting superbly at the moment. He got 70 and a 40 opening the batting (against Leicestershire) and we got him to open in that innings keeping a lot of things in mind. Pujara has got absolutely great quality, he has opened for India as well in the past, so I wouldn’t want to give things away. But as I said, you know, in our minds, we are actually very clear in the direction we are going to take. But I’m just not at liberty to, and I don’t want to, disclose that. But we have clarity if that’s what you’re asking.”
If Pujara indeed opens, he would be returning to a spot he’s had some success at but it won’t be his regular spot. Hanuma Vihari took up the No 3 position in the home series against Sri Lanka recently and it’s reasonable if India wants him to continue in that role. Dravid has previously spoken about continuity and confidence and walked the talk with an unchanged T20I side against South Africa recently.
“It’s not very different batting at three or opening, it’s not a huge difference,” Dravid said when asked if batting out of position could mean a lot of adjustment for players and in turn the team.
“Yes, I mean, you might not convert yourself into an opener and you might still be comfortable batting at three, but of course if a team requires it or a team demands it, at times you do it and you do it willingly. It’s not like you’re forced to do these things (laughs). You know, you understand your role in the bigger picture, you understand your opportunity. I always see this as a great opportunity to contribute to the larger good and to the whole.
“And not specifically talking only about the number three or opening, I think there are so many other situations… it could be in bowling certain lines and lengths while bowling tight, or bowling particular areas or having certain strategies or playing in a particular manner – that is more probably more attuned to what the team needs you to do.”
Shedding light on Ashwin’s fitness, He brought some clarity on the spinner’s availability.
“Everyone else is fit. Ash was the other one with a bit of a concern because he had COVID but he came to the practice game as well and we got some bowling out of him. He pulled through really well in the nets, so I think the medical team is very happy and comfortable with his ability to be able to play for five days. He’s fit.”
With India camp again reeling with problems much like the last year, India will look to not let this affect the scenario much and focus on their performances. From the coach’s approach, it looks like India is on right track and needs some cheering from the fans.