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India vs SA, T20Is 2022: Dravid backs Rohit’s decision to opt out; echoes all-format players’ needs

Rahul Dravid backs Rohit Sharma's decision to opt out from India vs South Africa T20I series.

India vs SA, T20Is 2022: Rahul Dravid addressing media ahead of India vs SA, 1st T20I. (Images: ©BCCI)
Dravid addressing media ahead of India vs SA, 1st T20I. (Images: ©BCCI)

“Important to manage the workload of the players who are playing all three formats,” Dravid backs Rohit

Ahead of the first T20I between India and South Africa at Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi, India’s head coach Rahul Dravid backed Rohit Sharma for opting out of the series against South Africa.

“Rohit is our all-format player. It would be unwise to expect everyone to be available all the time. We want them to be fit and fresh as well. There would be times when we would have to rest our big players,” Dravid said in a press conference.

Workload Management of essence

Furthermore, the head coach believes it’s important to rest players considering the T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia.

“Important to manage the workload of the players who are playing all three formats, we can’t expect every individual to be available for every single game, we want to ensure they are fit for the big tournaments and peaking in the big games,” he added.

Dravid pleased to have Hardik Pandya back

India missed the vintage Hardik Pandya in ICC T20 World Cup 2021 and when asked about the prolific all-rounder, the 49-year-old former India captain seemed pretty excited.

“Very pleasing to have Hardik Pandya back. Hardik’s leadership was impressive right through the IPL. It would help if you have a designated leader to be part of the leadership group. From our perspective, we would want to get the best out of his batting bowling and fielding,” the head coach asserted.

Top Three expected to deliver good starts

More often than not India’s top three in T20I have been criticized for slow strike rates during mid-overs and when asked about the approach of the top order batters, the former captain believes that the team has got quality batters upfront and they know their roles pretty well.

“We are looking for good starts. We know our top 3. If it is a high-scoring game, we would want them to maintain that strike rate throughout but there would be tricky matches too. We have the kind of quality at top 3, who can deliver,” Dravid stated.

Karthik – India’s designated finisher

Moreover, the former number three is hopeful of the wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik who had a terrific IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) with 330 runs in 15 matches and expects him to fire for the Indian team as well.

“With Dinesh, it is clear with the role. At the backend of the game, he can make a difference. That’s why he has been picked, to bat in those positions and deliver for India as well,” the 49-year-old insisted.

Speaking about the probable XI against the Proteas in the first T20I and whether Umran Malik will make his India debut or not, the head coach hinted that they may not start with the speedster in the first T20I.

“He’s quick and improving with every outing. He has a lot to learn. We have to be realistic about the game time because we have a large squad,” Dravid replied.

India will take the ground against South Africa on June 9 with a joint record of 12 consecutive wins in T20Is. When asked about the world record, the head coach says they are just focusing on playing a good brand of cricket.

“We are not thinking about the world record. We don’t pay attention to such stats. If we play well, we will win and if we don’t, we won’t,” Dravid concluded.

The five-match T20I series between India and South Africa will conclude on June 19 with the fifth T20I between the two sides scheduled to be held at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.


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