India tour of England, 2022
“The update on Rohit is that our medical team is monitoring him. He has not been ruled out yet.” © Getty
It’s only been a week since Rahul Dravid has been to England, but he hasn’t given up on the noise of England’s latest upgrades under Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes. India’s head coach could not see “too much” of England’s series win over New Zealand, he admits, and that is probably why he so skillfully made the case for the “very positive brand of cricket” that India is playing as well. The last few years.
“To be honest, we have been on a very positive side,” Dravid said in the lead-up to India’s fifth Test against England on Wednesday (June 29). “We were second in the World Championship cycle last year. This year, we are third in the table just below the top two. So we have been very successful. I mean we have been able to get 20 wickets and win Test matches. Very successful. For me it is positive cricket as well.
“Last week, we prepared as well as we did at Leicester. We had a really good four-day game, we were able to mix and match and gave a lot of our guys good opportunities against our own bowlers… challenging wickets , So we feel that we have done our best in our schedule to prepare our players to the best of our ability. Some boys have missed out on the T20I series against South. In Africa and Ireland too, so we have Tried to prioritize this Test match and try to prepare as best as possible to be able to compete and play my brand of cricket – which I think is a very positive brand. Cricket, you know, Against any opposition and I think against whatever they throw at us.
Dravid said India were not focusing on the brand of cricket that England intended to bring, and that their bowlers would not rely on opportunities from England’s aggressive style.
“The way they play it gives us a chance to be honest. I mean we are leading the series 2-1 and the way you play the game, we believe it It’s up to us. We have to focus on ourselves. Don’t worry too much about cricket and what England is doing and what they are playing. We have to focus on what we have to do.
“To his credit, he played well, but we are also very confident. We believe we have been playing some very good cricket, positive cricket over the years. We believe that if we do well If we play, we have every chance to do well against them.”
If not Rohit Sharma then who?
Part of India’s preparation will have to be decided should India captain Rohit Sharma not complete his COVID-19 isolation on time. India don’t even have a designated vice-captain in KL Rahul’s absence, and Dravid was adamant on who could be the stand-in leader.
Dravid said, “The update about Rohit is that our medical team is monitoring him. He has not been released yet.” “Obviously he needs to get a negative test to be available, so we’ll keep monitoring him; we’ve still got about 36 hours to go. He’ll have a test later tonight and maybe even tomorrow morning and then we Will see. Obviously he has to come out of that (isolation) and that is really for the medical team and the sports science team to decide.
“I think (who could be the stand-in captain), it is probably better that communication comes from official sources…Once we get some clarity on Rohit’s exact position, you will hear from official sources. It’s not for me to give official communication.”
Ashwin is fit and available
The good news is that Ravichandran Ashwin, who was recently laid off with COVID-19 and could not travel to the UK with the team, is available for selection.
“Everyone else is fit. Ash was a little worried because he had COVID but he also came into the practice game and we got some bowling from him. He pulled really well in the nets, so I guess the medical team for five days Very happy and comfortable with the ability to be able to play. He is fit.”
Can the priest open?
Dravid said it was clear to India who would open in Rohit’s absence, but he kept the card to his chest. Mayank Agarwal, who was immediately sent in as cover for Rohit, may not be an automatic selection.
“Obviously Mayank is a regular opener. We have other options. India have opened for Andhra in many matches and in that side game they have shown that he is batting brilliantly at the moment. He has scored 70 more batting. Scored 40 runs (against Leicestershire) and we asked him to open in that innings keeping in mind a lot of things. Pujara has great quality, he has opened for India in the past, so I will keep things in check. Don’t want to give away. But like I said, you know, in our minds, we’re actually pretty clear in the direction we’re headed. But I don’t have the liberty to, and I don’t want to disclose that. But we have clarity, if that’s what you’re asking.”
If Pujara does indeed open, he will return to a place where he has had some success, but it will not be his regular spot. Hanuma Vihari recently took the No. 3 spot in the home series against Sri Lanka and it is fitting that India would want him to continue in that role. Dravid has previously spoken about consistency and confidence, and recently spoke with an unchanged T20I side against South Africa.
Asked if batting out of position could mean a lot of adjustment for the players and the team, Dravid said, “It’s not a huge difference batting on three or opening, it’s not a huge difference.”
“Yeah, I mean, you can’t convert yourself into an opener and you can still be comfortable batting at three, but certainly if a team needs it or a team needs it. demands, so sometimes you do it and you do it voluntarily. It’s not like you’re compelled to do these things (laughs). You know, you understand your role in the bigger picture Well, you understand your opportunity. I always see it as a great opportunity to contribute to the greater good and overall.
“And not specifically talking about just number three or openings, I think there are a lot of other situations like that… – what you need to do to the team is probably more friendly.”