File pic of Rahul Dravid.© BCCI
Indian cricket team head coach Rahul Dravid doesn’t want to put a timeline but by the end of the England T20Is, he wants to have a fair idea about the 18 to 20-odd players he would be looking at for the T20 World Cup in Australia. India and England will clash in six white-ball games (July 7-17) after the one-off Test. “As you come closer and closer to the event, you want to firm up your final squad or if not, obviously you want to have some contingencies in the kind of world we live in today. Obviously you want to take only 15 to the WC but (need to identify) top 18 to 20 players,” he replied to a query on where he stands on his core team.
“Obviously, there could be the odd changes due to injury and things that are beyond your control but we are going to start looking to firm up that squad as quickly as possible.
“Whether that will happen in next series (Ireland) or series after that (England) is hard to tell but we are certainly looking to do that as quickly as possible,” he revealed.
If there were two people who have not done themselves any favours to get into the T20 World Cup squad, they are Ruturaj Gaikwad (96 runs in 5 games) and Shreyas Iyer (94 runs in 5 games). Gaikwad is looking completely out of place in international cricket and Iyer’s struggle against quality pace bowling is now well-documented.
The head coach, however, chose to be a bit more empathetic towards the duo.
“We are not going to make knee-jerk reactions on people just like that. I don’t like judging people after one series or one game,” Dravid said.
“Shreyas on a couple of tricky wickets showed a lot of intent, played really positively for us. Ruturaj in one innings showed what he has got. We are not disappointed with anyone,” Dravid once again showed the dogged defence of his playing days.
“As a group, we wanted to play a certain brand of cricket and we were trying to play a slightly more positive and attacking brand of cricket right from beginning and we knew when you try and do that, it is not always going to come off. But we are certainly clear about the kind of cricket we want to play,” he said.
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