India’s stand-in head coach Rahul Dravid has stated that the recent Sri Lanka tour was a good learning experience for young Indian batsmen. As the Indian team was hit by Covid-19 before the second T20I, a lot of players got a chance to make their International debut.
Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana and Chetan Sakariya made their debut in the second T20I as nine players had to isolate themselves after they were identified as close contacts with Krunal Pandya, who was tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday. Furthermore, Sandeep Warrier made his T20I debut in the third T20I as Navdeep Saini suffered a shoulder injury in the second match.
Meanwhile, the young Indian batsmen could not grab their chances in the last two matches but they have learned a lot. It was not the easiest of pitches in the final two matches as the track was on the slow side and the young Indian batsmen, who are used to playing on featherbed in the IPL, failed to get going on the difficult pitch.
Dravid added that the challenge was to post a total of 135-140 runs but the team could not do it. The batting unit also lacked experience at the International level and the visitors had to play with only five batsmen in their final XI after players had to isolate themselves due to precautionary measures.
“They (India’s batsmen) would’ve liked to have scored a few more runs certainly. But it is a great opportunity to learn and reflect on the fact that not all wickets are going to be flat and we need a way to scrap and find a way to score 130-140 on wickets like these and bat in these conditions. It’s really good learning,” Dravid, who’s coaching India on this tour of Sri Lanka, said.
“They’re all young players, they haven’t played a lot in these kinds of conditions, they haven’t played a lot of international cricket so I think it is a great opportunity to reflect on these performances, reflect on these conditions and maybe come up with some better strategies. Let’s be fair, we don’t get these kinds of conditions very often in T20 cricket, but when you do I think you need to have the response and I think you need to be able to play slightly better. You’re not going to get 180 scores on wickets like this but you need to find a way to get 135-140. So I think it is going to be a good learning for a lot of these young guys. They’re all youngsters and we need to have patience with them and we need to give them more opportunities so that they can develop.
Dravid added that he is not disappointed with the paltry performance of the young Indian team in the last two matches and the young players must have learned a lot after playing for the national team. The former legendary batsman feels the management and selectors should give more opportunities to these young guns to get the best out of them.
“I am not disappointed. I think they’re young batters and they’re going to learn and they have to keep improving and get better. And it is only when they’re exposed to these kinds of conditions and this quality of bowling… I think the Sri Lankan team’s bowling attack is their international bowling attack. They’re missing a few batsmen because of various reasons but this is a top-quality attack. So I am not disappointed,” Dravid said.