Rahul Dravid: We know we have to keep improving but also hope that we carry this momentum into the World Cup
India coach Rahul Dravid is relieved that key players like Jasprit Bumrah, KL Rahul, and Shreyas Iyer, who are all recovering from injuries, put enough miles on their legs ahead of the ODI World Cup while talking about the big loss in the Rajkot ODI, Dravid blamed it on giving away too many runs in the first half of the Australian innings.
India coach Rahul Dravid is relieved that key players like Jasprit Bumrah, KL Rahul, and Shreyas Iyer, who are all recovering from injuries, to put enough miles on their legs ahead of the ODI World Cup, which begins in a week.
Bumrah, who was troubled by a back problem that held him out for a while, bowled his full quota of overs at the two games he played against Australia at Mohali and Rajkot, although he was a bit expensive in the third ODI.
Last month, the fast bowler made a comeback during the T20 series against Ireland. He also participated in the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka.
Iyer, who will likely bat at number four, scored a hundred in Indore and added 48 in Rajkot.
Rahul’s superb batting performance included two half centuries, but he also kept wickets, allaying any doubts about his fitness.
“For all those guys game-time was important. The fact that they have been able to get that is I think something that we are much better off for it,”Dravid said after the third ODI that India lost by 66 runs.
“Jassi has been able to play a couple of games and bowl his quota of 10 overs, Siraj (was) suffering from a little bit of bug but he got back and was able to bowl,”he said.
“(For) Ashwin, it was nice to see the way he bowled in the first two games. KL as well, the keeping right through the 50 overs, he is coming off after almost 6-7 months.
“Shreyas has played a couple of really good knocks in the last couple of games. We know we have to keep improving but also hope that we carry this momentum into the World Cup,” the India coach added.
Off-spinner R Ashwin’s selection for the Australia series had led to rumors that he might make the final World Cup squad. However, David was non-committal. By Thursday, all teams must have decided on their World Cup squads.
“We have to wait for an official confirmation or a decision on that. The NCA is in touch with the selectors and Ajit (Agarkar) so I will not make any comments on that. If there is any change you will get to hear about it officially, as of now there are no changes,”Dravid said, hinting that Axar Patel will be retained in the 15-man squad.
The India coach hopes India’s full-strength squad to arrive in Guwahati ahead of the first warm-up match against England on September 30.
India only had 13 players to choose from when they faced Australia on Wednesday because certain players, including Shardul Thakur, Hardik Pandya, and Mohammed Shami, returned home, and Ishan Kishan was unable to play due to a bug going around in the group.
“The two practice or warm-up games, generally people play 15 versus 15, it is tough to sometimes get the intensity in those games but as we have seen in these three games, in hot conditions there has been a lot of intensity as well,”Dravid added.
“There was a bit of juggling we had to manage in this game but I am hoping that we have got about a week, we have got a few days. We should have the full-strength squad; hopefully, the bug around the group has cleared out as well. It will be nice if that happens,”the coach said.
Talking about the big loss in the Rajkot ODI, Dravid blamed it on giving away too many runs in the first half of the Australian innings.
“In the overall scheme of things probably 350 was 30 (runs) too many. We should have been chasing 320 if we had bowled better in the first half,”he said.
When their partnership was broken, Rohit Sharma (81) and Virat Kohli (56) added 70 runs, but the team lost its way. However, Dravid was happy to see that the two senior batters were in scoring position immediately after a break.
“We were on par when Virat and Rohit were batting. We needed one of the top three to get 130 or 140. In these chases you need these kinds of scores,”he said.
“Unfortunately it did not happen, but a good thing from our perspective is that both of them batted really well — that is a positive. They are coming off not playing cricket for a week so it was nice to get straight into it and get runs for us,” he said.
The high-octane clash of the mega event will be played between Pakistan and India on October 14 while the fans are eagerly waiting for the clash. India World Cup squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya (vc), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav.