Dravid is happy that players returning from injuries have been given "game time" ahead of the World Cup. - watsupptoday.com
Dravid is happy that players returning from injuries have been given "game time" ahead of the World Cup.
Posted 28 Sep 2023 12:48 PM


India coach Rahul Dravid is relieved that key players like Jasprit Bumrah, KL Rahul, and Shreyas Iyer, who are all recovering from injuries, will get enough mileage ahead of the ODI World Cup starting a week from now. Bumrah, plagued by a back problem that kept him out for a long time, hit his quota in Mohali and Rajkot - the two matches he played against Australia - but was a little costly in the final third ODI of the series. The fast bowler made a comeback in the T20 series against Ireland last month and also featured in the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka. Iyer, who is expected to bat at number four, hit a hundred in Indore and was also involved with his 48 in Rajkot. Rahul not only scored an impressive two half-centuries but also kept score, allaying concerns about his form. "The playing time was important for all these guys. The fact that they were able to get it is something I think is better," Dravid said after the third ODI, which India lost by 66 runs. "Jassi was able to play a few games and drop his quota of 10 games, Siraj (was) suffering from a bit of an error but came back and was able to bowl," he said.
"(Ashwin) It was really good to see him bowl in the first two games. He also broke 50 overs in KL after almost 6-7 months. "Shreyas has played some very good knocks in the last two games. We know we have to improve, but we hope to carry that momentum into the World Cup as well," the Indian coach added.
Spinner R Ashwin's inclusion in Australia's squad sparked speculation that he could feature in the final World Cup squad. However, David was not done.
All teams must finalize their World Cup squads by Thursday. "We have to wait for an official confirmation or a decision on the matter. The NCA is in touch with the selectors and Ajit (Agarkar), so I will not comment on that. If there are changes, you will know officially, there. There have been no changes so far," Dravid said, suggesting that Axar Patel will remain in the man's team for 15 years. The Indian coach expects a full-strength Indian squad to assemble in Guwahati ahead of the first warm-up match against England on September 30. India had only 13 players to pick for the final against Australia on Wednesday as some members Shardul Thakur, Hardik Pandya. and Mohammed Shami returned home while Ishan Kishan left the squad due to an error away from the competition.
"Two practice or warm-up games, usually people play 15v15, sometimes it's difficult to get intensity in those games, but as we saw in these three games, there was a lot of intensity in hot conditions," added Dravid. "A bit of juggling we had to do in this game, but I hope we have about a week, a few days. We should have a full team, hopefully, the mistakes in the group are gone. It will be good if it happens," said the coach.
Dravid spoke about the big loss in the Rajkot ODI and blamed it on conceding too many runs in the first half of Australia's innings. “Overall, the 350 was probably 30 (rides) too many. We should have chased 320 if we had played better in the first half," he said. Rohit Sharma (81) and Virat Kohli (56) added 70 runs but the team lost the plot when the partnership broke down. Dravid, however, was happy to see that the two senior batsmen were among the runs immediately after the break.
"We were even when Virat and Rohit were batting. We needed one of the top three to get 130 or 140. You need points like that in these parts," he said. "Unfortunately it didn't happen, but it's good from our point of view that both batted really well - that's a positive. They haven't played cricket for a week so it was nice to come in and score some runs for us,” he said.

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