Dravid impressed with young leaders


Head coach Rahul delighted with Indian captains doing well in recently-concluded Indian Premier League

KL Rahul will lead India in T20Is v SA; (right) Rahul Dravid addresses the media in New Delhi yesterday. Pics/PTI

Success of Indian players as captains in a tournament like IPL will eventually benefit the national team since leadership role helps in accelerating the growth of cricketers, head coach Rahul Dravid said on Tuesday.

Hardik Pandya led Gujarat Titans to title in its maiden season while KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, and Sanju Samson too did a commendable job while leading their respective franchises in the IPL.

Rahul led new entrants Lucknow Super Giants to the playoffs in their maiden season and Samson impressed with his captaincy as he took Rajasthan Royals to a runners-up finish this season.

“It is great that we have a lot of Indian captains doing well. Hardik was one of them. Brilliant. KL did a good job at LSG and Sanju in RR. Shreyas in KKR,” Dravid said at a press conference.

“It is really great to see the young batters leading the team. It helps people grow and develop as players, having to lead teams to make the decisions. It helps you grow as a person and as a player.

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“It is great from our perspective that the younger Indian players are leading well in the IPL,” he added.

India are set to lock horns with South Africa in a five-match T20I series starting here on Thursday.

Several new faces have been named in the Indian squad while the series is also set to feature Pandya and Dinesh Karthik, who make a comeback after stellar IPL campaigns.

Pandya, who struggled with a back and was dropped from the team after team’s disappointing group-round exit from the T20 World Cup last year, returned to competitive cricket in the IPL.

He played a key role in Titans’ success, contributing with the bat and the ball, something that the Indian team had missed desperately during the World Cup last year.

“It is really pleasing to have him back. Hardik at his best is a fantastic cricketer with both bat and ball. He’s been very successful in white-ball cricket and has shown some really good form in this IPL as well,” Dravid said.

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