Rahul Dravid: Need to be patient with youngsters


Head coach Rahul Dravid has called for patience as the Indian team goes through a rebuilding phase for the next cycle of the T20 World Cup and the youngsters in the side get some experience. Dravid felt inexperience was one of the main reasons for India’s 16-run defeat to Sri Lanka in the second T20I here. The former India captain pointed out that while the visitors had a pretty sorted playing XI, the hosts fielded a completely different side than the one which played the T20 World Cup less than two months back. “They [youngsters in the team] are very skilful, but as they are learning, it’s a tough [job]. It’s not easy learning in international cricket and you have to learn on the job. So, we’ve got to have a little bit of patience with these guys,” Dravid said at the post-match press conference on Thursday.

Rahul Dravid

Dravid said the team was in the rebuilding phase, given the “next cycle of the T20 [World Cup]” had started. He added that youngsters will be handled patiently and will continue to get support from the team management, hinting that it could be the end of the road for the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. “For us, it was a slightly different scenario [in the T20I series against Sri Lanka] in the sense that from the last game we played against England in the semi-final of the World Cup, we’ve probably only 3-4 boys in the playing XI [now]. 

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“So, we are in a slightly different stage of looking at the next cycle of [the] T20 [World Cup]. So, a slightly younger team.” With the focus shifting to the 50-over World Cup in India, Dravid feels it is the right time to give as many opportunities to youngsters in T20s as possible. “The good thing is this year we have the [50-over] World Cup. Because a lot of focus will be on the 50-over World Cup, and the World Test Championship, at least the T20 games that we have, it probably gives us the opportunity to try out a lot of the younger guys.” India are fielding a new-look side comprising youngsters including Shivam Mavi, Umran Malik, Shubman Gill and Rahul Tripathi.

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