• Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Sports

Nice to see the confidence of young India, says coach Rahul Dravid

Rohit Sharma’s men lost the opener but bounced back to clinch the five Test series after the fourth game

ahul Dravid

By: Eastern Eye

INDIA coach Rahul Dravid last Saturday (9) praised his team’s rising young talent for confidently filling the gap left by senior players after their 4-1 win in a high-profile England series.

Rohit Sharma’s men lost the opener but bounced back to clinch the five Test series after the fourth game, and then hammered England by an innings and 64 runs in the final Test inside three days in the northern city of Dharamsala.

“I think just the fact that we lost the first Test match, had to bounce back from there, had to do it with a slightly different team to the one that we probably expected to start the series with a few months ago,” Dravid said. “It does make you feel really proud and happy for the way the team’s evolved, the team’s grown and just happy for the boys.”

India was missing several top stars including Virat Kohli, who sat out the series due to the birth of his second child, and the injured KL Rahul and Mohammad Shami, but new talent delivered in their place.

Opener Yashasvi Jaiswal, 22, led the batting total for both sides with 712 runs – including double centuries in matches two and three – to be named man of the series.

Batsmen Sarfaraz Khan and Devdutt Padikkal, wicketkeeper Dhruv Jurel and fast bowler Akash Deep also made impressive debuts.

“I think it’s just nice to see the confidence of the young India in some ways,” said Dravid.

“Just the amount of exposure these young boys have, by the time they’re 22-23, the amount of cricket they’ve played, certainly does help.

“They are a lot more confident, they have a lot more belief in their abilities. From our perspective, it’s just about trying to keep things quite relaxed in the dressing room.

“I believe it’s very hard to get into an Indian team. You have to really earn it, there’s a lot of competition.”

India lost the opener by 28 runs but came back with big wins including a 434-run thrashing of the tourists in the third Test in Rajkot. They are unbeaten in a Test series at home since 2012, when England beat the hosts 2-1.

“The first four Tests, there were periods in the game when they did put us under a little bit of pressure,” said Dravid. “The heartening thing for me was how well our experienced players stepped up in those situations. England came here with an experienced batting line-up. Their inexperience was in the bowling.”

Meanwhile, the Board of Control for Cricket India announced new pay incentives for Test players after the victory.

Those in the playing 11 in more than five matches in one season will get a cash bonus of `3 million ($36,000/£28,150) for each game.

“I wouldn’t see it as an incentive to make people play Test cricket. I hope it never really comes to that,” Dravid said. “But I think it is just probably a recognition that this is a tough format, a hard format.”

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