Rahul Dravid bats for more red-ball opportunities to improve India's Test set-up

Sudhir Gupta 12:16 09/10/2018
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Dravid wants more red-ball opportunities for India's youngsters.

Rahul Dravid believes that India’s red-ball set-up is in need of a push in the right direction with lack of opportunities in the format hindering players.

The India batting great currently coaches the U19 and India A teams and believes that the two can create a healthy pipeline of talent for the senior team if used correctly.

“Work constantly needs to happen. It is not a one-time thing or a two-year thing,” Dravid told the Week when asked to comment on India’s batting performance on the England tour.

“I think it is important to tighten the process or programme that exists at U-19 and A team levels. Make it more robust. Make sure there are opportunities every year.

“There is now a path for people who do well in the Ranji Trophy. I definitely feel that in white-ball cricket we have lot of depth, largely due to the amount of white-ball cricket that is played. In red-ball cricket, we have talent and decent back-ups, but again it is a work in progress.”

Kohli's men played a single warm-up game on the England tour.

Kohli’s men played a single warm-up game on the England tour.

Virat Kohli and his men were handed a 4-1 thrashing in the five-match series with the team’s dismal batting performance coming under scrutiny. One of the major criticisms levelled against the team was the lack of practice matches on the tour. A three-day tour game against Essex served as the sole warm-up game for the visitors ahead of the series.

Dravid believes that a lack of proper first-class matches ahead of the tour was one of the reasons for the team’s poor show.

“I benefited hugely from having proper first-class games. Maybe schedules have changed and things are more complicated, but there is no doubt that a couple of first-class games before any Test tour is only going to help. I found this 14 playing 14 (rotation system) started happening towards the end of my career. I did not like those games as a player,” he explained.

The 45-year-old also lamented the fact that modern-day players are playing less red-ball cricket in order to balance their participation in all three formats.

“There were boys who came on the A tour with us to England, who had not played red ball cricket for six-to-seven months! It would never have happened before. The time they get to practice red ball cricket has altered drastically,” Dravid rued.

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