IND v SA 2022: “Unrealistic to keep playing same XI over and over again,” Dravid reacts to criticism of constant shuffling in team

Team India have experimented with many players since the last T20 World Cup in UAE.

Indian cricket team | GettyTeam India have experimented with many players since their shocking group-stage elimination from the T20 World Cup last year.

They now have a variety of options to choose from as they gear up to take part in the T20 World Cup 2022, slated to be held in Australia from October 16 to November 13.

However, the constant shuffling in the playing XI has also drawn criticism as many experts have suggested that the players won’t feel confident about their place in the line-up.

Amid the scrutiny, India head coach Rahul Dravid on Saturday (October 1) said that the communication within the team has been very good to avoid any such issues.

“I think it’s a little unrealistic to expect us to keep playing the same XI over and over again,” Dravid told reporters on the eve of the second T20I against South Africa in Guwahati.

“Some of the changes or experiments that people like to call them are sometimes forced upon you. If Bumrah doesn’t play the last game, it’s not because we are experimenting. It’s because he gets injured. The five match series against South Africa in June, we played exactly the same XI in all five matches. People were saying, ‘why don’t they change the XI?’….so I think we can’t win either way,” he added.

“Whatever we do, people are going to say that.  But I think in the group and in the team, we are very confident and sure about what we’ve been doing. Sometimes it doesn’t seem very apparent from the outside but there are a lot of things that people outside can’t know. What niggles players are having…how we need to manage the players. If you notice, we were playing a Test match and at the same time we were playing a series in Ireland. So there are many things that go into this,” he further said.

Despite the injuries to Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah, Rahul Dravid is confident of the skill-set that is present in India’s T20 World Cup squad.

“You can’t pick the (playing) eleven months in advance, you don’t know the wicket, you don’t know what it’s like,” he said. “We have been very clear about the kind of skills that we want in the fifteen. For me that is very important. The squad that we pick for the T20 World Cup barring injuries, what were the kind of skills we were looking for.”

“In a tournament like the World Cup, you play in five different venues or four different venues in the league stage. And you play against five different teams, so you really need to have that little bit of versatility and flexibility in your squad that allows you to change up things, if you need to against a particular opposition. Yes, over the last few series we haven’t been able to play that squad due to a variety of reasons. And that can happen. But I think most of the guys in the fifteen now have had pretty decent amount of cricket, atleast in the last six months.”

(The Indian Express inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 02 Oct, 2022

    Share Via