They may not have won an ICC title in 10 years, but India head coach Rahul Dravid said on Monday that his team did not feel any pressure ahead of the World Testing Championship final against Australia. However, the former India captain said it would be nice to win the trophy as his team has been working on it for the past two years. India lost the inaugural WTC Final to New Zealand in 2021 and was at fault for knockout games. “No, absolutely not. I mean we don’t feel any pressure in terms of trying to win the ICC trophy. Of course it would be nice to do so. It would certainly be nice to have the opportunity to win an ICC tournament. But also in the context of things, you look at it and see that it’s the culmination of two years of work.
“This is the culmination of the great success that brought you here. So there are a lot of positives to take from this to see where you stand on the table. A series of wins in Australia, a series of draws here, high competitiveness wherever this team has played in the world over the past five or six years.
“I think these are things that will never change just because you have or don’t have the ICC trophy. It’s really the bigger picture,” Dravid said.
“Rahane should not look at this as a one-time game”
Ajinkya Rahane is set to play his first Test in 18 months and a failure in the game could potentially end his career. Dravid had advice for an experienced batter.
“Firstly, it’s good that we have it. We had a few injuries, which probably led to the fact that he had the opportunity to return to the team. It’s great to have someone of his stature back.”
“Obviously, he brought with him a lot of experience, he proved his effectiveness in foreign conditions. Even in England, he threw some amazing innings for us.
“He also brings amazing slip catching to the group. He just brings his personality to the band, which is really important. He led the team to significant success. just once.” Dravid said the 82 Test veteran could play many more five-day games for the country.
“Sometimes you get kicked off the teams and you come back and you can play as long as you play well and as long as you perform. It’s not set in stone or a rule that you can only get one match. in a good performance really shows what he has.
“Who knows, even when people are recovering from injury, you never know what might happen. So, again, from my point of view, it’s not just about this match. Yes, this match is important, but in a broader context, there will be many cricket games in the future,” he said.
“Pujara’s advice was valuable”
Cheteswar Pujara has racked up a ton of county cricket points in England over the last couple of years. While his teammates were playing in the IPL, he was gaining momentum for Sussex.
“We had conversations with Pooja about the captaincy, about how he obviously beats, but also he leads the Sussex. So he’s also very good at things in terms of tactics and strategy that a lot of bowlers around the area use. with whom he played.
“So we’ve had a few conversations and discussions with him obviously about and around this and we’ll see how we can incorporate some of that. Some fundamentals of the game don’t change drastically. They always remain the same,” Dravid said.
The Oval will have its first Test in June and conditions may not be as favorable to play as later in the English summer. However, Dravid does not really read it.
“We just need to react to what we see in terms of the conditions and how it happens in the middle. And hopefully we have the resources and the ability to handle whatever comes our way.”
“We want more teams to play test cricket”
The worldwide cricket franchise has jeopardized the future of the five-day game as only a few countries are committed to test cricket. When it comes to the traditional format, Dravid believes that bigger is better.
“I really hope that because of things like the World Testing Championship, when you have some context for a lot of them, for a lot of two-way games, it’s not that – frankly, it’s not that they don’t have context. by itself.
“I mean, every time you play for your country, you play against someone else, there is always context, there is always – you always want to win those series. play a lot more Test cricket or be able to find a way to play a lot more Test cricket.
“I know it’s difficult and that it’s hard to go into detail in a press conference and there are a lot of reasons why it’s probably not happening, both in terms of time and financially, there are a lot of things which affect it.
“But of course we would like to see a lot more Test cricket – at least personally I would like to see a lot more Test cricket being played,” he added.
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