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“Cricket is a very condition-specific game” – Rahul Dravid
By SMCS - Jun 20, 2024 7:21 am
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The Indian team mostly plays white-ball cricket under lights, especially the T20s, and it is tough for them to adjust to conditions here in the West Indies and earlier in the USA, where India are/were having to play in the daytime as well. But coach Dravid said that it is not as big a hassle as the conditions – pitch conditions as well.

Team India
Team India

“Cricket is a very condition-specific game. It’s one of the only sports left where the surface makes such an impact on the actual skill levels, the actual performance levels, what is an acceptable performance level. It’s one sport that we play where the surface makes a huge difference and it has to be brought into consideration at all times. I think we saw that in the US and we saw that in New York,” Dravid said. “Not every wicket is Hyderabad (where teams scored heavily in the recent IPL) or not every wicket can be the same. So, I think that’s something we pride ourselves in as well. I think we are trying to also get that ability to be smart in our decision making, to try and assess situations cleverly,” he said and went to emphasize on the point saying how he tried to face them.”

“You might have all the stats, you might have all the data, but on the day, sometimes conditions can be very different to what you think it is. Just because a particular ground has produced a certain number of runs in the past or even in 10 days prior, it can be very different because the preparation of a wicket, the weather, so much can change. Even in the two or three days leading into a particular game, a lot can change that can force you to recalibrate and rethink. We will have to do that, be quick and smart and be able to do that and assess the conditions. I hope we will do that,” he further added.

However, as far as playing under the sun is concerned, rather than the lights, he said that it will be a challenge but not a huge one. “They don’t play a lot of games at 10:30 (am). But look, I don’t think it’s too much of a hassle. (It’s) not something that we would consider but then there are other things which you might consider like the slowness of the pitch or other factors. I’d say tactical things that might be slightly different. The guys are used to it now. I think there will be great crowds even for this game, whether it’s 10:30 am or 8 pm. I expect most India games to have very good crowds. So, I think from that perspective, I don’t really think it makes too much of a difference.”

Virat Kohli
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli

Rahul Dravid also said that the team will continue to be flexible with the batting order, barring the opening combination which will be fixed with Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.

“I think each situation is unique. It’s hard to keep something set in stone. At least that’s my belief. I always do believe in being flexible in your thinking, being able to adapt to situations. What does your team require? What do the conditions require? I think it’s something that we’ve always been conscious of, the concept of being able to have players who can be adaptable and float in that middle order if and when required. A lot of times you make these changes, keeping something specific in mind. It works sometimes, it doesn’t work sometimes. I think you can’t judge everything only on the results. You always have to go behind and see what is the thinking behind some of these things. In the Pakistan game, we moved Axar (Patel) up the order. There was a specific thinking around it,” Rahul Dravid concluded.