KL Rahul Isn’t Sure Whether Hardik Pandya Is Dropped Or Rested For New Zealand Series
By Aditya Pratap - Nov 15, 2021 8:27 pm
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Newly appointed Indian vice-captain KL Rahul has said that the team is looking forward to working with new head coach Rahul Dravid ahead of the three-match T20I series against New Zealand, starting from November 17.

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid

Dravid replaced Ravi Shastri as the new head coach of India after the letter’s tenure ended at the conclusion of the T20 World Cup 2021 in the UAE.

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“Rahul Dravid comes in as well, really looking forward to working with the new coaching staff over the next 2 weeks,” KL Rahul told the press on Monday.

“Look, I have been fortunate enough to know him for a very long time. As a youngster, I did try to pick his brain. He was very helpful to all of us back home in Karnataka. He has helped the boys across the country. Having him here with us as a part of that setup will give us an opportunity to learn.

“We all know how big a name Rahul Dravid is, we have a great opportunity to learn from him and get better as cricketers. When it comes to coaching, I have played a couple of games with India A setup. He is somebody who has a great understanding of the game and creates an atmosphere where everybody is comfortable. He has always been a great team man,” he added.

Virat Kohli stepped down from the captaincy of the Indian T20I side and Rohit Sharma is named to lead the side. In the same process, KL Rahul went up the ladder and was named vice-captain of the T20I team.

Also Read: Rahul Dravid is in support of Rohit Sharma becoming ODI skipper as well

Rahul mentioned that he is ready for the added responsibilities that come with the role.

“Yes, there will be an added responsibility but it is something that I have enjoyed doing. The most important thing would be to create an atmosphere in the dressing room where people coming in feel happy and welcome and they go out to express themselves,” Rahul added.

Talking about Hardik Pandya’s exclusion from the T20I squad, KL Rahul said that he doesn’t know whether he is dropped or rested but he is certain that Hardik Pandya is smart enough to bounce back in the team.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya

“Quite honestly, I mean I do not know if that has happened. He knows exactly what he needs to do and what is expected out of him. He is smart enough to understand that,” Rahul said.

Pandya scored just 69 runs from three innings and remained wicketless in the tournament. For the New Zealand series, Venkatesh Iyer has been included in the squad and it is possible that he will be groomed as the next batting all-rounder in the team.