Rahul Dravid defends decision to rest Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli despite the defeat
By SMCS - Jul 30, 2023 12:40 pm
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India head coach Rahul Dravid defended the decision to rest the captain Rohit Sharma and senior batter Virat Kohli for the second ODI against West Indies in Barbados on Saturday despite the six-wicket defeat. He also explained that the team wanted to try out some players keeping the Asia Cup and World Cup in mind, especially when some key members of the team are injured as well.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma

Speaking after the defeat, Rahul Dravid said, “This (series) was our last chance to try out some of our players. We have a few players injured, at the NCA. With a month to go for the Asia Cup, we’re running out of time in a lot of ways. We’re hopeful that some of them will be fit for the Asia Cup and the World Cup. We can’t take those chances. We’ve to try out other players and give some chances so that in a worst-case scenario they have some game time behind them.”

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“It gives us some time to make decisions on players. We just felt that, in a series like this, with just two-three matches to go before the Asia Cup, playing Virat and Rohit would not have given us too many answers. With the injuries we have at the NCA and some uncertainty around them, we wanted to give the other boys some chance. So that, if required, they can play,” Rahul Dravid further added.

rohit sharma
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli

While Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli were part of the playing XI for the first ODI, Kohli did not bat, and Rohit came to bat at No. 7. Even as India failed to do well in the second ODI, Dravid was not concerned much. He again stated that they were looking at the bigger picture, keeping the upcoming marquee events in mind.

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“We will always look at the bigger picture. At this stage in the cycle, with the Asia Cup and the World Cup coming up, in some ways with the injuries that we have, we have to look at the bigger picture. We can’t look at every single game and every single series. If we do that, I think it will be a mistake. Today to give people chances, Virat and Rohit sat out. We might have to take those risks, take those chances in situations like that. If we’re building for big tournaments and big events, we need to build some players and get some answers for specific positions, especially considering the situation we’re in,” Rahul Dravid concluded.