India A’s ‘pretty successful’ tour to England under the guidance of Rahul Dravid, the focus has now been shifted to the senior squad for the upcoming Test series. India A side played triangular series which also included the West Indies A side and registered a comfortable win in that, however, they were comprehensively defeated by a margin of 253 runs in the four day game against the England Lions.
Talking to BCCI about the recently concluded tour, Dravid said, “Winning the one-day series was nice and we got a couple of good results against West Indies A. On tours like these, I feel the critical element is not so much the result, but it is really about the exposure and opportunities that you give to the players. Most of them are pushing for selection into the national side. We had a lot of positives and some learning as well. We definitely could have done better in the batting department in the final game, but against a strong England Lions side, it was a great lesson for the batsmen on how to play in English conditions.”
The legendary Indian batsman was immensely pleased with the performance of his cogs as he opined that A team played like the shadow of Virat Kohli’s team, it is always beneficial. Not just that, Dravid reckons that this sort of a schedule only motivates the junior team. After a lot of hard work through the years, one of Dravid’s wards Rishabh Pant has earned his maiden Test call-up, who performed impressively on the tour that threw up a variety of situations, thus showing his maturity according to the coach.
Talking about Pant further, Dravid said, “On this trip, we challenged him a lot to bat according to the situation. He got a critical 64 not out in the one-day final when he was the last recognized batsman and also against West Indies A when he put on a 100-run partnership with Jayant Yadav. He showed that he could bat differently. He has the temperament and skills to bat differently. He is always going to be an attacking player but reading of the situation when you are playing red ball cricket is required.”
Be it India or India A, the boys are on a roll. India A first won the tri-series and have now beaten West Indies A in the longer format to clinch the series 1-0 in Taunton. pic.twitter.com/YoJqslti92
— BCCI (@BCCI) July 13, 2018
Dravid has always been a firm believer that every aspiring cricketer in India should go through the domestic circuit and then to India A side before making cementing his place in the national squad. He reckons that this hierarchy give the players as much game time as possible so that they can make impress the selectors.
India ‘A’ concluded by elaborating his belief further, he said, “The A tours are a step up from domestic cricket. If they don’t do well it is still a good opportunity to learn and go back to domestic cricket and work on the things they need to. It gives a very good test of where these boys are and an understanding of the skills that need to be worked on both in bowling and batting.”