New Delhi, June 7
The troika of skipper Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and the peerless Virat Kohli might have faced a lot of flak for their dated T20 batting approach but head coach Rahul Dravid understands their quality and expects them to give “good, positive starts” going into the World Cup.
Rohit, Rahul and Kohli’s approach in the powerplay overs during the last World T20 came under the scanner but Dravid gave clear hints that he is in no mood to tinker with the top three even though regular skipper and the team’s No. 1 batter have been rested from the series against South Africa.
“We know our top three’s quality. They are top class. There will be a slightly different top three in this series but what we are looking for (in general) is good positive start and playing according to the situation,” Dravid said on the eve of the first T20 International against South Africa.
Rahul and Kohli have faced some criticism for their powerplay strike-rate and while the coach didn’t take names, he did mention the necessity for an improved strike-rate.
“If it’s a high-scoring game, then obviously you want your players to maintain the strike-rate. If wicket is more challenging, then they have to respond to that as well,” he added.
He believes that role clarity will be paramount and might be different from what players are used in their respective IPL franchises.
“In general, in T20 you want people to play positively and these people do that. As I said their roles might be slightly different to what we expect of them.
“We will be giving them a lot of clarity as to what their roles are. And I’m confident anyone in the top three will be able to play the role according to the situation of the match,” he added.
The head coach made it clear that it is unrealistic to expect an all-format player like Rohit to play in every series.
So is it difficult to give regular captain rest from time to time.
“It’s not difficult at all,” he replied.
“(KL) Rahul has captained before, we are clear on a lot of things. Rohit is an all-format player and it is unrealistic to expect all (all format players) to be available for every series,” he said.
“We need to ensure that they are fit for all the big tournaments and are peaking then. We also have the Test match in the UK spilling from last year and we need to ensure we have the best side,” Dravid said.
“With the kind of busy schedule we have there are times we need to rest our big players. It gives youngsters opportunities and increase the depth of our squad,” he elaborated.
The key is to maintain the perfect balance, ‘The Wall’ said.
“It is balance between managing the workload of some of the players, especially who have been a part of all three formats of the game for us in the last six months. We will do that over the next six months.
“We have rested a few players, that’s part of thee process. We’ll continue to do that for a little bit till the T20 world Cup, till we freeze everyone. It is important to manage people through a very busy calendar,” he said.