Mumbai, March 20
Former India captain Rahul Dravid believes that India’s recent ODI series defeat to Australia is a warning sign ahead of the World Cup.
India had crashed to a stunning 3-2 defeat to Australia after leading 2-0, and Dravid today said that the loss showed that the World Cup, which begins in England on May 30, would be a very tough assignment for Virat Kohli and his men.
“I think there was a bit of notion that we are going to walk there and win the World Cup easily,” said Dravid. “So it’s a good thing that has happened. What it has (loss to Australia) reminded us is that we have to play the World Cup very, very well.”
“In a way I think it’s a good balancing factor. India has performed well in the last couple of years,” Dravid, currently India’s Under-19 and A team coach, added. “There was a little bit of talk that we are almost going to walk in there and win the World Cup very easily because we are the No. 1 team and we have been dominating One-day cricket for the last couple of years. But I don’t find anything strange from my perspective watching the series. I still feel that we are going to be one of the favourites. But it’s going to be tough. It’s going to be competitive.”
Dravid also discussed the workload on the players during the IPL, a topic which has been talked about a lot in the recent past. “Most players are smart about these things. They know how to handle their body,” Dravid said. “I don’t think the players would put their body on the line. I was reading Patrick Cummins (Australia pacer) saying that he feels better bowling when he is constantly playing rather than having rested and coming back. So to each player, it’s different. There cannot be a blanket case that all should be rested. We have to just trust the players. They know what needs to be done.”
Sanjay Manjrekar, the player-turned-commentator, said the cricket board should not put pressure on the IPL franchises to rest national team players to keep them fresh for the World Cup.
“My views won’t be appreciated. This is free enterprise. IPL is capitalism at its best. I don’t think there should be any outside interference,” Manjrekar said. “It should be up to the franchises. Don’t think there should be pressure (on IPL franchises) from the cricket board (to rest some players).” — PTI