Rahul Dravid Talks India’s Chances in South Africa

Former India captain Rahul Dravid said Team India has a great chance of performing well in the upcoming tour of South Africa.

Speaking to The Quint at an event in New Delhi on Thursday, 7 December, Dravid expressed that the Indian team has a good quality fast bowling department, a set of batsmen who have experience of playing away from home, and an all-rounder in Hardik Pandya, who can play as the fifth bowler.

When asked what he likes about the present Indian team, he said, “The team is a well-balanced side and the level of consistency in performance has been exceptional.”

While speaking about the U-19 World Cup, which begins on 13 January 2018 in New Zealand, Dravid said that there will be a two-week camp for the U-19 team in Bengaluru, as well as a one week camp in New Zealand before the tournament.

The India U-19 squad endured a disastrous campaign in the Asia Cup last month, but Dravid chose to look ahead with the World Cup.

Asked what went wrong at the Asia Cup, Dravid told PTI:

Not much. At this level, you are not looking at the results. They are young kids and sometimes you expect the results to not go your way. The U-19 level is all about giving opportunities to as many players as possible. That was the process we followed in the Asia Cup. I don’t stress too much on results. We are looking forward to the World Cup now.

It was a collective decision by Dravid and selectors to make batting sensation Prithvi Shaw play the Ranji Trophy than the Asia Cup.

India did not do well in the tournament, but the 18-year-old has been sublime so far in the season with three centuries.

We took a decision, a right decision, that the boys who are playing Ranji Trophy should be allowed to play that. With U-19, we are trying to move the players from junior level to the Ranji level and then hopefully the Indian team. The faster they get the opportunity, that is the real goal. Nothing would make me happier if they go on to play for India A. – Rahul Dravid to PTI

However, Shaw will be back to lead India in the U-19 World Cup next month.

Asked if Shaw is ready to play for India considering the success he has at the First-Class level, Dravid said:

I don’t want to make that comment at the moment . He is a good player, he has started his season well but selectors will take a call on his future.

(With inputs from PTI)

Video Editor: Sandeep Suman

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