Rahul Dravid’s tenure as the head coach of India A began on a sour note as the visiting Australia A side thrashed the hosts in Chennai. The India A batting lineup faltered in both the innings, as the Aussie bowlers made merry in difficult batting conditions.
Despite the presence of high profile names such as Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli, India A couldn’t sort their batting performance accurately. The end result was that Australia A had defeated India A in India.
Rahul Dravid, speaking post the loss gauged the points where his side lost the plot. The batting legend also said that the loss was an eye opener for the youngsters.
“Well, most of these are young batsmen, a lot of the guys in the team except Virat and Pujara are all batsmen looking to establish themselves, looking to make a mark,” Dravid said.
“It is a good lesson for them against sustained disciplined bowling: you will have to work harder for your runs, it is not going to come that easily,”
“Their bowlers bowled with a lot of good control. That meant that you had to bat well. We will have to learn. That’s the thing about this series. You have to keep learning and keep improving. It is nice learning, because it is a good step up in level. These guys have played Ranji Trophy but sometimes it is not sustained pressure and quality. It is a good eye-opener for what they need to sustain at this level,” said the India A coach.
Dravid also blamed the poor batting effort in the first innings for the loss. “In the first innings, we could have batted better after winning the toss. It  was just not acceptable. On a track where it is going to deteriorate as the game goes on, if you get only 135 after you win the toss, you are always on the back foot. We were a bit hesitant. We weren’t positive enough and getting out for 135, we had our backs to the wall.”
“In the second innings, when we got starts, we could have carried on. Someone, not everyone, is going to get a big score. It happens. But at least one of your top five could have got a big one. Between 25-59, I think we had six batsmen. If at least one of those guys had gone on to get a hundred, you are looking at them [ Australia A] having to chase close to 170-180 in the second innings. So, that was one area the boys will look back on and say, ‘We could have carried on.’
“Bancroft played really well. He looked good in the first match as well. In this game, he looked good and assured. It was exactly the kind of innings someone needed to play on this pitch. One batsman needed to carry on and make a big score. For them, it was Bancroft. The highlight was the fact he concentrated for a long time against spin,” said Dravid.
Dravid also spoke about Cheteshwar Pujara and said, “I think there is no real major issues. We have had some conversations on some stuff. He knows his game. He is a very aware cricketer. It was unlucky that he got run-out in the second innings. You want the guy to spend time in the middle and he gets run-out. He just needs some time in the middle, he needs confidence, he needs some runs. Hopefully, he goes to Sri Lanka and plays and spends some time out there.”