Rahul Dravid said that KL Rahul did a decent job as a captain in the recently-concluded ODI series against South Africa. Half-centuries by Virat Kohli (65), Shikhar Dhawan (61), and Deepak Chahar (54) went in vain as India suffered a heartbreaking four-run loss against South Africa in the third and final ODI here at Newlands, Cape Town.
With this win in the final dead rubber ODI, the Proteas won the ODI series 3-0. India played a Test and three ODIs under KL Rahul’s captaincy but failed to win any of the four contests. India lost both the Test and subsequent ODI series in what turned out to be a disastrous tour of South Africa despite a bright start in the opening Test at Centurion, which the team won comprehensively.
Rahul Dravid: KL Rahul Did A Good Job As He Is Just Starting Out In His Journey As A Captain
Despite the lackluster performance by stand-in skipper KL Rahul, Team India head coach Rahul Dravid backed the youngster to come off as a good leader in the future. In fact, the former India cricketer pointed to a lack of proper execution as the reason behind the outcome.
“I thought KL Rahul did a good job, not easy for him. Not easy to be on the wrong end of the results. He is going to learn, he is starting out in his journey as captain, he is beginning and a large part of captaincy is the execution of the skills of your players and the quality of the side. I think we were a little bit short in the ODI side of the things,” said Rahul Dravid during a virtual press conference.
“I think he did a decent job as someone who is touring, definitely he will get better as a captain. Without signaling out the spinners, in the middle overs, we probably need to improve our wicket-taking options. Spinners do play a big role in that, with quicks coming back and the kinds of balls we bowl, that is an area of the game we have been behind in. There are many learnings from this tour. The good thing is we have some time in ODI to correct those things,” he added.
Talking about giving people a long rope in the playing XI, Dravid said: “We are trying to do that, we are trying to give them as extended run as possible. That was the whole idea of this trip, you can see we did not change the middle order that much. Suryakumar Yadav got a game in the last one, but otherwise, we did not really change the batting order at all.”
“We certainly want to give the middle-order consistency and we want to give them that security. Once you give people consistency, security, you also have to demand performances because that is an expectation when you play at this level and country. The idea is to give as much stability as we can. Rohit was not here, it gave someone else an opportunity to open,” he added.
Earlier, Quinton de Kock and Rassie van der Dussen played knocks of 124 and 52 as South Africa posted 287 runs on the board. For India, Prasidh Krishna returned with three wickets.
Rahul Dravid: India Looking For A 6th Bowling Option
Rahul Dravid answered a range of questions covering the poor show in middle-overs both in batting and bowling, KL Rahul’s nascent captaincy career, and how Venkatesh Iyer is not being thought of as a top-order batter. India’s head coach Rahul Dravid had no hesitation in admitting that the ODI squad lacked balance with the likes of Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja unavailable to execute their all-around skills at numbers six and seven respectively.
When asked for clarity on the role of all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Dravid said: “The idea is to develop Venkatesh Iyer as sixth bowling option or if it is Hardik when he potentially comes back. That will give us various options. When you are the sixth bowler in a team, it can happen that you are not required to bowl. It can happen, the thing is we have been clear with him that in our team, we were looking for someone at number six and who can be the sixth bowling option.”
India had lost the Test series 1-2 against South Africa as well. After that, Virat Kohli had decided to step down as the Test skipper. India will next lock horns West Indies in three ODIs and three T20Is.