Rahul Dravid explains why Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are not playing first two ODIs vs Australia

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India head coach Rahul Dravid broke his silence on the team management’s decision to rest captain Rohit Sharma and star batter Virat Kohli for the first two ODIs of the three-match series against Australia.

India have rested four regular members for the first two ODIs against Australia with the likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, and Kuldeep Yadav only returning for the final ODI of the three-match series.

“With people like Virat and Rohit specifically, from our perspective, it’s really important that we get them to that first game of the World Cup, physically and mentally in the space that they want to be in. At this level, with the amount of cricket that they’ve played, they know how they need to prepare themselves. A lot of these decisions are made in discussion in them – all our players, not only the two of them. But certainly, the senior and the more experienced guys kind of have their routines and know what they need to do to get into that first game just in the right frame of mind.

Suryakumar Yadav and Shreyas Iyer, for example, would want to get into runs and boost their confidence with game time as the primary goal. While Shreyas missed the majority of the Asia Cup 2023 due to back spasms, Surya’s poor ODI record has enraged fans. When asked if the 33-year-old should be concerned about the ICC deadline for changing World Cup squads, Rahul Dravid backed him.

“We discuss with them on how best they’d like to prepare in the lead-up to big events like the World Cup. And we came up with mutual decisions on deciding that these two games were good for them to take off, just to refresh mentally more than anything else. And then come back in Rajkot and then it’s going to be a tough couple of months ahead for us,” Rahul Dravid told reporters in the pre-series press conference.

India squad for the first two ODIs: KL Rahul (captain), Ravindra Jadeja (vice-captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Prasidh Krishna.

India squad for third ODI: Rohit Sharma (captain), Hardik Pandya, (vice-captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, KL Rahul (wicketkeeper), Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel (subject to fitness), Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Mohammed Siraj.

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Published On:

Sep 21, 2023

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