Rahul Dravid and T20I captain Rohit Sharma addressed the media through a virtual press conference ahead of the series against New Zealand. This was the first time Rahul Dravid spoke at a press conference after he replaced Ravi Shastri as the coach of the Indian cricket team.
Apart from giving his vision of Team India going forward, Dravid also spoke about the maintaining the workload management of the team in these difficult times. Rohit Sharma and Dravid both spoke about the need to following their own template for T20Is and not looking at what other teams are doing. Dravid also made it clear that there was no need for separate teams for separate formats.
On his interaction with Team India, the newly appointed coach Rahul Dravid said, “Had a few interactions. They were busy with the World Cup so didn’t want to disturb them.”
About his vision for Team India, Dravid said, “We don’t prioritise at all. All three formats are equally important for us. Obviously, with ICC tournaments coming up we need to prepare for those. As far as vision is concerned we will look to improve overall.”
When asked if he’s planning to have separate teams for different formats, a template followed by some countries, the former India captain said, “We are not at that point where we are looking for separate teams in different formats.
At this time we need to respect the players’ physical and mental health. I want the players to be fresh and switched on and these are challenging times so I would want to work with players and ensure they are well-rested. We might not have players who play all formats playing all the time and that will be a chance for others to showcase their talent. At this point, I am not looking for separate teams in different formats.”
Rohit Sharma said, “There are holes we need to fill up. That will be the biggest challenge for us. I’m not going to say that we are going to follow other teams’ templates. We will do what suits us best. The players play a different role in Syed Mushtaq Ali, franchises and in the national team. We need to define a specific role for players.”
About the importance of an all-rounder in the side, Rohit said, “The team is not just keeping an eye on one or two individuals. Whatever is required of us to be a successful team, we will do that.”
Rohit further claimed that as a captain he’ll allow the players to play fearlessly.
“I think it’s one of the important aspects of the format where people have the assurance and go and take their chances. If it comes off great if not no problem. Our role will be crucial in letting people play fearlessly. We need to give them the assurance,” said the right-handed batsman.
About how he perceives the role of former T20 captain Virat Kohli in the side when he comes back, Rohit was precise in his reply. “It’s very simple. Whatever he has been doing till now, his role in this team remains the same. He is a very important player for the team and whenever he plays, he creates an impact. From the team’s perspective, he is an important player and when you play each game, the roles are different,” the India opener said