Head coach Rahul Dravid on Wednesday admitted that Indian players will not get too many chances to play as a group ahead of the T20I World Cup, and said they needed to remain mentally flexible ahead of the marquee event in June. The three-match series against Afghanistan beginning in Mohali on Thursday will be India’s final T20I assignment ahead of the global showpiece. In that context, Dravid said the management will also have to depend a bit on the IPL 2024 for the team selection.
“After the last T20I World Cup (2022) we prioritised the ODI World Cup. But we don’t have that many T20I games after that (ODI WC),” said Dravid in his pre-match conference.
“So, this T20I WC is slightly different in the sense that (there’s) not a lot of time to prepare for that. We have to rely on the cricket that we have and also a little bit on the IPL.”
Dravid emphasised the need for players to remain adaptive in situations where they may not collectively get game time.
“We might not get too many chances to play together, so we will have to work around that. You just need to adapt and be flexible. We had a good preparation leading into the one-day WC. Even in the last T20I World Cup, we had a lot of games together as a group. This time we won’t have that (many matches) probably, but it is all about adapting while going ahead,” he added.
Some of the premier players like pacers Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja will not be playing the three-match T20I series against the Afghans.
Does their absence pose a hindrance to the team’s ambition to have as much collective real match-time as possible? Dravid thought it was also important to give the players a break considering the amount of cricket being played.
“It is impossible for all the players to play all the time, especially for the players who are playing all the three formats. We had to prioritise what is important.
“Bumrah, Siraj and Jadeja have missed out from this series because keeping in mind the five-Test home series against England. So, we are always playing that juggling act a little bit over the last two years,” he signed off.
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