Ind vs Aus – Rahul Dravid – Must be realistic about hitting in these challenging conditions

If India had taken that one wicket – and all other global test results remained as they were – they would now have 131 WTC points instead of 123. Ahead of the fourth Border-Gavaskar Test match, which kicks off in Ahmedabad on Thursday, they only needed a draw to clinch a spot in June’s WTC final at The Oval, rather than win as they do now.

That Kanpur test was Rahul Dravid’s first as head coach of India. Two days before the Ahmedabad Test, Dravid referred to that Kanpur result, while suggesting that the pressure to win World Test Championship points may have contributed to an abundance of result-oriented, bowler-friendly pitches not only in India, but across the globe. world.

“It could be one of the reasons because yes, there is a huge bounty on results,” Dravid said Tuesday. “You draw a game like Kanpur against New Zealand, where you take nine wickets in the second innings, you draw that game and that puts you back in a home game.

“Every team gets results at home or really good performances at home, so there’s a premium on results. You get four points for a draw and you get 12 for a win, so there’s a premium on that, there’s no question about it.”

India started the four test series against Australia needing three wins to confirm a place in the WTC final. They won the first two Tests and lost the third, and all three were low-scoring matches played on fields where the ball was spinning sharply from day one. There have been only three totals over 200 in 11 innings, and only four batters – two from each side – have averaged over 30.

Under such circumstances, Dravid felt it was important for teams to have realistic expectations of their hitters and set benchmarks accordingly.

“It’s really about being realistic about what constitutes a good performance on some of the challenging wickets we’re playing, not just here,” he said. “If you look at the last three to four years, I think wickets around the world have become a lot more challenging, not just here. So you have to be realistic about what the benchmarks are now, what the standards are.

“Just understanding that in these kind of games only one good performance can change the game. We saw that with Rohit [Sharma]’s performance [his century in the first Test in Nagpur]We’ve seen that here many times before. It’s just being realistic in our assessment of our hitters, their averages and their numbers, and not looking at it that much.

“Just support our batsmen to understand that these are challenging conditions and they are the same for both sides. And that they can use it as a challenge and an opportunity to do something special. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about scoring big .” double hundreds, but you know there might be 50-60 scores or 60-70 scores somewhere could be very, very good scores in some circumstances.”

Sometimes even a score of 17 can count as a positive effort. KS Bharat made that score in India’s first innings total of 109 in Indore, and it came in a debut run of low scores for the wicket-keeper-batter. Dravid said India was unconcerned about Bharat’s batting and praised his retention.

“I think that he [Bharat] held up beautifully for us,” said Dravid. Although not a big contribution, he got 17 in the first innings [in Indore]got a nice contribution in the final test match in Delhi, he played nice and positive.

“So yes, sometimes you need a bit of luck in these situations, and he probably hasn’t had that, but no, I think he’s shaping up really well, he’s playing really well. He’s holding up really well for us , which is very important.” also. I think sometimes you have to put batting performance into perspective a little bit and have a little understanding of it.”

Given the little work the fast bowlers have done so far in the series – Mohammed Siraj has bowled just 24 overs in three Tests – there could be a reason for India to play an extra batsman rather than a second fast bowler. While not ruling out this option, Dravid said the fast bowlers have impressed even without bowling too much. wicket burst on the second morning at Indore. He also felt the hitting power of the three spinners gave India enough depth without needing the extra specialized batsman.

“We just have to meet each condition individually,” Dravid said. “These conditions could be very different from Indore last week so I think everything is on the table. We are trying to put together what we think is our best side and gives us the best chance of getting 20 wickets and the most balanced side .

“We’ve seen that too [the fast bowlers] I haven’t bowled much but the kind of impact even a Siraj can have, picking up that early wicket at Nagpur, Umesh’s spell recently to pick up three wickets. So even though sometimes you feel like the bowlers aren’t bowling much, it’s really important to have that balance and sometimes the ability to go back to a more balanced attack.

“The fact that when we can play three spinners, we hit up to 9 with Axar [Patel] or [R] Ashwin hits 9 for us depending on left-right, it’s pretty good depth we have on the hitting side of things. We have to weigh everything, weigh all options and then decide.”

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo


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