India has to play the World Cup very, very well: Rahul Dravid

Former India skipper Rahul Dravid felt that there was nothing to be alarmed about the outcome of the recent T20I and ODI series against Australia which the host lost 2-0 and 3-2 respectively.

During a panel discussion at ESPNCricinfo’s launch of Superstats, in partnership with IIT Madras, Dravid said: “In a way I think it’s (2-3 defeat to Australia) a good balancing factor. India has performed well in the last couple of years. There was a little bit of talk that we are almost going to walk in there and win the World Cup very easily because we are the No. 1 team and we have been dominating one-day cricket for two years.

A favourite, but…

“I still feel that we are still going to be one of the favourites. But it’s going to be tough, it’s going to be competitive. What it has (the outcome against Australia) reminded us is that we have to play the World Cup very, very well.”

About the workload management during the IPL, the India-A and under-19 coach and mentor Dravid said that the players know how to deal with their body and one has to trust them.

He said the players were the best judge of their bodies. “Most players are smart about these things, they know how to handle their body. I don’t think the players would put their body on the line.

“I was reading Pat Cummins saying that he feels better bowling when he is constantly playing, rather than having rested and coming back. So to each player it’s different. There cannot be a blanket case that all should be rested. We have to just trust the players. They know what needs to be done.”

Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar felt that the IPL should be left untouched and the BCCI should not control things.

He was candid in his observation.

“My views won’t be appreciated. The IPL is a free enterprise. I think it’s capitalism at its best.

Leave it to franchises

“I don’t think there should be any outside control from the Cricket Board (BCCI). It’s up to the franchises…if they feel patriotic and rest Bumrah and all, that’s fine.

“I don’t think there should be any pressure from the BCCI to rest certain players. Somebody made a valid point recently; Virat (Kohli) has said players know how much rest they need. How can one quantify it? If Bumrah is feeling the pressure, fine, so be it. I would like to keep IPL untouched.

No interference, please

“I think three or four weeks rest after the IPL is enough before India’s first match. I don’t like any interference.

The IPL is a true reflection of today’s society and capitalism. So leave it the way it is. There are other formats to control (the workload).”


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