Making players confident of themsevles, having faith in them, taking care of their’ “physical and mental well-being” in the wake of a packed schedule in one bio-bubble after another are among the main goals of India’s new T20I captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid.
Rohit takes over captaincy from Virat Kohli after India’s exit in the Super 8’s stage of the recent T20 World Cup, with the next edition coming up in less than a year’s time. Rohit said he and Dravid will work on defining each and every player’s role and back them to play “fearlessly” because T20 demands you to take a lot of risks and not all of them come off as desired.
“It’s one of the important aspects of the format where people have assurance of taking chances in the middle,” Rohit said seated next to Dravid for a Zoom press conference ahead of the T20I opener against New Zealand scheduled to start on Wednesday in Jaipur. “If it comes off, it comes off, if it doesn’t, then what happens. That’s where both of us will need to play a huge role and part in giving an individual that assurance of going out and expressing himself.
“It’s important, especially in this format, that sometimes you just need to go out there and play fearlessly and while doing that, there are chances that you might not always be successful because it’s a short format and you’re always challenged. The pressure is always there.
We certainly will keep an eye on that aspect; that’s where the entire set-up will play a big part that wherever that individual bats, and how we want him to bat, goes and does the job for us. If he doesn’t then we instill confidence in him that we have full faith in you, just go and do the role for the team. As long as they’re trying to do the role for the team, we are happy.”
Meanwhile, Dravid will oversee players and teams across formats as India prepare for both the 2023 ODI World Cup at home and the new cycle of the World Test Championship. Workload management has come into particular focus for the New Zealand side, who finished runners-up in the World Cup on Sunday in Dubai and landed in Jaipur less than 24 hours later for a three-match T20I series to be followed by a two-Test series. A tight schedule indeed for the Kiwis. Dravid said workload management is now the need of the hour but didn’t entertain the idea of different teams for different formats.
“Workload management has become a crucial part of the game now because so much cricket is played these days,” Dravid said. “Like we see in football also, seasons are so long and some of the top players don’t play all the games. So if we’re playing throughout the year then we have to be careful about players’ workload management.
Whether we do it within the team or by giving them a break, that will depend on a case-by-case basis. But like I’ve said before, players’ mental and physical well-being will be most important, we will work in and around that, the team will also take priority. So it’s a balancing act and we need to understand that we need to do this balancing act at a time like this and work towards getting everyone fit and ready for the big tournament.
Avishkar Govardhane is a Sports Editor and enthusiast, working here at Clout News covering the latest Cricket News.