Role of selectors: Rahul Dravid on white-ball captaincy change

Centurion: India men’s cricket team head coach Rahul Dravid on Saturday refused to indulge in conversation about his role in selecting separate captains in white-ball and red-ball formats.

Before coming to South Africa, Virat Kohli lost his ODI captaincy to Rohit Sharma. When asked about his role in that decision, Dravid in a virtual press conference on Saturday said: “That’s the role of the selectors and I am not going into the individual conversation that I might have or might not have.”

“It’s not a place or time to be doing that and discussing that. What internal conversation I have with people, certainly not gonna come out in media and publicly start telling people what conversation I have,” he added.

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The Indian team will lock horns against South Africa in the ‘Boxing Day’ Test match as the three-match Test series kick starts in Centurion. Asked about having a ‘difficult’ conversation with players, the coach said: “Most players are professionals. Sometimes you have to have difficult conversations.”

“It’s hard, everyone wants to play and wants to be in the playing eleven. But the players understand the situation. People understand that as long as you communicate and can give the reason for it.”

“I don’t expect everyone to be not disappointed because I think if people are not disappointed… you know that’s the kind of thing that makes people succeed at this level is that you wanna be playing, you want to be competing and want to be part of the action. You don’t want to be sitting out but how you take that and really respond to that is a test of your attitude. So far I have no complaints about it and everyone is being fantastic about it,” he added.

The Indian team beating Australia twice in a Test series in their backyard and taking an unbeatable 2-1 lead against England have raised the expectations from them to win their first Test series in the ‘Rainbow Nation’.

“Starting well is very important obviously but it’s not be-all-end-all for everything, it’s a three-match series,” Dravid said on starting well in South Africa.

“I have been on both sides of it. Not make or break, but starting well puts the pressure on the home team. It would be the same for teams visiting India,” he added.

The Test series between India and South Africa will form part of the new cycle of the ICC World Test Championship. The updated schedule is as follows: First Test will take place from December 26-30 at the SuperSport Park, Centurion; Second Test will take place from January 3-7, 2022, at the Wanderers, Johannesburg; Third Test will take place from January 11-15, 2022, at the Newlands, Cape Town.

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