England tour a missed opportunity, need to be better prepared: Rahul Dravid

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By
Sep 21, 2018 09:56 PM IST

Rahul Dravid feels the 4-1 Test series defeat in England was disappointing given the fact that Virat Kohli’s team had its chances but could not capitalise on them

India’s 4-1 Test series loss in England stretched the team’s drought in the country to more than a decade. Yet, head coach Ravi Shastri credited the current batch of players for having a better run than ‘any other Indian team in the last 15-20 years.’

India A cricket coach Rahul Dravid returns to pavilion during a practice session ahead of the first test match against South Africa A.(PTI)
India A cricket coach Rahul Dravid returns to pavilion during a practice session ahead of the first test match against South Africa A.(PTI)

Within those 15 to 20 years, however, came a Test series in 2007 when Rahul Dravid-led India trounced England at their home to clinch a three-match series 1-0. The former India captain is not in the mood for any comparison though. Rather he feels that the Indian team failed to capitalise on key moments in the recently-concluded five-match series.

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“India definitely had their moments. They played some good cricket in conditions which were difficult at times, especially for the batsmen. I am not sure whether the team feels that this was an opportunity missed. They would feel that having played so well in certain parts, they weren’t able to finish off games,” Dravid said on the sidelines of a promotional event here on Friday.

“I think there were many positives especially in the bowling and as well as fielding. But I think the team would feel they had its chances but unfortunately the plans did not work out. India have to wait for four years to change that and there is a sense of disappointment in it.”

The India A and U-19 coach added that rather than focusing on which is the “best (travelling) team”, the management should concentrate on correcting the mistakes committed.

“The whole thing (best-team debate) has been blown out of proportion. I am not interested in commenting on what Mr Shastri feels or what he doesn’t feel. For me, what’s more important are the lessons that we need to take forward the next time we go to England. It does not matter whether we are the best or not the best. These are irrelevant things for me,” Dravid said.

“An England series happens once in three to four years. Sometimes the players who have been part of a series or the coaching staff will be disappointed as you never know what will happen in four years. We had a good team this time.”

In the series loss in England, captain Virat Kohli stood out with a tally of 593 runs in five matches. Though there were centuries from Cheteshwar Pujara and KL Rahul, the collective effort seemed to be lacking in Indian batting.

“The conditions in England were not easy for batting. I think batsmen of both teams struggled. If you take out Virat Kohli from the equation, it was not an easy series for the batsmen. I have played in England quite a bit, the conditions can be tough but it is rare to find five Test matches which had conditions as tough as the one they found,” Dravid said.

“The next time we go there, we have to be better prepared for these kind of conditions and try and replicate conditions as best as we possibly we can.”

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    Abhishek Paul works with the Hindustan Times’ sports desk. He has been covering the beat since 2010 across print and digital mediums.

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