Have to keep our feet on the ground, it wasn't easy New Zealand to turn up three days after a World Cup final loss: Rahul Dravid

Have to keep our feet on the ground, it wasn’t easy New Zealand to turn up three days after a World Cup final loss: Rahul Dravid

Dravid also stressed the need of adopting player rotation.

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid. (Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)

Rahul Dravid was elated after India triumphed in the first series under him as the permanent head coach, clean sweeping New Zealand 3-0 in the home T20I series, but he was quick to highlight how difficult it was for the visitors to make a turnaround after their T20 World Cup final loss and enter nearly immediately into a bilateral series.

The three-T20I series, which concluded in Kolkata on November 21, had started merely 72 hours after New Zealand’s final defeat against Australia in the UAE. “We have to keep our feet on the ground and be realistic, especially with bigger things down the line in the next 12 months,” Dravid said. “It’s not easy for New Zealand to play a World Cup final, turn up three days later, and play three games in six days. We knew it was never going to be easy on them.”

He also lauded the “younger guys” as India had rested a slew of first-choice players including Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami in a bid to manage their workload better after the team spent considerable time in various bio-bubbles away from family over the last year.

India handed out two debuts in the series: Venkatesh Iyer and Harshal Patel, who were two of the three uncapped members named in the 15-man squad – the other being Avesh Khan. “It’s been great to see the younger guys come through, we’ve given the opportunity to some of the guys who haven’t played too much cricket in the last few months with the seniors taking rest. The greatest takeaway for us is to see the skills available to us. We need to continue developing those skills,” Dravid added.

With a packed schedule in line for the team, starting with the all-format away tour of South Africa in December, Dravid also stressed the need of adopting player rotation. For instance, India rested both KL Rahul in the Kolkata T20I, bringing in Ishan Kishan at the top alongside skipper Rohit Sharma.

“It’s really nice that we have options. We can mix and match. It’s going to be a long season, lots of games to be played till the next World Cup and we need to do that [rotate] with some of our players and be realistic about how much cricket needs to be played.”