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Suryakumar Yadav need not worry about spot in India’s World Cup squad: Rahul Dravid

India head coach Rahul Dravid defended the selection of Suryakumar Yadav in the squad, despite his middling returns in this format. The Mumbai batsman only 24.40 after 27 ODIs, but Dravid insisted that the team management has complete faith in him, the highest-ranked batsman in T20Is.

“I don’t think Surya needs to worry about September 27 (the day the final World Cup squad will be announced). We back him because he has the quality and ability that we have seen,” said Dravid.

He then elaborated on the impact he could make. “Yes, we know we have at the moment seen it in T20 cricket, but we know the kind of impact a player like him can make. He can change the course of a game and we completely back him. There is total clarity on the fact that we are completely behind him,” he said.

Surya Mohali: Indian cricket team head coach Rahul Dravid addresses a press conference, a day before the first ODI match between India and Australia, in Mohali, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023. (PTI Photo/Kamal Kishore)

“Hopefully, he is someone who will get these three games and at least the first couple certainly to be able to develop and continue his journey as ODI cricketer. But in terms of selection, we made our decision,” he added.

Resting Virat, Rohit

Dravid also defended the decision to give a break to captain Rohit Sharma and titular batsman Virat Kohli from the first two ODIs.

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“It is really important to get them to that World Cup physically and mentally in the space that they want to be in. They know how they need to prepare themselves and a lot of these decisions are made in discussions with them. Senior and more experienced guys have their routines and know how they want to prepare in the lead-up to a big event like the World Cup,” he observed.

“I think based on those discussions, we come up with mutual decisions to just take off and refresh mentally more than anything else. They will be back in Rajkot and then it will be a tough couple of months ahead for us,” he added.

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Asia Cup positives

Buoyed by the Asia Cup triumph, he said the team has ticked most of the boxes in Sri Lanka. “Our main players hardly featured in the ODIs last year because the focus was on T20Is and Tests. We have not played so many ODIs in the last two or three years. In the Asia Cup, we had our full squad. Although there were few injuries we have ticked most of our boxes,” he said.

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