Former Indian batting great Rahul Dravid has weighed in on the prospect of the potential expansion of teams in IPL moving forward. There remains a strong chance that IPL 2021 will have one extra franchise, making it nine to compete for the coveted trophy. Rahul Dravid opines that the country has enough talent and is ready for expansion.
Rahul Dravid, who is the director of National Cricket Academy (NCA), has spent his time in developing youngsters and preparing them for international cricket. He has mentored the likes of Shubman Gill, Priyam Garg, Sanju Samson, and Kamlesh Nagarkoti, all of who have shown enormous potential in IPL 2020. Rajasthan Royals co-owner Manoj Badale echoed Dravid’s words of having a nine-team in IPL in 2021 and the BCCI could extend it to ten by 2023.
Rahul Dravid remains confident that the talent pool is large when looked from that perspective since there are players, who are not finding opportunities to play. Hence, in terms of that perspective, the Karnataka-born former cricketer believes that IPL is ready for expansion.
“I feel IPL is ready for expansion in terms of talent, if you look from a talent perspective. There are a lot of talented players who are not getting opportunities to play. So I believe we are ready as there are a lot of new names and faces in terms of talent perspective,” Dravid stated as quoted by Times of India.
What helps young players grow is experience: Rahul Dravid
Dravid, who has laid strong foundations for many youngsters, underlined that experience is significant for them to grow. He iterated the example of Devdutt Padikkal, who could learn plenty from Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers in Royal Challengers Bangalore. Speaking of T Natarajan, the 47-year old highlighted the quality of data that aided him to work on his yorkers, gaining expertise on it, and subsequently breaking into the Indian team.
“As coaches, we can help the young players in their journeys but what helps them grow is experience. Look at a Devdutt Padikkal batting alongside Virat Kohli or can learn from AB De Villiers. Look at someone like T Natarajan. It was because of the quality of data that he was able to go back and work on his yorker and that one skill has now got him into the Indian team,” he added.