In the T20I series against South Africa, which came to an end on Tuesday with the hosts losing by 49 runs in the third T20I at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in this city, India’s bowlers went for over 200 for the second time in a row.
In the final overs of the home T20I series against Australia and South Africa, India head coach Rahul Dravid defended his bowlers, saying that “it’s not been easy bowling in the death on very flat wickets,” despite admitting that his team needed to “improve, get better,” and “execute our plans better” before the T20 World Cup in Australia.
India gave up 73 in the final 5 overs, continuing a recent pattern in their T20I matches, as the Proteas amassed 227-3 in 20 overs.
It’s Not Been Easy Bowling At The Death: Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid defended his under-fire bowlers, particularly his seamers, by pointing out that it had been difficult for the bowlers of the other team to stop runs on beautiful batting wickets as well.
“Obviously, you keep trying to get better in all the departments (of the game). Certainly bowling in the death…you know to be fair it’s been very flat wickets, it’s not been easy bowling at the death, but only for our team, but the other team (too).
Australia and South Africa are sides which have a lot of experience in their bowling attacks, and they’ve struggled in the death as well. So it’s not only us,” Dravid said in the post-match presser on Tuesday.
“But yes, I don’t think we’ve to look at them, we’ve to look at ourselves. We’ve to look at how we can improve and how we can get better. That’s an area where we’d certainly like to improve and get better.
Because we know that as you play these big tournaments, margins can be really small, and every run, boundary can matter. If we can cut them at any stage in the game, that’s certainly going to make a difference,” Dravid said.
Rahul Dravid Backs Harshal Patel
Later, in response to a query on the inconsistent play of medium-pacer Harshal Patel, Rahul Dravid emphasised the necessity for his bowlers to better carry out the team’s strategies.
“Sure, he’s not the only one. Overall, in the death (overs), all told, we need to get better, improve, execute better. Sometimes, it’s not about the plans. Sometimes, we’ve got some smart plans and strategies, but a lot of it comes down to that execution.
The ability to deliver that yorker, or the slower one, or hit the wide line, or whatever it may be. So, I won’t single him out individually. As a group, we need to do better,” Rahul Dravid said.
The troubling failure of Harshal to restrict runs or take wickets after recovering from an injury that prevented him from competing in the Asia Cup didn’t bother India’s head coach. In three games against Australia, the Haryana player only managed to claim one wicket while conceding 99 runs in 8 overs.
He got off to a good start against South Africa, taking 2-26, but then he let up 89 runs in 8 overs and failed to capture a wicket in the final two games.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a concern. I’ve answered this question earlier as well. He has been someone who has bowled well in the last couple of years. He’s coming back from a month and a half off from the game.
And coming back into some really tough conditions. Not the easiest of bowling conditions to walk into after you haven’t played for 6 weeks. We really back him. We know that he’s got the quality and ability,” Dravid said.
We Certainly Have Confidence In Boys: Rahul Dravid
Despite all the abuse his bowlers, especially seamers, have taken since the Asia Cup, Rahul Dravid has continued to retain trust in them.
“We certainly have confidence in the boys. I mean when you look at the kind of group that we’ll take to Australia, all of them have done well, and done well in the death as well. It’s just a question of us getting it all together and just hopefully executing them, come Australia,” he said.