Dravid's suggestion to Chahal, play more red ball cricket

Rex Christensen
August 10, 2018

"But yeah, a large part of this is to give him opportunity to see how he bowls in red-ball cricket because he hasn't played red-ball cricket. About Siraj, who has picked up 25 wickets in the last three first-class games including a 10-wicket match haul in the South Africa game in Bengaluru and three four-wicket hauls in the UK, Dravid was all praise.

"I think they have shown over the a year ago or so with their performances that they are playing very good cricket. Even in white ball cricket, I won't be too harsh on him as he hasn't played much.

With the senior team now busy with a five-Test assignment in England, the time is right to try out some of India's white-ball players who are yet to make a mark in red-ball cricket, including leg-spinner Chahal and fast bowler Mohammed Siraj. "Mayank Agarwal was quite exceptional in this game and Prithvi has shown continuous improvement in every level he has played", he said.

Dravid also felt that the leggie has the skills and that is why the selectors are eager to see how Chahal performs with the red ball. When he came with us to Australia, he wasn't considered a red-ball player as such", Dravid said after India A beat South Africa A by an innings and 30 runs on Tuesday. In fact, the Hyderabad bowler hasn't played a lot of First Class cricket and it is good to note the way he is learning. "They (selectors) are the ones picking the players and they are in regular talks with the national team". "Whether there is an opportunity or not is not for me to decide". To get 26 wickets in the last three games is terrific.

On the development of pacer Mohammed Siraj: The last three four-day games, in England and here he has been terrific. He has not been really a part of the system.

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"He has played a little bit of IPL and has been in and out". He has not had that much opportunities. More of our guys get a chance to showcase their talent against really good players from South Africa and Australia.

When asked on how far Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw are from making the senior grade, Dravid deflected the question and said, "It's a bit of a loaded question and I know what the headlines will be tomorrow when I answer that question. This hones their skills and gives them a chance to develop their skills", Dravid said. BCCI has put in a good plan in place so we can give our players exposure at a slightly higher level than the domestic cricket. So, we work on planning and scheduling to make this happen.

On the scheduling of A team: Scheduling is very critical part of the A series.

"I see this A series a good bridge between domestic cricket, national and global cricket". It opens up more options for selectors. Chahal is on the radar of the Indian selectors for Test match cricket.

Dravid said the focus on the "A" series is not just on "winning games" but to keep a constant flow of players for the national team. "Also 10 here. He is maturing and bowling well, and also he is becoming stronger physically", Rahul Dravid said. Our job is to give opportunities to young talents. We want to know the requirements of the national team and we think of providing that. Sometimes we are looking to rotate the squad so that everyone gets an opportunity to play.

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