Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India’s head coach on the Sri Lanka tour Rahul Dravid believes that each one of the players currently a part of the squad is qualified and have rightly earned their spot in the national team. His comment comes in the backdrop of eight players becoming ineligible for the last two T20Is of the three-match series due to a Covid-19 hiccup.

Carrying with them 25 players for the Sri Lanka tour, India would not have thought they would face a situation that forming an XI would become a task. Thanks to the ruthlessly unpredictable Covid-19 times, and the team management found itself stretching to find batters for the second T20I against Sri Lanka in Colombo.

Covid-19 hit the visitors camp when all-rounder Krunal Pandya returned a positive test, leading to the postponement of the second game by a day. Even as none of the eight other players – Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, Prithvi Shaw, Deepak Chahar, K Gowtham, Ishan Kishan, Yuzvendra Chahal – from the setup who were deemed as Pandya’s close contacts did not test positive on subsequent tests, the management, as a precaution, opted to put them into isolation, later including all five net bowlers into the main squad.

People have earned the right to come here: Rahul Dravid

Before the start of the second T20I, Dravid stated that India had 11 players to choose from and all of them are in the team for the second T20I.

“It has turned out that way [giving chances to youngsters]. We tried to do that in the one-days as well, trying to give a few people a chance. [Leading the series 2-1, India had handed five debuts caps in the third ODI].

“I believe if you are selected to play for India, you should be good enough to be in the XI. I don’t think the selectors select you to warm the benches or for a holiday. At least, that’s not the message I have been given. Looking at each one of the 20 players who have been selected for this tour have got the sheer weight of performances,” Dravid said.

“People have earned the right to come here. It’s not always possible to give everyone a chance, but it’s really nice to be able to give as many a chance as possible. … I think everyone who is here has earned it,” he added.


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