Indian cricket team head coach Rahul Dravid believes that the absence of Virat Kohli in the first two Test matches against England can prove to be a brilliant opportunity for someone else to prove their mettle on the international stage. Kohli opted out of the first two Tests of the five-match series starting January 25 citing ‘personal reasons’. In the pre-match press conference, Dravid made it clear that missing a quality player like Kohli is tough for the side but encouraged other players to step up and take his place.
“I think you know any team will miss the quality of a player of the Virat. There’s no doubt about it. You know, he’s a phenomenal player. His record speaks for him. On the field, his presence is a huge boost to the side. But having said that, you know, I think, it just presents another opportunity for somebody else to be able to step up and to be able to put in some performances,” Dravid said at the press conference.
“And of course, you know, for reasons I can’t be helped, he is not available for us in the first couple of games, But certainly like I said it, you know, while he will be missed. It’s a great opportunity for somebody else to really, sort of show us what they’ve got in this conditions,” he added.
Dravid was also not ready to pile pressure on Shubman Gill.
“Gill is a fine player. Starting out the journey as a cricketer sometimes…we forget that it takes a little bit of time at times. Some guys have success instantly, actually he is one of those guys who has done really well in some of his early days, especially in Australia,” Dravid told media persons.
The former Indian captain, who knows a thing or two about playing on tough wickets, said Gill, like any other young player, will take some time to adapt.
“To be fair to him a lot of young guys coming through are playing on some challenging wickets, whether it’s been in India or England or West Indies. It has been a pretty challenging wickets for the last two or three years,” he noted.
(With PTI inputs)
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