Dravid- The New Indian Express

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Rahul Dravid has played cricket with some of the best India has ever had. Sachin Tendulkar. Anil Kumble. Yuvraj Singh. VVS Laxman… it’s a collection of individuals who wouldn’t be out of place in a hall of fame wall. So it’s high praise when he says he’s been enamoured by the kind of cricket his wards have displayed up and down the country since their World Cup caravan began at Chennai more than a month ago.

“I think we have travelled the length and breadth of this country and played in eight venues,” he said during the pre-match press conference. “I think what this team has done really well is it has really represented India fantastically. They have played a really good brand of cricket.”

It has played a brand of cricket that increased the buzz ahead of the semifinals and, potentially, the final next week. Run through the scoreboards of the eight India and one thing stands out. The domination they have enjoyed. Out of the eight matches, they have bowled out teams under 200 five times. They are also the only team yet to get bowled out — it’s not even close. In five of the eight matches, they have only lost five wickets or fewer.  

Dravid, in that understated manner of his, called it ‘ticking the boxes’. “We have maintained some really high standards. In terms of our execution, our intensity and I think it’s just continuing on that. We know we have nine boxes to tick, and we’ve ticked eight. And we would certainly like to put on another really good display, do our best. It’s all we can ask for and hope for from the boys.”  

To ensure they keep ticking those boxes, he doesn’t envisage too many changes for the game against Netherlands on Sunday. “We have had six days off from the last game,” he said. “So, we are pretty well rested and the guys are in good shape. That’s all I will say without giving away the level. Boys are rested. So that’s all I will say.”

The former India skipper also said that the sport was growing at the global level. “I think the next T20 World Cup will have 20 teams participating in it,” he said. “Cricket is in the Olympics as well in 2028, So, I think these are really good signs that show that we are trying to embrace more teams into it.”

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