We have the talent to go all the way, says Dravid

Skipper praises youngsters for States charge in this season

We have the talent to go all the way, says Dravid


Manish Pandey

The former Indian skipper has played just two matches thus far, but the example he set whilst leading the team against Uttar Pradesh and Delhi has rubbed off on his young charges, who have taken Super League Group A by fire with their flair, aggression and entertaining brand of cricket.

Dravid returns to take charge for the quarterfinal against Punjab beginning on Thursday, and after a long practice session, he offered his views on why Karnataka have played so well so consistently this season.

“It’s actually because of a couple of reasons,” he observed. “We have had a good crop of young cricketers, and some of the selections have been very good. The youngsters have come into the Ranji scene and delivered straightaway, that’s a great positive. Be it Mithun, Manish Pandey, Ganesh Satish or Amit Verma, they have all put in big performances. That’s been heartening. Sometimes, people have taken two or three seasons to settle in, which sets the team back a little bit.

“Also, we have played on good cricket wickets,” he went on. “Our fast bowling attack has been exceptional this year. To do well in any competition, you need a good bowling attack and our fast bowlers have been fantastic on wickets with bounce and pace, which has reflected in our performance.”

‘Big game’

Saying that, the performances of the last seven weeks will count for little as it’s knockout time now. “It’s a big game for us, a knockout game,” Dravid admitted. “We believe we have what it takes to go all the way, though we are taking it one match at a time. Obviously, it’s going to get tougher from here on but from what I have seen from this young team, they have the talent to do well.”

His Punjab counterpart, Pankaj Dharmani, conceded that Karnataka would be tough nuts to crack. “They are a strong side, and we all know how good a batsman Rahul is, especially in the longer version. But we have the resources to make a match of it. The pitch is not different from what we are used to in Mohali, and we have the bowlers who can exploit assistance,” Dharmani said.

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