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Tried holding Dravid back from leaving, says captain Rohit

Although this duo has not won an ICC title, Indian cricket has surely benefitted from their new brand of cricket since 2021.
Last Updated : 04 June 2024, 18:46 IST
Last Updated : 04 June 2024, 18:46 IST

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New York: When asked to summarise his journey as a skipper under coach Rahul Dravid’s tutelage, Rohit Sharma dialled it back to June 22, 2007. 

The prodigious talent was given a maiden chance to showcase his credentials against Ireland in Belfast under Dravid’s captaincy. 

Rohit didn’t get to bat or bowl in that game, but he would in time become one of the game’s greats. Dravid, meanwhile, would bow out of his role as a player and enter the team in a coaching capacity. 

Although this duo has not won an ICC title, Indian cricket has surely benefitted from their new brand of cricket since 2021.  

“My equation with him (Dravid) goes back a long way back,” said Rohit on the eve of India’s T20 World Cup opener against Ireland. “He was my first international captain. I have seen him play when I was getting into the team, when he was captain in Tests. 

“He is such a big role model for all of us, growing up we watched him play. We know what he has achieved personally and how many times he has saved the team. He has shown a lot of great determination throughout his career. That’s something I wanted to learn from him when he became the coach. Other than the big silverware, we have won a lot under him.”

“When we were deciding the direction for the future of the team, we bought into it immediately and told us to give it our all, no matter what the outcome is,” he added. 

Rohit also revealed that he tried holding Rahul back from leaving. “I tried, but I know he has a lot of things he needs to look after. But, he was great and I am sure the rest of the team feels the same way too. It was great working with him, and I hope we can work.… not going to say anything, not going to say anything more,” the skipper trailed off. 

While Rahul’s disinterest in re-applying for the role of India coach is the talk of the town, the drop-in pitches in New York have also received a fair bit of interest. Rohit, who knows a thing or two about dicey pitches after nearly two decades in top-flight cricket, didn’t seem worried about their characteristics. He said he would rather focus on the approach he and the team take to overcome the ‘hurdle’. 

“We saw that in the (warm-up) game we played against Bangladesh. There was a lot of communication between the top two and then they passed on information to the batters who followed. That’s imperative in conditions which are different,” he said. 

“We have discussed a lot of stuff, on what the conditions have to offer. It doesn’t look like a place where you can score easily, we have to be mindful of that. Our experience will help, a lot of them have played outside India so we have to use that to our advantage. I think it’s important to do the little things right in these conditions. 

“We’re coming off playing the IPL (Indian Premier League) where a lot of runs were scored, we have to adapt to this where there might not be as many runs on offer. We’re mindful of that,” he added. 

Skipper on cricket in USA 

“We’re all very excited. We never thought cricket in America would be played at any given stage. It’s a different feeling. We have been to Florida but this is new. We will leave a mark on the city and the people of the US too. Hopefully, it’s the right step in the right direction. This could be a stepping stone for the future of cricket.” 

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Published 04 June 2024, 18:46 IST

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