Dravid impressed with Siraj's progress

Dravid impressed with Siraj's progress

Rahul Dravid was impressed with Hyderabad pacer Mohammed Siraj's maturity. DH PHOTO/SATISH BADIGER

Mayank Agarwal’s stupendous consistency has left many in the cricketing fraternity demanding the Karnataka batsman’s selection in the national team. Rahul Dravid, the coach of India ‘A’, said it’s not his job to decide if there is a  chance for a particular player or not in the senior side. 

In a chat with the media after the India ‘A’ and South Africa ‘A’ four-day game here on Tuesday, Dravid spoke on the impressive show by Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw, on Mohammed Siraj’s improvement, on Chahal’s ability to play red-ball cricket and more. Excerpts:

Is time for Agarwal and Prithvi to play at the next level?: It’s a bit of a loaded question and I know what the headlines will be tomorrow when I answer that. I think they have played really well over the last year or so. It’s nice to see them developing and growing as players. Whether there is an opportunity or not is not for me to decide.  

On communication with the national team: We are in constant touch with the chairman of selectors (MSK Prasad), he was here and he will watch the next game as well. We have always had a selector watching most of our matches. They (selectors) are the ones picking the players and they are in regular talks with the national team. I don’t want to go into the specifics but conversations keep happening like what are the things the national team is looking at and we see how we can provide that.

On Siraj: He has got 25 wickets in the last three games and that’s terrific. It’s his maturity that stands out. He is someone who has played very less first-class matches. He hasn’t been really part of the system as he hasn’t played much junior cricket. So he is learning all the time. So even in white ball cricket, I won’t be too harsh on him too quickly because he hasn’t played that much, may be a little bit of IPL. He has been bowling in much better areas and he has grown better physically.

On Chahal and red ball cricket: Chahal has had a lot of success in white ball cricket. Even for us (at India 'A'), I have been seeing him from two and half years since he first came to Australia. He wasn’t considered as a red ball player as such. But we wanted to give him an opportunity to showcase how he does in red ball cricket. They (Indian team management) were very keen to know how he performs in this format.  

Scheduling for India 'A' team: It’s an important thing and I am happy that there are more matches for youngsters. If players like Mayank, Prithvi (Shaw), Siraj and Bharat (KS) keep playing well, it opens up options for national selectors and that’s our goal.  


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