Although Team India clinched first Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy on the back of Indian bowlers' brilliant performance, head coach Rahul Dravid was stunned with a question pointing out the lack of left-arm pacers in the squad in the opening Test of the series.
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When a journalist cited the example of Australian pacer Mitchell Starc and Pakistan speedster Shaheen Shah Afridi, head coach shared his views on the matter but added an hilarious aspect to it during the pre-match press conference.
“A left arm fast bowler brings a lot of variation. You forgot the name of Zaheer Khan. But selectors and management definitely watch out for these talents. Arshdeep Singh played well in recent ODIs, he also played well in Ranji Trophy, where he picked 4-5 wickets. He is young and he is developing,” Dravid said.
While India’s head coach lauded the only left-arm pacer in scheme of things in Team India, he also asserted that the fact that someone is a left-arm pacer is not enough for selection, but performance is the utmost priority. “There are other guys who are performing. But only being a left-handed pacer will not help you get into the side, you need to perform well,” added Rahul Dravid.
However, Dravid was interrupted by the journalist and reminded how the abovementioned pacers have dominated against Indian batters, and it was then Indian head coach reacted with hilarious response. “Agar 6 ft 4’ bowler hain aapke paas toh aap batado (if you know someone 6 ft 4’ bowler let us know). You took the names of Mitchell Starc and Shaheen Afridi, but in India we rarely find someone as tall as 6 ft 5’ who bowls left hand fast,” Dravid said.
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To concluded, India’s head coach mentioned the name of Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra and stated that their selection was solely based on their performances but not because they were left-handers. “Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra didn’t get a chance just because they were left hand fast bowlers but they were good,” Dravid said.