You are not selected to warm the benches or for a holiday: Rahul Dravid to Indian squad in Sri Lanka

While the dreaded virus deprived many players of the golden opportunity in Sri Lanka series, it, on the other, helped many to get a chance to feature for India.

Aditya Kumar Editor

Updated - 29 July 2021 3:32 pm

India's ongoing tour of Sri Lanka will be etched into the history books for the way the series panned out. It all started with the positive COVID cases in the Lankan camp which led to the rescheduling of the series between the sides. Then to make things further tough, Krunal Pandya tested positive for coronavirus and the players who were in his close contact were also put in isolation. Notably, the follow up saw the second T20I getting rescheduled by a day.

The overall developments saw India fail to field their main team and rely on the other players, many of whom made their international debut in the series. On one hand, where the dreaded virus deprived many players of the opportunity ahead of the T20 World Cup, it, on the other, helped many to get a chance to feature for India.

If you are selected... you should be good enough to be in Playing XI: Dravid

Rahul Dravid, India's head coach for the Sri Lanka tour, feels that every player who is selected in the squad is picked with the purpose to play in the team in case need arises. Voicing his opinions ahead of the second T20I past Wednesday, he said: “I believe if you are selected to play for India, you should be good enough to be in the XI. I don’t think the selectors select you to warm the benches or for a holiday. At least, that’s not the message I have been given. Looking at each one of the 20 players who have been selected for this tour have got the sheer weight of performances.”

“It has turned out that way (giving chances to youngsters). We tried to do that in the ODIs as well, trying to give a few people a chance. (Leading the series 2-1, India had handed five debuts in the final ODI)," said the head coach.

Sri Lanka vs India T20I series levelled 1-1

After losing the first game of series to India by 38 runs, Sri Lanka bounced back brilliantly in the second T20I to beat the guests by 4 wickets on Wednesday. After getting an invitation to bat first, India got restricted to 132/5, courtesy Akila Dananjaya's 2/29 and Dushmantha Chameera's 1/23. Chasing the target, Dhananjaya de Silva's unbeaten 40 took the hosts home with two balls to spare. Kuldeep Yadav took two wickets while Varun Chakravarthy finished with figures of 1/18. The third and final game of the series will take place on Thursday.