India vs New Zealand: We Won’t Prioritise Any Format And There Will Be No Let-Up In Our Preparation, Says Rahul Dravid

Team India head coach Rahul Dravid on Tuesday said his side will not prioritise any format over the other, and there will be no let-up in terms of preparation. India and New Zealand will be squaring off in a three-match T20I series, beginning Wednesday in Jaipur. This is the first assignment in charge for head coach Dravid and full-time T20I skipper Rohit. “Just had a few interactions, they were busy with the World Cup, did not want to disturb them till the tournament got over. Just had the opportunity to talk with Rohit at times after the World Cup got over, with Virat as well. We have been here in quarantine, had the opportunity to interact with people not face-to-face but atleast through Zoom links or Google Meet”, said Dravid during a virtual press conference on Tuesday.

“Just sitting back and observing how things are done, learning but yeah a period for me, an opportunity for me to sit back and see how it runs, every team is a different environment”.

“My role initially will be to sit back and observe and step in when required. We have time for that, there is no rush,” he further added.

When asked whether the Men in Blue will look to prioritise formats, Dravid said, “No, we do not prioritise formats at all. All three formats are critically important for us, there will be no letup on how we prepare and plan for any of the three formats. We have three ICC events and we need to prepare for those events, as far as planning is concerned, for me, it is just about wanting to improve constantly and we keep getting better as players, we should be fine.”

Dravid also spoke about how the Kiwis should not be viewed as underdogs anymore as the side has a knack of playing good cricket when the chips are down.

“New Zealand is a very good side, make no mistake about it. Their performance over the last few years has been exceptional, I think it has become fashionable to call them underdogs in every tournament but honestly, I think the narrative has changed, they enter the tournament, from outside point, they would be underdog but I am sure internally teams which compete against them, know they are going to be a top contender in any tournament they play in,” said Dravid.

“New Zealand is well led and they are well prepared. They have beaten India in recent tournaments, this is a fact. But here lies a good opportunity for us to keep getting better and hopefully, we get an opportunity against them in a big tournament, we put one over them,” he added.

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When asked about the right sort of template for his side, Dravid said, “I do not think we are at that point where we are looking at separate teams, Rohit I would want to play every format. We are not at that point where we are looking at separate teams, we are not going to do that. Ofcourse, there are certain individuals who play certain formats of the game and that happens. In times like these, we need to be in conversations with the players and we need to respect players’ mental and physical health.”

“It is the most important thing as far as I am concerned, I will always be in conversation with them and I will try to make sure that we have players fresh and fully switched on and we need to recognise it. It is a challenging time for players, especially for those who are expected to play all formats of the game. We need to work with them, we might not be able to play every single player, we need to accept the reality. We get the schedule right, we will get all our players on the park and we will be a very formidable team,” he added.

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