David Saker returns to Big Bash League as Melbourne Renegades coach
3 June 2021
Between the conclusion of the series against New Zealand, where bench warmers took their opportunity to shine bright and underperforming senior players sank deeper in trouble ahead of the South Africa tour, India have to deal with a lot of selection conundrum. However, head coach Rahul Dravid is not at all worried about the same and called the whole thing a “good headache” to have.
The headache would have been there during the series against New Zealand as well if Ajinkya Rahane would not have suffered injury as in that case the team management would have to give up on one among Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Shreyas Iyer to accommodate captain Virat Kohli in the playing XI.
Iyer scored a splendid century in his debut Test and earned a good case for himself while Mayank Agarwal brought back his best with the bat to score a splendid hundred on a tough pitch in Mumbai.
To accommodate both on the tour of South Africa, India will have to look beyond the duo of Cheteshwar Pujara, who has not scored a century in the last three years and Rahane, who has scored runs at an average of 24.39 in the last 16 Tests.
Both Dravid and Kohli gleefully accepted the “good headache” they have to deal with in the coming days and months while the former went on to concede that India may well be headed towards taking “difficult selection decisions”. However, he also outlined that clear communication and giving proper assessment to players on why the team management took a particular decision would make life easier for all the people.
“It's a good [selection] headache to have, see young boys perform well. There's a great desire to do well and everyone's pushing each other. There might be some difficult selection decisions to take going ahead, but as long as we communicate why we do it and what we expect from players, it should be fine,” Dravid said to Star Sports after the conclusion of the second Test against New Zealand.
If Dravid’s words are any hints to go by, India could well move beyond Rahane and Pujara, if not immediately, then at some point in the near future if they don’t pick up their form quickly. Whatever call they take with respect to their place in the side and playing XI or introduction of young players who are in form, this call will set the stage for the Kohli-Dravid era of Indian cricket.