A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: Has Rahul Dravid’s time in the IPL come to an end?

Dravid is currently unsure about the role he will play in next year’s IPL

Indian batting legend Rahul Dravid, who led the Rajasthan Royals in this year’s edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), has announced that he is willing to stop playing in the tournament if the franchise can find a younger opening batsmen to pair up with Ajinkya Rahane next season.

Dravid and Rahane were the only pair to open in every IPL game this season, and together they amassed a total of 579 runs, at an average of 36.18.

Speaking about his future in the IPL, Dravid said: “I really don’t know (about my future). I will have to think it over. I would take a break and decide about my role. I will talk to my family and also the management of the Rajasthan Royals about my role and then I would decide, my goal is to develop young players. Rahane did a great job with the opportunities we gave him. We identified a couple of players in the other franchises who did not get an opportunity to play.”

However, Dravid also noted that he would be comfortable playing a different role if the franchise could find one or two younger players to fill his spot as opening batsman.

“I don’t know what the rules will be in terms of trades and swaps, but if we can get one or two young players then I can always step back and play a different role. We’d like a good young ambitious guy to come in and open the batting for us with Ajinkya next season, but if we can’t find someone, then there’s always the option of me playing, we’ll see how it goes,” he said.

During this edition of the IPL, Dravid scored 462 runs, at an average of 28.87, but stated that the Royals had to strengthen their batting if they were to become serious contenders.

“We don’t have a young top-order Indian batsman, we are trying to identify someone, there are a couple of good, young middle-order players in (Stuart) Binny and (Ashok) Menaria and we will work on them in the course of the year, we also have youngsters like Ajit Chandila, Ankit Chavan and Gajendra Singh. I am sorry about the local lad Gajendra Singh who didn’t get a chance to play (this season),” he added.

The Royals finished in seventh place this season, winning just seven games, while losing nine.

“We lost a few close games like the ones against Delhi, Deccan and Chennai and that hurt us, I feel our fielding performance and bowling was the worst. I am disappointed but there are some positives too,” Dravid said.

However, even though the Royals were an overall disappointment this season, Dravid mentioned that he had a lot of fun captaining the side, and said: “”It was a pleasure to lead the side and the support from the management and support staff has been top notch, as far as my own performance is concerned I played my role as the opener with Rahane to satisfaction. I feel batting is one thing and scoring runs is another thing.”

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