Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Legendary India batsman Rahul Dravid has announced that the national team’s youngsters can make a name for themselves during the upcoming five-Test series against England, which gets underway on July 9 in Nottingham.
Dravid, who will be working with India’s batsmen prior to the start of the series, also noted that the senior players have to lead by example.
“I think the senior players will have to step up,” Dravid said. “The key guys from each side will have to step up – it will be important for people like Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara and the bowlers, and MS Dhoni as well, if they have a good series it gives you a good chance to succeed.
“Having said that, both sides are filled with youngsters so it could be a series where some of the youngsters stand up.
“Personally, having only looked at the Indians, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a couple of names in the batting department where, at the end of the series, we say ‘wow, we could see these around for a long time’.”
Dravid captained India during their victory in England in 2007, but he was lucky to have a bowling attack filled with experienced bowlers. Current India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni possesses a bowling attack that is very young and inexperienced.
In fact, pace bowler Ishant Sharma is the only bowler to have played a Test match in England.
“The key is going to be if you are able to take 20 wickets,” he added. “When we won the series here in 2007 we were lucky enough to play the same bowling attack in all three matches and that made a big difference.
“Most of them have not played Test cricket here but they have been on ‘A’ tours before and played here in one-day cricket, including the Champions Trophy recently so a lot of them have been to this country before.
“That is an advantage that they do have. They are an inexperienced batting line-up, there is no doubt about it but they have had the opportunity to at least come and play in these conditions.”
However, Dravid also believes this will be a good learning experience for the entire Indian team.
“I know how much I learned from my first tour here in England, you went away from here a much better cricket for it, therein lies a great opportunity for these players,” he said. “I see potential for a lot of this team to be around for years to come and be a formidable batting force – these five Test matches will be a good test of that.”