Rahul Dravid explains what makes T20 unique

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Rahul Dravid explains what makes T20 unique

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Arun S Kaimal


Although T20 is regarded as the simplest form of cricket, former Indian captain Rahul Dravid believes that T20 cricket is challenging and unpredictable. The 43-year-old also said that the IPL teams recognise the importance of young Indian talents and do excessive research before signing them.

Dravid, who mentored Delhi Daredevils in the last edition, has been part of all nine seasons of the IPL and has donned many hats including that of the captain and also of the mentor. The 43-year-old played for home side Royal Challengers Bangalore in the first three editions before moving to Rajasthan Royals. Dravid played for the Royals in the next three seasons and announced his retirement from IPL after the Champions League T20 in 2013. He then mentored the Rajasthan Royals for the next two seasons before moving to a similar role with Delhi Daredevils.

Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, Rahul Dravid opened up on the evolution of the shortest format.

"Some of the conversations that happen around IPL teams … these conversations are not happening outside," Dravid said about the strategy involved in team building. "They are not happening in television studios as I have been on television studios, I know it. The depth of conversation that's happening about the T20 game within a team and within that environment is not happening anywhere else, which is what makes the T20 game unique.

The depth of conversation that's happening about the T20 game within a team and within that environment is not happening anywhere else, which is what makes the T20 game unique

"I wouldn't say there is no knowledge outside but there is not as much knowledge, I feel, and there are people who'll make comments like, 'Why is he doing this? Why is he doing that?' without actually understanding the dynamics of why it happens, what happens inside," Dravid said.

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The Indian U-19 team coach also said that the introduction of all domestic players into the IPL auction has forced the IPL teams to do greater research rather than going for the international stars.

"There is a lot more research being done. There is a lot more knowledge about young Indian domestic talent than there was say three or four years ago," Dravid said. "Suddenly, everyone has access to a lot of these young Indian domestic talents … and every team comes really well prepared to the auction. It's very rare to find young Indian talents that are unheard of and you can pick out of nowhere for really cheap.

"In the past maybe teams didn't focus that much on young Indian domestic talent because they could either go and get them outside the auction and they could keep them and the whole auction was based around the international players, so there wasn't that much research in that sense needed. But I think today most teams recognize that you need domestic talent, and all the talent is in the auction,” said the 43-year-old, reported ESPNcricinfo.

Dravid also believes that the IPL auctions have become more challenging and this has given rise to more unknowns fetching big bids.

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"A lot of times I have gone into auctions and said, 'Okay, we'll get this player cheap because not many know him'. All it requires is one other team to value that player and have money to spend and, you know, you could end up losing him because you can't match up in the auction.

"A good example of this year's auction would be someone like Carlos Brathwaite. Who would have thought that he would go for the price [INR 4.2 crore] he did, but obviously KKR [Kolkata Knight Riders], who have a team in the CPL [Trinbago Knight Riders], knew about him as much as the people who are looking at the Delhi team knew about him. I think auctions are quite dynamic and they sort of vary all the time. Everyone goes in with a strategy, everyone goes in with tactics, everyone goes in with certain ideas but you have got to think on your feet," said Dravid. 

Also, read: Mini-IPL | Will it finally kill the golden goose?

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