The players are redefining what is possible on a cricket field: Dravid

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The players are redefining what is possible on a cricket field: Dravid

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Debarshee Mitra

05/04/2016

Midway into the IPL, Delhi Daredevils mentor Rahul Dravid talked about how this edition has seen batsmen redefining strokeplay and the bowlers reacting with their variations on the field. The Wall also praised the composure shown by teams while chasing as the standout in this edition of the IPL.

In an exclusive to the Hindu, Dravid said, “The players are redefining what is possible on a cricket field, the execution of some of the shots that are played. The scoops....they are able to hit the ball in angles that players of the past did not practice. The nature of the Twenty20 game sometimes forces you to be creative and innovative, with both bat and ball. It’s exciting to see the variations brought about by the bowlers. It’s a good time to be a young cricketer, because the opportunities are there in all three formats of the game.”

Dravid also talked about how the T20 game requires the right mix for success and how it allows for players with different skillsets to succeed. “I don’t think team can be made of 11 Virat Kohlis, but definitely, you need the balance of certain players like Kohli and some power hitters at the bottom. It’s a question of getting the right mix. One can find a role for himself in a Twenty20 game, even if you don’t have raw strength and power. It helps if you have strength and power, but you can find other ways to succeed as well,” he said.

The Wall was full of praise for the temperament shown by chasing teams in this edition of the IPL where batting second has been the secret to success with even big totals getting chased down. “It seems to me almost no total is safe,” Dravid told The Hindu on Tuesday. “People are getting better and better at ball-striking. Just the way people have chased down targets, especially the composure in chases, probably for me has been the standout in this year’s IPL so far,’’ he added.

Asked about whether he feels nervous as a coach sitting in the dugout, Dravid replied, “I know it’s only a 240-ball game, but every ball matters. Margins of victories are sometimes so small. We have already played games like that...I am definitely (nervous)...you cannot control it. When you are sitting outside you are a lot more nervous than when you are actually playing.

“It’s a 240-ball game, but it’s an intense 240-ball game. It’s like living each one of them. Sometimes you can get quite nervous.”

Dravid also reserved serious thought on the topic of whether the T20 game is loaded against the bowlers. He opined that the organizers and curators need to provide more leeway for the bowlers wherever possible.

“The batsmen have the advantage because they have 20 overs and ten wickets.

“It’s not an easy game from a bowler’s perspective in a sense because the very nature of the game gives the batsmen to play with freedom that they won’t associate even with 50 overs cricket.

“The bowlers suffer when you play on grounds with small boundaries and where the batsmen does not even hit the ball cleanly and it still goes out of the ground. You give the bowlers big boundaries...75 or 80-yard boundaries and they will respond very well. A score of 150 or thereabout has been defended in this tournament. We have also seen they converse of 180 or 190 being chased down.

“But we are not able to increase the size of the boundaries. I think in the newer stadiums and grounds, the bowlers are holding their sway. I think on smaller grounds we have to make the contest between the bat and ball even. The curators need to recognise that they have to give something to the bowlers on smaller grounds, through pace or spin,” he told the Hindu.

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