Rahul Dravid during his playing days was involved in a lot of battles with the Australian team. Former number 3 batting stalwart saw India win home series in 1998 and 2001, while losing at home in 2004. Dravid was also part of the team which drew the away series in 2003 thanks to his 233 and 72 at Adelaide enabling them to win the series, but was part of the 2-1 series loss in 2007 and 4-0 blanking in 2011.
The story as it happened –
After retiring as a player nearly dozen years ago, Rahul Dravid is ready for battle once more against the Aussies. This time as the coach of the Indian team as he takes charge of the Indian team along with captain Rohit Sharma. The last time Dravid coached an Indian team in the final versus Australia was in the 2018 final in the under-19 world cup which was won by India and the team included a certain Shubman Gill.
Australia given the favorites tag –
Ahead of the 2023 World Test Championship finals the Australians have been called hot favorites for the final. Former Indian coach Ravi Shastri along with former Australian captain Ricky Ponting and Wasim Akram the former Pakistan captain are the three who have voiced their sentiments.
According to Ravi Shastri, the absence of Jasprit Bumrah gives the Pat Cummins led side the slight edge. Ricky Ponting on the other hand said that the Indian players might be tired after playing the IPL and this could work out in favor of the Australian side.
Dravid breaks his silence –
Former Indian captain turned coach Rahul Dravid was known for his straight talk even during his playing days. The 50 year old was quick to respond and said “Whatever happens, it will happen over the next 5 days. Whatever is being said before and after doesn’t matter. Both teams are strong with talented players. I believe that if we play good cricket, take wickets, and score runs, we can win this. Perhaps, not having excessive hype is a good thing.”
The Wall speaks on India’s lack of silverware –
The last time India ever held an ICC title was in 2013 after they won the ICC Champions Trophy under MS Dhoni in England. When Quizzed about this, Dravid replied “We don’t feel any pressure in terms of trying to win an ICC trophy. Although it would be nice to achieve that feat and win an ICC tournament”
Dravid wants to focus on the culmination of two years journey –
Rahul Dravid while speaking to the media made it a point to note when he said, that the players and team has to concentrate on the final. The former Indian skipper was glowing in his praise for the tremendous hard work put in by the team to make it to the 2nd successive WTC final.
Dravid said “However, when you consider the bigger picture, you realize that this is the culmination of two years of hard work, along with significant achievements along the way. It’s important to focus on the positives – assessing our position in the table, winning series in Australia, and drawing series in other locations. hese are the aspects that remain constant, regardless of whether we possess an ICC trophy or not. We must keep the bigger picture in mind”
(All quotes are from various media outlets during the press conference)