“With Due Respect To Axar Patel…”: Rahul Dravid’s ‘VVS Laxman’ Remark On Batting Order


Indian cricket team head coach Rahul Dravid namedropped former teammate VVS Laxman while explaining the decision to include Kuldeep Yadav in the playing XI instead of an all-rounder option after Ravindra Jadeja‘s injury in the first Test match against England. With Jadeja out for the second Test, the team management could have gone for Washington Sundar but instead, they decided to include a specialist spinner in Kuldeep. Dravid said that when he saw Axar batting at No. 6, it reminded him of the time when Laxman batted at that position but added that teams win matches by taking all 20 wickets.

“When I saw Axar walk in at No.6, I remember looking at Vikram and thinking, ‘Jeez, VVS (Laxman) used to walk out at that position’. With due respect to Axar (laughs), he is a lovely player,” Dravid said.

“That’s the bottomline of what me and Rohit have always spoken about. That’s what wins you Tests…being able to take 20 wickets as quickly as possible. It was the braver option and I am glad we went with that. That’s what paid off,” Dravid added.

Dravid  lauded his team’s rising young talent for confidently filling the gap left by senior players after their 4-1 win in a high-profile England series.

Rohit Sharma‘s men lost the opener but bounced back to clinch the five-match series in the fourth match and then hammered England by an innings and 64 runs in the final Test inside three days in Dharamsala.

“I think just the fact that we lost the first Test match, had to bounce back from there, had to do it with a slightly different team to the one that we probably expected to start the series with a few months ago,” Dravid told reporters.

“It does make you feel really proud and happy for the way the team’s evolved, the team’s grown and just happy for the boys.”

India was missing several top stars including Virat Kohli, who was out due to the birth of his second child, and KL Rahul, who was injured, but new talent delivered in their place.

(With AFP inputs)

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