With a Cricket World Cup 2023 semi-final spot already sealed, the Rohit Sharma-led Indian cricket team gets down to action for the final time in the round-robin stage of the marquee event against Netherlands in Bengaluru on Sunday. The Indian cricket team is assured of a top-place finish in the points table and the match against Netherlands holds little importance as far as their position in the Cricket World Cup points table is concerned. However, Indian cricket team is coming into the match after a week-long rest after their win over South Africa.
So, will the Indian cricket team management rest the top stars against Netherlands or it will take the match as dress rehearsal for the semifinals?
“Rahul, this is the last league game and India is assured of a top finish. Is there a possibility of giving a chance to the guys who haven’t played much in the tournament? Or do you want to maintain the same 11 and take on the intensity to the semi-final?” the Indian cricket team coach was asked by a reporter on Saturday.
“I mean, honestly, we’ve had six days off from the last game. So, we’re pretty well rested and the guys are in good shape. That’s all I’ll say without giving away the level. So, we’ve had six days off, we’ve got one game before the semi-final. Boys are rested. So that’s all I’ll say,” Rahul Dravid replied in the pre-match press conference.
On the eve of India’s clash against the Dutch team, Dravid talked about how temperament has been Iyer’s biggest asset while batting, something which he has shown right from the beginning when he used to play for India A.
“He brings temperament. I think one of the things Shreyas has shown us is right from the time that I have seen him as sort of an India A, he came and played India A when I was coaching those days. And I think one of the things that’s really stood out about me is his temperament, the way he handles success, failure. You just look at even some of his knocks under pressure, how he’s able to actually bring the best out of himself under those pressure situations,” Dravid said in the pre-match press conference.
Rahul further went on to point out the number of times Iyers has produced match-winning knocks for the Men in Blue under critical situations. But he also admitted that Iyer’s approach won’t always yield results.
“I think Shreyas, one of the things that does stand out. Look at some of his test innings, look at how he started his test debut. Look at some of the critical knocks he’s played for us. Even in the two years that I’ve been here, I mean, Bangladesh, you know that game, under extreme pressure, who’s the guy who stands up? Ash and Shreyas, guys like that who incredible temperament, incredible strength of mind, and I think that’s, that’s what has held him in really good stead. He’s terrific temperamentally. So, when someone like him does well, you know he’s going to make big contributions. It may not always work out, but when it does, you know someone like him is going to make a big play,” Dravid added.
After making eight appearances Iyer has scored 293 runs in the World Cup with a batting average of 36.62. The right-handed batter will be looking to add more to his tally against the Netherlands at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday.
With ANI inputs
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