Rahul Dravid was quick to shut down the criticism of India’s top-order batters, who are often accused of slowing down the run progression in the Powerplay. Even though both Kohli and Rohit have been rested for the upcoming series against South Africa, the questions revolved around them in the pre-match conference.

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India has been let down by the outdated approach of their top-order, as they prefer to play safe and anchor the innings instead of going berserk from the beginning. Moreover, Kohli, Rohit, and Rahul don’t really complement each other by bringing varying skillsets to the table. All three of them have a glaring weakness against spin bowling, and thus it becomes easy for opponents to tighten up the screw by bringing spinners into the attack.

Kohli and Rohit had a horrible campaign in the Indian Premier League 2022, while Rahul maintained his fine form with another 600+ runs season. Consistency has never been a problem for Rahul; it is his underwhelming strike rate that paints a worrying picture for India. This season in the IPL, Rahul’s strike rate in the Powerplay hovered around 100.

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Their conservative approach came under the scanner last year in the T20 World Cup but Dravid has made it clear that he won’t do any experiment until the 2022 World Cup, which is scheduled for later this year in Australia. 

“We know our top three’s quality. They are top class. There will be a slightly different top three in this series but what we are looking for (in general) is good positive start and playing according to the situation,” Dravid said in the press conference.

The head coach stressed the importance of playing as per the situation, instead of mindless aggression, which is fraught with risks. “If it’s a high-scoring game, then obviously you want your players to maintain the strike-rate. If wicket is more challenging, then they have to respond to that as well.”

Dravid also talked about how clarity on their roles will help him bring the best out of the players. KL Rahul, who is easily the most versatile hitter among them, is likely to play the role of the hitter, while both Rohit and Kohli’s role will be to hold the fort from the other end.

“We will be giving them a lot of clarity as to what their roles are. And I’m confident anyone in the top three will be able to play the role according to the situation of the match,” concluded Dravid.

Featured Image Credit: BCCI