Players need to be flexible because not much time to prepare for T20 World Cup: Rahul Dravid | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Head coach Rahul Dravid acknowledged the limited opportunities for Indian players to play as a group ahead of the T20 World Cup and emphasized the need for mental flexibility leading up to the event in June.
The three-match series against Afghanistan, starting on Thursday, marks India’s final T20I assignment before the global T20 World Cup.
Dravid highlighted that considering this scenario, the team management would also have to rely on the performances in IPL 2024 to make crucial decisions regarding team selection. This indicates the significance of the upcoming IPL in shaping the composition of the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup.
“After the last T20I World Cup (2022) we prioritised the ODI World Cup. But we don’t have that many T20I games after that (ODI WC),” said Dravid in his pre-match conference in Mohali on Wednesday.
“So, this T20I WC is slightly different in the sense that (there’s) not a lot of time to prepare for that. We have to rely on the cricket that we have and also a little bit on the IPL.”
Dravid emphasised the importance of players being adaptable in situations where they may not have many opportunities to play together as a group. This flexibility becomes crucial as the team prepares for the T20 World Cup, with limited chances for collective game time before the marquee event in June.
“We might not get too many chances to play together, so we will have to work around that. You just need to adapt and be flexible. We had a good preparation leading into the one-day WC. Even in the last T20I World Cup, we had a lot of games together as a group. This time we won’t have that (many matches) probably, but it is all about adapting while going ahead,” he added.

Key players, including pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj, along with all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, will not be participating in the three-match T20I series against Afghanistan.
The absence of these premier players provides an opportunity for other squad members to showcase their skills and stake their claim for a spot in the team ahead of the T20 World Cup.
It also reflects the team management’s strategy to manage the workload of key players and provide opportunities for others to contribute to the team’s success.
Does their absence pose a hindrance to the team’s ambition to have as much collective real match-time as possible?
Dravid highlighted the significance of providing players with breaks, taking into account the extensive cricket schedules they are navigating.
Recognising the physical and mental demands of continuous cricket, Dravid’s decision to rest key players for the T20I series against Afghanistan aligns with the broader strategy of player workload management.
“It is impossible for all the players to play all the time, especially for the players who are playing all the three formats. We had to prioritise what is important.
Bumrah, Siraj and Jadeja have missed out from this series because keeping in mind the five-Test home series against England. So, we are always playing that juggling act a little bit over the last two years,” he signed off.
(With PTI inputs)

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