‘If You Want To Stay In The Team, Score Runs’- Rahul Dravid Sets The Tone Straight For KL Rahul. 

After a tried-and-true KL Rahul was unable to play in the New Zealand series owing to personal obligations, the Rahul Dravid-coached team brought in Ishan Kishan to fill in for the injured glovesman Rishabh Pant during the World Cup year.

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While in-form Kishan was reinstated to the starting eleven for the three One Day Internationals (ODIs) against New Zealand, former Indian vice-captain Rahul was the first-choice keeper in the series against Sri Lanka.

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After Rahul and Shreyas Iyer were ruled out of the New Zealand series, Kishan, who was overlooked by selectors for the Sri Lanka ODIs, was referred to by captain Rohit as an automatic starter.

“We always looking for a wicketkeeper-batsman, there is no question about it. I think since there has been MS Dhoni, in white-ball cricket, the days of specialist wicketkeepers are gone unfortunately. We are lucky and we are fortunate that all of the guys who are in contention, even in this team you know whether it’s Ishan Kishan or KS Bharat are both good batsmen and have done well in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Bharat hasn’t played but Ishan has obviously done well as a batsman,” Dravid told reporters ahead of the 3rd ODI against New Zealand.

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Before the third ODI against the Black Caps on Monday, the head coach was asked if Team India was searching for a wicketkeeper-batter in the mold of Rahul Dravid in preparation for the 2023 World Cup.

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In the early 2000s, a specialist batter like Dravid took over as India’s full-time wicketkeeper in order to accommodate brilliant young players like Mohammad Kaif, Yuvraj Singh, and Virender Sehwag.

At the 2003 World Cup, batting legend Dravid was famed for donning the wicketkeeper’s gloves for Sourav Ganguly’s Team India. After acknowledging the reporter’s query, the Indian head coach praised the newer generation of wicketkeepers before making a special mention of the famous wicketkeeper-batter MS Dhoni.

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When Parthiv Patel, Dinesh Karthik, and MS Dhoni arrived, batting legend Dravid was relieved of his wicketkeeping responsibilities.

In addition, Kishan was added to the Test squad for the first two Tests of the prestigious Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia. Kishan is keeping wickets for India while Rahul is out due to injury. Following his impressive performance in the limited-overs forms, Kishan was given his first call-up for a Test match.

When he scored a remarkable double century against Bangladesh in the third ODI in December of last year, the powerful Indian opener surprised the cricket community.

Srikar Bharat, who is also chosen in the Test squad for the Australia series, will compete against Kishan. The same pair is included in the ODI squad for the current series against New Zealand. Jitesh Sharma is also included in the mix.

“There is Rahul there, Samson is there, but unfortunately, Rishabh is injured. All of these guys are wicketkeeper-batsmen. I think today, you have to be a wicketkeeper-batsman. You should be able to bat and contribute significantly. We have also picked up Jitesh Sharma in the T20 mix because of his ability to bat and score runs at a very quick pace as he has shown in the Mushtaq Ali Trophy and in the IPL that he has played. So yeah it’s given now that all teams need a wicketkeeper-batsman,” Dravid added.

The Vidarbha wicketkeeper-batter received his first invite to the Sri Lanka T20 International squad. The wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson, who was unable to participate in the T20I series owing to a knee injury, was replaced by the Punjab Kings star. For the three-match series against New Zealand, Jitesh has maintained his position in the Indian T20I team.

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