Post the T20 World Cup 2022 semi-final defeat, Indian head coach Rahul Dravid claims that an extensive experience of playing the Big Bash League in Australia contributed to Jos Buttler and Alex Hales’ absolute dominance over India.
Rahul Dravid on India’s Defeat in T20WC 2022 Semifinals
Jos Buttler (80 not out) and Alex Hales (86 not out) added 169 runs in just 16 overs to complete embarrass India by 10 wickets in a high-profile semifinal. Hales has played the maximum amount of BBL among the current England team, having donned the Melbourne Renegades and Sydney Thunder jerseys.
“I mean, sure, there’s no doubt about it the fact that England — a lot of their players have come here and played. In this tournament, it certainly showed. It’s tough,” Dravid admitted that the winners had an advantage.
Buttler has also played for the Thunders and both the England openers have plied their trade against local team Adelaide Strikers at this very ground here.
The BCCI doesn’t allow any active Indian cricketer to play in overseas T20 leagues. “I think it’s very difficult for Indian cricket because a lot of these tournaments happen right in the peak of our season,” said Dravid when asked if playing in the BBL would benefit the Indians.
“I think it’s a huge challenge for us. Yes, I think a lot of our boys maybe do miss out on the opportunities of playing in a lot of these leagues, but if you were to — it’s really up to the BCCI to make that decision,” he landed the ball on parent body’s court.
The BBL is held right at the time of Ranji Trophy and hence there is no chance that any Indian youngsters will get a chance to play. Giving players a chance to play other leagues will finish India’s domestic tourneys.
“The thing is it’s (BBL) right in the middle of our season, and with the kind of demand there would be for Indian players, if you allowed all of them to play in these leagues, we would not have a domestic cricket,” he said.
“Our domestic trophy, our Ranji trophy would be finished, and that would mean Test cricket would be finished,” Dravid said.
The BCCI would face a catch-22 situation if they open the doors for its players to ply their trade in foreign leagues.
“I know a lot of people talk about it, but we have to be very careful when we — we have to understand the challenges that Indian cricket faces or the BCCI would face in a situation like this.” If Indian players are allowed in other leagues, Dravid feels Indian cricket will become like West Indies, which is struggling to keep the Test format afloat.
“You’d see all our boys — like a lot of boys being asked to play leagues right bang in the middle of our season. We’ve seen what that’s done to West Indian cricket, and I would definitely not want Indian cricket to go that way.
“It would certainly affect our Ranji trophy; it would affect Test cricket. Indian boys playing Test cricket is pretty important for the Test game, as well, I would think,” he added.
We were 20 runs short in Powerplay overs
Dravid agreed that on the day, the team wasn’t good enough against England.
“Over the last year, we have played some good T20 cricket. Even in this tournament, I think we’ve had our moments. But on the day we were just not good enough here,” he said.
For Dravid, the loss in another knockout game is “disappointing but not a debacle”.
“Yeah, it’s disappointing. Debacle I’m not sure is the right word, but disappointing certainly.” The coach was the first one to admit that they fell short of par score by posting 168 for six.
“Maybe when the game started, the boys were saying it was a little bit tacky, it was a little bit slower. Having said that, they bowled really well.
“I thought they were really good up front. They hit really good lengths, didn’t really let us get away. We felt at that 15-over mark we felt we were probably 15-20 short, and we really had a good last five overs,” he said.
No swing for Bhuvi, Arshdeep
The new ball didn’t swing for both Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Arshdeep Singh and that was one major reason for India’s heavy defeat.
“The ball didn’t swing here probably as much as it has in other parts of Australia or in other conditions. Played a little bit into their hands, and class players like that, both Buttler and Hales, I thought their partnership was fantastic.
“I think they just put the pressure on us, never let that go, and even when our spinners came on a wicket that we thought we might be able to control the game,” he reasoned.
Post the World Cup defeat India will tour New Zealand where they will play 3 T20I matches and as many as ODI matches between November 13 to November 30.