Rahul Dravid defends KL Rahul's captaincy despite series loss to Proteas

Despite a strong start in the first Test at Centurion, which India won comfortably, India lost both the Test and ODI series.

KL Rahul in a file photo. (Image credit: Twitter)
By Nilavro Ghosh | Jan 24, 2022 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

India’s head coach, Rahul Dravid, admitted on Sunday that his squad didn’t play smart cricket at important times, but he encouraged KL Rahul, who has been plagued by injuries, to improve as a leader in the coming days. Despite a strong start in the first Test at Centurion, which India won comfortably, India lost both the Test and ODI series in what turned out to be a disastrous visit of South Africa. In all three ODIs that India lost, Dravid believed that skill execution was absent. According to him, the series is a good eye opener, but there is still plenty of time before the 2023 ODI World Cup, and India should be improving soon.

“He is just starting out and I think he did a very decent job. He will constantly get better as he captains,” the head coach said about Rahul.

“This is a good eye opener but we haven’t played a lot of ODI cricket. We last played against England in March (after that second string side played against Lanka under Dravid’s coaching). We will play a lot of white ball cricket before next year’s World Cup. The guys who play at 6, 7, and 8 weren’t available for selection and when they come back, the side will have a slightly different look,” he said about the series.

India lose third ODI

Half-centuries from Virat Kohli (65) and Shikhar Dhawan (61) along with a late surge from Deepak Chahar (54) went in-vain as India were bundled out for 283 runs, losing the closely fought third and final ODI at Newlands, Cape Town on Sunday by 4 runs, to hand the hosts a 3-0 clean sweep in the series. Chasing a challenging target of 288 runs, stand-in captain KL Rahul failed to find his purple patch, once again, as he was sent packing for 9 runs in the fifth over. His fellow opener Dhawan and former India captain Virat Kohli, then, took matters in their own hands to help the side recover from 18/1 to 116/2 before the former was sent packing. 

The 98-run stand for the second-wicket helped the visitors gain some momentum as the southpaw smashed five boundaries and one six in his 73-ball innings while Kohli hit five fours in his 84-ball knock. Following their dismissals, Shreyas Iyer (26) and Suryakumar Yadav (39), chipped in with important cameos while Chahar’s late onslaught helped India remain in the hunt. He smashed five boundaries and two sixes in his brilliant cameo off 34 deliveries. But India lost the plot after their dismissal to hand the hosts another victory. 

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