India news March 6, 2012

Kohli's elevation shouldn't dispirit Gambhir - Dravid

ESPNcricinfo staff

Rahul Dravid has said the selectors' decision to appoint Virat Kohli as India's vice-captain for the Asia Cup is a just reward for the Delhi batsman, who was the only India player to hit a century on the tour to Australia - he had scored one hundred apiece in the Test and one-day series. At the same time, Dravid pointed out that Gautam Gambhir, who was earmarked as a future captain by the selectors in the past, should not be discouraged by Kohli's elevation.

"He [Kohli] has had a great tour of Australia. He has done incredibly well in the Tests and in the ODIs. The selectors have given him a bit of reward," Dravid said in Mumbai, at an event organised by his IPL franchise, Rajasthan Royals. "Having said that, Virat is the first to recognise that he has got to establish himself to go a step further. I think we know from the past that by just being the vice-captain, you are not going to be the next captain. [And so] I feel people like Gautam shouldn't feel left out. But at the moment Dhoni is doing a good job, so you don't need to look anywhere else."

Dravid, who was a part of the two teams that suffered whitewashes in the Test series in Australia and before that in England, said that the poor results were "really tough" on the players, who always entered the field with just one thought: "to win". "First England and then Australia - we suffered that string of losses on both the tours and believe me, we feel very deeply about it," Dravid said.

The lack of big innings from Sachin Tendulkar was not a concern, Dravid said. Tendulkar, for the first time in five tours to Australia, did not score a ton, leading to much speculation regarding the pressure on him as he continues to search for his 100th international century. He has now gone 32 innings without a hundred, the last time he got to the landmark being against South Africa in the World Cup a year ago.

"Having shared the dressing-room with Sachin, I don't think Sachin himself is thinking about it [scoring the 100th century]," Dravid said. "Every time, a batsman wants to go out and score a century to help the team win. It [the landmark] will happen.

Edited by Nikita Bastian