Ranji Trophy 2013-14, quarterfinals January 7, 2014

'Players could have left for NZ after quarterfinals' - Dravid

ESPNcricinfo staff
23

Rahul Dravid: "If I was Bhuvneshwar Kumar I would definitely have wanted to play"

Rahul Dravid has said that the BCCI could have allowed the India ODI players who are part of teams in the Ranji Trophy quarterfinals to leave for the New Zealand tour a day or two after their team-mates.

Suresh Raina, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (both UP), Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane (both Mumbai), Mohammed Shami (Bengal) and Stuart Binny (Karnataka) will leave for New Zealand with the rest of the India squad on January 12, and miss their Ranji quarterfinals, which are scheduled from January 8 to 12. The first ODI, in Napier, is on January 19.

"I think there was a good opportunity to [let the six players play the quarterfinals], because even after the 12th, there are almost seven days before the first one-day match starts on the 19th," Dravid told ESPNcricinfo. "I guess there was a good opportunity to do that, and it's only six players, so maybe these six players could have left a day or two late … I'm sure the Ranji Trophy teams and the coaches would have been very happy to have some of these boys play."

Venkatesh Prasad, the UP coach, had criticised the BCCI's decision, and had specifically taken the case of Bhuvneshwar, whose last competitive match was the first ODI in South Africa on December 5, more than a month ago. Asked to assess the case on a player-by-player basis, Dravid said Bhuvneshwar could have definitely done with match practice.

"If I was Bhuvneshwar Kumar I would definitely have wanted to play, because he's not played a lot of match cricket," Dravid said. "He's probably bowled a lot in the nets over the last month, month-and-a-half, but he hasn't played a lot of cricket, so I would have really been chomping on the bit to have a game.

"From other people's perspective, someone like a Rohit Sharma or Ajinkya Rahane, who've been through a tough Test series, they might have been the ones wanting a bit of a break, but they're both probably young kids and from their perspective would have probably wanted to see Mumbai in the semifinals as well. It'll be interesting to see what the players' perspective on this would have been, but I would think, in my past experience, if there is such a big gap in between the last game and the start of the tour, most guys actually don't mind playing the game."

Having the six India players playing the quarterfinals, Dravid added, would have raised the profile of the Ranji Trophy.

"You have a Rohit Sharma, an Ajinkya Rahane playing for Mumbai, there's no doubt that a lot more people suddenly get tuned to the game, they watch the game, if it's live on TV and you're switching the channels and you see a Sharma batting, you're probably going to hang around there and watch it, a little bit more, so it does raise the profile of the competition, it does tell you that the competition is extremely serious and we value it," he said. "I'm not saying that the BCCI doesn't value it, I think they do value the Ranji Trophy, I've seen some really good things happen with the Ranji Trophy, but I'm just saying that there was an opportunity here to maybe let these guys play some cricket and there were only the six of them."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on January 14, 2014, 5:11 GMT

    This is where some one have to think before they judge on when to leave for international duties. last time i remember Karnataka take on Mumbai in 2008 finals and Dravid was not allowed to play (even after his request to join the team in 2 days) coz there was a Bangaladesh tour. Someone who have planned the tour, should clearly understand the schedule of the domestic cricket and avoid these circumstances.

  • crikkfan on January 8, 2014, 17:10 GMT

    Ashik Sali - it is easy to make a comment like you as well against someone like Dravid who puts much thought into whatever he saysl. Did you even read the full article? What Dravid says makes a lot of sense. In the case of Bhuvi at least - it is a no-brainer that he should have played Ranji to get match-fit before getting acclimatized to NZ condition. I do agree that if players in Rohit want a break after the test series, that is a different issue. I wonder how the players themselves feel about it - or would they be too wary to voice what they think in case it gets misconstrued to be anti-BCCI!

  • RibhavBansal on January 8, 2014, 13:48 GMT

    If anyone remembers the article published on Cricinfo when the South Africa series was curtailed, at that time, one of the reasons given for not playing a new Years test match was that the players would like to participate in the Ranji Trophy quarter finals. http://www.espncricinfo.com/south-africa-v-india-2013-14/content/story/683885.html.

    And now when the time comes for these players to play in the Ranji trophy, what does the BCCI do, make sure that the same players fly out on the last day of the quarterfinal matches ensuring they cannot participate in the same. Only BCCI folks know what they are upto

  • gansatcricket on January 8, 2014, 12:57 GMT

    My opinion is it is good that national players are given rest, because that will give way to six talented youngsters to showcause their skills.

  • muzika_tchaikovskogo on January 8, 2014, 6:38 GMT

    Its an argument that cuts both ways. Playing in India may not have helped the players themselves, considering they're going to be handling completely different conditions in New Zealand soon. But, it could just as well be argued that it would have helped them get some much needed confidence and (in case of players like Bhuvaneshwar) even match fitness.

  • on January 8, 2014, 5:54 GMT

    It is easy to talk after retirement. These days the international schedule is packed tight you hardly get time to rejuvenate yourself. Even Dravid has skipped lot of domestic matches during his playing days.

  • ravi_hari on January 8, 2014, 5:50 GMT

    I fully agree with Dravid. I think we take the domestic tournaments too lightly. Someone mentioned learn from Aus. If you have to really learn from them, then see that they do not select 15 or 16 players for a home test match. They take only 12 and relieve any reserves to attend to state duties. In case substitutes are required the local players do the job for them. I think Dravid is very right in asking players to play Ranji. Two things to play for, first to contribute and ensure that the team reaches semis. Second, correct any fallacies before going in to an important tour. It also adds to your confidence if as a batsman you get a hundred or as a bowler your get 3 to 4 wkts. It will also test your body, if there is any hidden injury. More importantly as Dravid said, it will raise the bar for these matches. I rubbish the claim that their absence will give opportunity to youngsters, what their presence will do is much more than that. One match cannot deprive anyone of any chances.

  • AB-50 on January 8, 2014, 5:16 GMT

    It is surprising to note that one after another former Indian cricketer is critical of BCCI's decision to not let the six players to play in the Ranji Trophy matches, just before embarking on the NZ tour.First it was Venkatesh Prasad & Ashok Malhotra & now it is Rahul Dravid.While it may not be cold in NZ, as some have suggested (it is summer in the Australian subcontinent),I feel more concerned about their likely injuries,while playing on Ranji grounds,which can-not be as good as those prepared for international matches.Imagine a Shami or Bhuvaneshwar Kumar not available for the tour,because they got injured playing in the Ranji game.As suggested by me earlier,actually,this will open up opportunities for budding talents to show their prowess in the Ranji format and who knows,a new Shami or Bhuvi may appear on the horizon,which will come handy for the selectors for the future internationals.

  • KrisRam77 on January 8, 2014, 3:54 GMT

    I Disagree with the theory that the players should be playing in the Ranji QF, infact either way BCCI has not planned it right if i were the president of BCCI the team would have already departed to NZ by now, remember it will be quite cold in NZ and players should have been there by now rather than 12th or 13th. I hope Team India get used to the conditions fast and put up decent performances in the ODI's and Tests on the tour. Good Luck Team India, Jai Ho!!

  • on January 8, 2014, 2:40 GMT

    Can we learn from Australia ? who asked Mitchell Johnson to skip a series decider ODI so that he can prepare well for Ashes - months before Ashes was scheduled - and stood vindicated when he delivered series winning performances...

    Some decisions in the interest of national team has to be respected. After all, this gives an opportunity for as many new players to get a spot in the squad, and who knows one of them will be the next find.

  • on January 14, 2014, 5:11 GMT

    This is where some one have to think before they judge on when to leave for international duties. last time i remember Karnataka take on Mumbai in 2008 finals and Dravid was not allowed to play (even after his request to join the team in 2 days) coz there was a Bangaladesh tour. Someone who have planned the tour, should clearly understand the schedule of the domestic cricket and avoid these circumstances.

  • crikkfan on January 8, 2014, 17:10 GMT

    Ashik Sali - it is easy to make a comment like you as well against someone like Dravid who puts much thought into whatever he saysl. Did you even read the full article? What Dravid says makes a lot of sense. In the case of Bhuvi at least - it is a no-brainer that he should have played Ranji to get match-fit before getting acclimatized to NZ condition. I do agree that if players in Rohit want a break after the test series, that is a different issue. I wonder how the players themselves feel about it - or would they be too wary to voice what they think in case it gets misconstrued to be anti-BCCI!

  • RibhavBansal on January 8, 2014, 13:48 GMT

    If anyone remembers the article published on Cricinfo when the South Africa series was curtailed, at that time, one of the reasons given for not playing a new Years test match was that the players would like to participate in the Ranji Trophy quarter finals. http://www.espncricinfo.com/south-africa-v-india-2013-14/content/story/683885.html.

    And now when the time comes for these players to play in the Ranji trophy, what does the BCCI do, make sure that the same players fly out on the last day of the quarterfinal matches ensuring they cannot participate in the same. Only BCCI folks know what they are upto

  • gansatcricket on January 8, 2014, 12:57 GMT

    My opinion is it is good that national players are given rest, because that will give way to six talented youngsters to showcause their skills.

  • muzika_tchaikovskogo on January 8, 2014, 6:38 GMT

    Its an argument that cuts both ways. Playing in India may not have helped the players themselves, considering they're going to be handling completely different conditions in New Zealand soon. But, it could just as well be argued that it would have helped them get some much needed confidence and (in case of players like Bhuvaneshwar) even match fitness.

  • on January 8, 2014, 5:54 GMT

    It is easy to talk after retirement. These days the international schedule is packed tight you hardly get time to rejuvenate yourself. Even Dravid has skipped lot of domestic matches during his playing days.

  • ravi_hari on January 8, 2014, 5:50 GMT

    I fully agree with Dravid. I think we take the domestic tournaments too lightly. Someone mentioned learn from Aus. If you have to really learn from them, then see that they do not select 15 or 16 players for a home test match. They take only 12 and relieve any reserves to attend to state duties. In case substitutes are required the local players do the job for them. I think Dravid is very right in asking players to play Ranji. Two things to play for, first to contribute and ensure that the team reaches semis. Second, correct any fallacies before going in to an important tour. It also adds to your confidence if as a batsman you get a hundred or as a bowler your get 3 to 4 wkts. It will also test your body, if there is any hidden injury. More importantly as Dravid said, it will raise the bar for these matches. I rubbish the claim that their absence will give opportunity to youngsters, what their presence will do is much more than that. One match cannot deprive anyone of any chances.

  • AB-50 on January 8, 2014, 5:16 GMT

    It is surprising to note that one after another former Indian cricketer is critical of BCCI's decision to not let the six players to play in the Ranji Trophy matches, just before embarking on the NZ tour.First it was Venkatesh Prasad & Ashok Malhotra & now it is Rahul Dravid.While it may not be cold in NZ, as some have suggested (it is summer in the Australian subcontinent),I feel more concerned about their likely injuries,while playing on Ranji grounds,which can-not be as good as those prepared for international matches.Imagine a Shami or Bhuvaneshwar Kumar not available for the tour,because they got injured playing in the Ranji game.As suggested by me earlier,actually,this will open up opportunities for budding talents to show their prowess in the Ranji format and who knows,a new Shami or Bhuvi may appear on the horizon,which will come handy for the selectors for the future internationals.

  • KrisRam77 on January 8, 2014, 3:54 GMT

    I Disagree with the theory that the players should be playing in the Ranji QF, infact either way BCCI has not planned it right if i were the president of BCCI the team would have already departed to NZ by now, remember it will be quite cold in NZ and players should have been there by now rather than 12th or 13th. I hope Team India get used to the conditions fast and put up decent performances in the ODI's and Tests on the tour. Good Luck Team India, Jai Ho!!

  • on January 8, 2014, 2:40 GMT

    Can we learn from Australia ? who asked Mitchell Johnson to skip a series decider ODI so that he can prepare well for Ashes - months before Ashes was scheduled - and stood vindicated when he delivered series winning performances...

    Some decisions in the interest of national team has to be respected. After all, this gives an opportunity for as many new players to get a spot in the squad, and who knows one of them will be the next find.

  • abdulashikkhan on January 7, 2014, 20:05 GMT

    very true.! those players who were supposed to play i mean except ajinkya and shami everyone is not in good touch. raina is not going to tear anything in newzealand nor does rohit. at least they could have this records to speak for them.

  • Nampally on January 7, 2014, 20:03 GMT

    This is a tough issue to make the right decision. I am sure BCCI & the Selectors would have loved to see the 6 players participate before leaving for NZ, a couple of days later. But what happens if one or more guys are injured ? It will need a quick "search & Rescue mission" for the replacement. It certainly makes more sense to have the stars participate in the Ranji Q/F to boost the image of each state team. The real issue here is BCCI should have ensured in advance that Ranji Q/F does not clash with NZ tour itinarary. But all these tours are arranged like the "flick of an electric switch". No pre-planning is evident because both the WI tour of India + Indian Tour of NZ were last minute issues, shoved in by totally ignoring the pre-arranged (or Proposed?) Tour of SA- was severely curtailed much to the chagrin of Fans. We live in a society where people say "Sub Chaltta Hai"! I do support Dravid & Prasad's excellent point. But it is like brooding over split Milk - Too little too late!

  • vagee on January 7, 2014, 17:35 GMT

    I disagree. All the people has spoken about individual s match practice, good for india point of view. For an instance look at the state team s point of view. If these players do not play in the quarters, new young players will get that chance which in turn help them in the semi s and final s. These players play the quarters and get match practice and leave to newzealand. I don see the state team ll get benefited by that. They might struggle in the semi s without the players and it might be a one sided contest over there.

  • on January 7, 2014, 16:12 GMT

    India should have a clear tours schedule. Every year we should play 3 test series. ODI bilaterals should be done away with and replaced with a triseries that in turn should include a non-test playing nation. T20s between countries can be scrapped and should be a league thing (IPL Big Bash etc).

    Before any series in the subcontinent the players can be in Ranji etc. But before a tour to NZ or Aus or Eng or SA they need to practice for 2 weeks. They can build such pitches here and prepare. Domestic teams can play on such pitches. That will develop good cricketers.

    The team should go 10-15 days ahead of any tour to Aus, SA, NZ, Eng. If possible some of the players on the fringes should be asked to take part in the Big Bash and such leagues.

    Reality is different. Shikar scored a double hundred in the A team series in SA with Aus A as 3rd team but performed badly now.

    The only real solution is to schedule tours properly, prepare, and build pacy pitches that are closer to the SA, Aus, NZ

  • on January 7, 2014, 16:03 GMT

    These SG balls and flat wickets is what is used identify & select team; I don't see a reason why it can't give some practice & confidence to young players.

  • on January 7, 2014, 15:57 GMT

    @GRVJPR on (January 7, 2014, 15:25 GMT):

    He is proving to be a good friend to his old colleague Venkatesh Prasad. Haven't you seen that "dosti" (friendship) overpowers everything else, in Bollywood movies? Real life imitating reel life! With apologies to Rahul. :-)

  • on January 7, 2014, 15:54 GMT

    If those 6 players were allowed to play ranji matches & failed to make impact in New Zealand these same guys will say about lack of preparation in NZ condition, acclamation,closely packed games,workload, etc Its India & Indian cricket for you

  • mystic.referee on January 7, 2014, 15:38 GMT

    How many times did Dravid or any of the senior players from the previous era go and play ranji matches before their international assignments? I'm sure we can count those instances on our fingers.

  • GRVJPR on January 7, 2014, 15:25 GMT

    Now that our players have gotten used to pace and swinging balls (kukubura) dravid wants to play them with SG balls on flat wickets. I mean I am not satisfied with his views.

  • Pankreap on January 7, 2014, 14:43 GMT

    What are these players-humans or animals?They've been playing continuously and after having getting adapted to south conditions similar 2 blackcaps,you're expecting them 2 play on the indian pitches for practice. Going early to NZ WILL enable them to further get used to their pitches as they are allowed to use practice pitches(quite similar to real 1).This will do a whole lot of gud 2 them.

  • on January 7, 2014, 14:41 GMT

    Just now I read the report on Ramdin's press conference, about their last ODI to be played in NZ. Indians will be following the WI team, soon after. Ramdin says, (extracts follow):

    "...The grass is greener and there's something for the bowlers, with the two new balls. Once the batters get past that, they should get some runs. It's frustrating with the weather. It's much more cold than we're accustomed to ..."

    I feel both our batsmen & bowlers should get as much practice THERE, in those conditions, before the 1st official match.

    They already made some adjustments to the pace of Steyn & Co. Let them build on it & adjust to the pseudo-summer conditions in NZ. Playing them for 4 days in India in the interim, amounts to two steps forward & one step back.

    The difference between those who got into the touring party and those who were just on the borderline is hardly anything. If at all some of those who missed out could be better. And, more boys will get a chance to showcase their talents

  • IndianEagle on January 7, 2014, 14:41 GMT

    indian players having more work loads than any other team in the world, So they need rest. Look at oz team, they managing their players very carefully. Conditions in NZ are entirely different to indian pitches. Most of the players mentioned here are going to play in first odi and also they are going to train hard early in NZ to adjust for that conditions. How could they manage their workload if they play QF, traing matches and main tour. I totally disagree with dravid.

  • on January 7, 2014, 14:29 GMT

    In fact there should be a window that makes it mandatory for the test players to play a certain number of Ranji/domestic games. India should have a proud calendar for tests and tours. just look at Aus, Eng or SA - they always play a series at home and away. They also take part in various leagues like the IPL. Another thought is to let a few regulars play in the Big bash. That will help India when they got to Aus Nz for the WC 2015.

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  • on January 7, 2014, 14:29 GMT

    In fact there should be a window that makes it mandatory for the test players to play a certain number of Ranji/domestic games. India should have a proud calendar for tests and tours. just look at Aus, Eng or SA - they always play a series at home and away. They also take part in various leagues like the IPL. Another thought is to let a few regulars play in the Big bash. That will help India when they got to Aus Nz for the WC 2015.

  • IndianEagle on January 7, 2014, 14:41 GMT

    indian players having more work loads than any other team in the world, So they need rest. Look at oz team, they managing their players very carefully. Conditions in NZ are entirely different to indian pitches. Most of the players mentioned here are going to play in first odi and also they are going to train hard early in NZ to adjust for that conditions. How could they manage their workload if they play QF, traing matches and main tour. I totally disagree with dravid.

  • on January 7, 2014, 14:41 GMT

    Just now I read the report on Ramdin's press conference, about their last ODI to be played in NZ. Indians will be following the WI team, soon after. Ramdin says, (extracts follow):

    "...The grass is greener and there's something for the bowlers, with the two new balls. Once the batters get past that, they should get some runs. It's frustrating with the weather. It's much more cold than we're accustomed to ..."

    I feel both our batsmen & bowlers should get as much practice THERE, in those conditions, before the 1st official match.

    They already made some adjustments to the pace of Steyn & Co. Let them build on it & adjust to the pseudo-summer conditions in NZ. Playing them for 4 days in India in the interim, amounts to two steps forward & one step back.

    The difference between those who got into the touring party and those who were just on the borderline is hardly anything. If at all some of those who missed out could be better. And, more boys will get a chance to showcase their talents

  • Pankreap on January 7, 2014, 14:43 GMT

    What are these players-humans or animals?They've been playing continuously and after having getting adapted to south conditions similar 2 blackcaps,you're expecting them 2 play on the indian pitches for practice. Going early to NZ WILL enable them to further get used to their pitches as they are allowed to use practice pitches(quite similar to real 1).This will do a whole lot of gud 2 them.

  • GRVJPR on January 7, 2014, 15:25 GMT

    Now that our players have gotten used to pace and swinging balls (kukubura) dravid wants to play them with SG balls on flat wickets. I mean I am not satisfied with his views.

  • mystic.referee on January 7, 2014, 15:38 GMT

    How many times did Dravid or any of the senior players from the previous era go and play ranji matches before their international assignments? I'm sure we can count those instances on our fingers.

  • on January 7, 2014, 15:54 GMT

    If those 6 players were allowed to play ranji matches & failed to make impact in New Zealand these same guys will say about lack of preparation in NZ condition, acclamation,closely packed games,workload, etc Its India & Indian cricket for you

  • on January 7, 2014, 15:57 GMT

    @GRVJPR on (January 7, 2014, 15:25 GMT):

    He is proving to be a good friend to his old colleague Venkatesh Prasad. Haven't you seen that "dosti" (friendship) overpowers everything else, in Bollywood movies? Real life imitating reel life! With apologies to Rahul. :-)

  • on January 7, 2014, 16:03 GMT

    These SG balls and flat wickets is what is used identify & select team; I don't see a reason why it can't give some practice & confidence to young players.

  • on January 7, 2014, 16:12 GMT

    India should have a clear tours schedule. Every year we should play 3 test series. ODI bilaterals should be done away with and replaced with a triseries that in turn should include a non-test playing nation. T20s between countries can be scrapped and should be a league thing (IPL Big Bash etc).

    Before any series in the subcontinent the players can be in Ranji etc. But before a tour to NZ or Aus or Eng or SA they need to practice for 2 weeks. They can build such pitches here and prepare. Domestic teams can play on such pitches. That will develop good cricketers.

    The team should go 10-15 days ahead of any tour to Aus, SA, NZ, Eng. If possible some of the players on the fringes should be asked to take part in the Big Bash and such leagues.

    Reality is different. Shikar scored a double hundred in the A team series in SA with Aus A as 3rd team but performed badly now.

    The only real solution is to schedule tours properly, prepare, and build pacy pitches that are closer to the SA, Aus, NZ