IPL news May 21, 2012

Dravid undecided about IPL future

ESPNcricinfo staff

Rahul Dravid, the Rajasthan Royals captain, has said that he is unsure about his role in the future and he's willing to step aside if the franchise finds a younger opener to partner Ajinkya Rahane next season. The Dravid-Rahane combine were the only pair to open in all matches this season, scoring 579 at 36.18.

"I really don't know (about my future). I will have to think it over. I would take a break and decide about my role. I will talk to my family and also the management of the Rajasthan Royals about my role and then I would decide," Dravid said. "My goal is to develop young players. Rahane did a great job with the opportunities we gave him. We identified a couple of players in the other franchises who did not get an opportunity to play.

"I don't know what the rules will be in terms of trades and swaps, but if we can get one or two young players then I can always step back and play a different role. We'd like a good young ambitious guy to come in and open the batting for us with Ajinkya next season," he said. "But if we can't find someone, then there's always the option of me playing, we'll see how it goes."

Dravid, who scored 462 runs from 16 matches at 28.87 this season, said Royals needed to strengthen its batting for next season. "We don't have a young top-order Indian batsman, we are trying to identify someone, there are a couple of good, young middle-order players in [Stuart] Binny and [Ashok] Menaria and we will work on them in the course of the year," he said. "We also have youngsters like Ajit Chandila, Ankit Chavan and Gajendra Singh. I am sorry about the local lad Gajendra Singh who didn't get a chance to play (this season)."

Royals finished seventh this season with seven wins and nine losses. "We lost a few close games like the ones against Delhi, Deccan and Chennai and that hurt us," he said. "I feel our fielding performance and bowling was the worst. I am disappointed but there are some positives too."

Despite the disappointing finish to the season, Dravid said he enjoyed captaining Royals. "It was a pleasure to lead the side and the support from the management and support staff has been top notch," Dravid said. "As far as my own performance is concerned I played my role as the opener with Rahane to satisfaction. I feel batting is one thing and scoring runs is another thing."

Edited by Carlyle Laurie