West Indies v India, 1st Test, Kingston, Jamaica, 4th day June 23, 2011

Dravid impressed with India's young talent

ESPNcricinfo staff

Rahul Dravid, India's batting hero in their victory in the first Test against West Indies, has come out in support of the young talent breaking into the national team. India entered the series with a depleted side in the absence of first-choice players Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Zaheer Khan, and it took a typically determined second-innings century from Dravid to set up the 63-run win in Jamaica. The young batsmen who came into the XI - with the exception of Suresh Raina in the first innings - wasted the opportunity to impress, but Dravid was confident that they would come good if backed consistently.

"These youngsters are even better than we were, in terms of talent," Dravid said after the match. "We put too much pressure on youngsters; we need to relax and give them time, we need to be patient with them, and we can't be questioning them after every one or two matches."

The Kingston Test marks 15 years since Dravid debuted along with Sourav Ganguly at Lord's in 1996, a series in which both did exceptionally well. VVS Laxman also debuted the same year, completing the core of what was to eventually become a world-class middle order, along with Tendulkar.

Dravid said the next generation of players had the potential to surpass even the class of 96. "We all needed time - we have been around for 15 years since we were given a bit of time and you can't expect performances straight away," Dravid said. "To be fair to these guys, they have been performing brilliantly in ODIs and I believe Indian cricket is in good hands and these youngsters are going to perform much better than we did even."

Dravid, along with VVS Laxman and MS Dhoni, played in Kingston without much time to acclimatise to the Caribbean or playing practice games. Dravid said it was one of the issues the team grappled with in Jamaica and hoped for improvements before the second Test in Barbados from the 28th.

"We know we need to do better than we did in this Test," Dravid said. "If we are honest we know there are areas we need to improve on, and hopefully we will get that right in Barbados. It has not been easy: a lot of guys have come off a flight two-three days before the Test and there's been no practice game. Hopefully this win is a good lead-up, and the guys will do better in the next game."

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  • Binoj on June 27, 2011, 15:25 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas Also your comment about great Steyn and Morkel is applicable to Sachin also. It will not be possible to shield the tailender against their likes. To shield the tailender, you should be able to play a single shot of a particular delivery without losing your wicket. And if the bowlers are good enough, they will make sure that you are not able to do so due to their sheer brilliance. Also not running a single when there is a single is most painful thing to watch. About time we did way with that practice.

  • sean on June 27, 2011, 15:20 GMT

    Why doesn't dravid retire if he realizes there is a lot of young talent?His selfish nature has cost us so many times in the past 5 years and it's killing the careers of young talent.It's time you hang up your boots sir.Atleast we get to have some young talent who can score at decent strike rate and not look for his personal records. @gautam sukumaran

    lol!sachin's performance not top class in the recent past?which sachin are you talking about?

  • Binoj on June 27, 2011, 13:33 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas New ball was not taken when Sachin batted on that day with tailenders. It was taken much much before. The argument that Mishra is better than Unadkat and it was not new ball is just an argument to support your case. I don't buy it. If Mishra was dismissed in the first four overs you would not have said that. Inadvertently it was Mishra who faced the first new ball. Dravid shielded him only for two overs even that Dravid takes long time to score and hence it cannot be said for sure that he was shielding the tailender. The fact is that we have for a while abandoned the practice of shielding the tailender which is a good thing. It was always painful to see as a spectator when they used to do that.

  • Ambica on June 27, 2011, 6:45 GMT

    Some one commented that the current WI attack is club class and hence there is no need to go gaga on RD's knock. It is this club-class attack that reduced us for 85/6 (until Raina and Bhajji saved us) and the same attack exposed the chinks in our batting lineup. Had RD not applied himself and scored a century, we would be trailing 1-0 against this club-class WI attack.

  • Srinivas on June 27, 2011, 3:26 GMT

    @binojpeter, the batting credentials of Mishra and Ishant are much better than Unadkat and the Windies bowling is much inferior to Steyn and Co. Given this scenario Dravid could give some freedom to Mishra. But once the new ball was taken, Dravid kept denying strike to Mishra. Contrast this approach of Dravid to that of Sachin who didn't care what the shaken debutant is capable of against Steyn and Co.

  • Binoj on June 26, 2011, 20:58 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas Go to the Cricinfo commentary and look at the first four overs (76, 77, 78, 79) in the second innings after Mishra came into crease. Dravid took the single in the first or second delivery in each and it was Mishra who fended the rest of the deliveries in the over. If you are not shielding a tailender in his first four overs how is it called shielding the tailender?

  • Dummy4 on June 26, 2011, 16:53 GMT

    We the indians are obsessed with this idea of Dravid is great. This man scores a hundred against a less than club class side, and is called great again. Bishoo lured him into a false shot. Fidel was troubling him all along. He scores a hundred against this side, who are worse than Bangladesh, on a low bounce wicket, we say Dravid is our greatest. We say he is greater than sunny, that is criminal. Sunil Gavaskar was better than any one when facing up to the fast bowlers of the West indies. Our Dravid would not have averaged 10 against that side. Still we talk numbers and averages. West Indies side, which has Ravi rampaul, Bishoo as its spearheads, these two bowlers may not take 150 test wickets, when compared to the pace merchants of earstwhile West Indies. The Garners, Roberts, Marshalls would have dismissed the likes of Dravid with in single digits.

    Comparing Sunil Gavaskar's achievements with Dravid's is criminal.

  • Premanand on June 26, 2011, 14:47 GMT

    I think we all have had the previlage of watching one of the stubborn & fighting innings from Dravid, and it helped Team India not to start of the series 0-1 overseas (which most often happens to our Team and then they fight back). After a very long time we managed to win the first overseas test even without the regulars (SACH, VIRU, GAUTI & ZAK). Thanks Jammy for coming out with an exceptional performance under the circumstances. You always deserve greater place in Indian / World Crickrting History.

    As far as the comparison of Dravid shielding Mishra (or) Sachin not shielding Sreesanth / Unadkat in SA, I think we are all wasting our time to argue for the sake of arguing / debating. Both God & Rahuls entertain (Highest partnership runs in histpry of test cricket between them) us and let's savour it. I really wonder how can you question the Intent & Integrity of these legends by taking up a useless event of not shielding tailenders. Common Guys Cheers, and hope for 3-0 score line

  • Jay on June 26, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    Ever the diplomat is Dravid. Alas, he spoke for the team rather than fact. Let us be frank, India are number one due to a dearth in quality pace pitches around the world and the lack of quality seamers. Preparation of cricket squares around the world to accomodate ODI's and T20 games have killed off a generation of quality bowlers appearing on the world stage. Alas while IPL makes money - nobody will look at the bigger picture - the ultimate death of cricket. Looking at the new tours programme and just appears to me that the ICC has been made toothless with other boards so that the BCCI can strengthen its Frakenstein.

    To be frank, Raina is good - but I technically see him a poorer player of the short ball and seam bowling more so than Saurav Ganguly in his day. The latter at least was beligerent in overcoming - something which Raina still has not done. If this is what is quality in today's pro-batsman pitches - then the quicker cricket dies the better.

  • Dummy4 on June 26, 2011, 8:02 GMT

    @ sachin86: can you tell the same to Sachin? Why doesn't Sachin leave his place for other youngsters? his performance has also not been top class in the recent past...Why does everyone want to pick on Rahul, In spite of being highly talented, Rahul gets targeted. Laxman too saved two test matches for us. But where is Sachin when it comes to crunch games? always gets out for single digit score.

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