Dinesh Karthik believes that despite their failures in the first India-New Zealand T20I, Shreyas Iyer and Venkatesh Iyer won’t feel “judged” or insecure in the Indian dressing room under the watch of Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid.
Chasing 165 in Jaipur, India looked comfortable for the most part. But when skipper Sharma (48) and Suryakumar Yadav (62) got out in quick succession, the pressure was back. Shreyas Iyer (5 off 8) struggled with his timing and debutant Venkatesh Iyer, too, hit a boundary off his first ball and lost his wicket on the next.
Their performances didn’t affect the result as Rishabh Pant (17*) sealed the final-over chase with two balls to spare. Speaking to Cricbuzz after the match, Dinesh Karthik said both Sharma and Dravid have endured a lot of failure in their careers so they won’t let just one bad game affect Shreyas and Venkatesh’s confidence.
Dinesh Karthik said:
“Shreyas Iyer and Venkatesh Iyer, the middle-order batsmen that didn’t look as good as they would have if they had played a long innings, won’t feel so judged in this dressing room. Both the coach and the captain have seen a lot of failures and that is the biggest advantage these boys will have in the dressing room. They’ll feel rather calm and they’ll know it’s just one game… Sometimes you can feel judged and you question that ‘Am I good enough for this level?’ I think those questions won’t be the ones they’ll answer so early. It will be a very calm and easygoing dressing room.”
Dinesh Karthik even defended Shreyas Iyer for his innings, saying he didn’t have a choice but to attack every ball, but it just didn’t come off on the day. Karthik said if someone needs to be blamed for the match going close, it should be Yadav or Sharma for giving away their wickets. Dinesh Karthik added:
“You can’t fault Shreyas Iyer for doing it because at that stage you want boundaries. If it’s not there to be hit then you probably try and hit a cut shot, a flick shot, or a cover drive but your first instinct is to hit it for a six straight over the bowler’s head or over deep mid-wicket… If you have to go by results you can fault Surya or Rohit but if you go by process I think all of them played the right shots…”
Shreyas made a comeback to the Indian team after a long injury-forced break. Venkatesh, meanwhile, was slotted in a position – No.6 – where he hasn’t played much before. The duo is likely to get a long rope to cement their place in the team, including in the remaining two matches of the series.
“Rahul Dravid the best man around to keep things calm” – Ajay Jadeja
Earlier in the same interaction, Ajay Jadeja spoke on similar lines as Dinesh Karthik and remarked that international cricket is the best test of new coach Dravid’s nous. Jadeja also said that Dravid is the “best man” to keep the dressing room environment calm. He remarked:
“The skill of a coach is tested at this stage, you know, how calm can you keep the dressing room, the guys going in next get the vibes… Rahul Dravid is the probably the best man around to keep things calm.”
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India will look to extend their 1-0 lead on Friday in the second T20I in Ranchi.