Rahul Dravid held a press conference after India’s T20 series win. The first question he faced during the press meeting was on Wridhhiman Saha. The head coach replied with sarcasm before delving deep into the crus of the matter.
Statements by Rahul Dravid
Dravid thanked everyone for congratulating them for winning the T20 series. He stated that he is not hurt at all and he has a deep respect for Wridhhiman Saha and his achievements. The conversation Dravid had with him, came from that place. Rahul Dravid thinks that Saha deserves complete honesty and clarity.
He mentioned that these are the conversations that he constantly has with his players. Players are not likely to always like the messages sent over or agree with whatever he has to say about them.
Saha’s exclusion from the upcoming Test
The Indian team secured back-to-back victory in the limited-overs series against West Indies, but over the past 24 hours. Since the Test squad announcement for the upcoming two matches against Sri Lanka, Wridhhiman Saha’s exclusion from the squad became the talk of the town.
The wicket-keeper batsman told the press about how he had given assurance from the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and also his conversations with Rahul Dravid.
Rahul Dravid confirmed that it was rather a difficult conversation, which was indeed necessary for Saha to offer clarity and honesty.
Rahul Dravid on the importance of clarity in conversation
The Indian head coach stated that people are not expected to always agree with you when you have tough conversations with them. But it doesn’t mean that you should bottle it up and not have the conversation at all. Dravid said that he believes in having such a conversation before the squad is picked. He also added that even now, either Rohit or he will speak to the guys who are not picked for the squad. Therefore it is quite understandable and natural for players to get hurt.
Dravid said that he feels that Saha deserves complete clarity because of the respect that he has for him, and that is what he was trying to convey.
Grooming young players
The Indian team will play two home games against Sri Lanka as well as a postponed Test from the last year in England so far. The selectors and the team management thought that they would groom KS Bharat as a younger wicket-keeper as Rishabh Pant’s back-up.
Dravid added that it was their idea to groom a younger wicket-keeper with only three Test matches this year as Rishabh Pant has established as their No.1 choice. He said that it was easier for him not to have these conversations. Unfortunately, that is not who he is.
Pant taking over Saha
When Pant took over as the wicket-keeper, Saha, 37, lost his place but was staying in the team as the No.2 keeper. Saha could play two Tests when Pant was rested in the home series against New Zealand. After scoring a game-saving 61, in the second innings at Kanpur, he stated that he received a Whatsapp message from Sourav Ganguly. The message stated, As long as I’m here (as a president of BCCI), you would be in the team’.
Saha also told the press that Rahul Dravid had told him to have a rethink on his career, with the Indian team eyeing the future. Saha understood the statement as a message to call time on his career.
He received a phone call from Sharma later on. Which said, according to Saha, the chief selector informed him that he would not be in the squad. It also added that the exclusion was not only for the two Tests against Sri Lanka.