India A coach Rahul Dravid sidestepped questions on whether opening batsmen Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw should be picked for the Indian team, stating that it is up to the national selectors to decide
In an interaction, Dravid addressed the need for the India-A set up and more on Tuesday.
Given that Mayank and Prithvi are batting so well, do you think that they are ready to be picked in the India side? If not, what can they do to make it to the Indian team?
This is a bit of a loaded question, and I know what the headlines will be tomorrow if I answer this question. All I will say is that they have been playing very good cricket over the last year or so. Mayank
was quite exceptional in this game (220 against South Africa A), and Prithvi has shown continuous improvement in every level he has played. Whether there is an opportunity (to be picked for the Indian team) or not is not for me to decide.
On Mohammed Siraj’s steady progress:
To get 25 wickets in the last three first-class games is terrific. He has been bowling in much better areas, and has grown physically. It’s his maturity that stands out. Siraj has played very few first-class matches, and he hasn’t really been a part of the junior cricket system. So he is learning all the time. Even in white ball cricket, I won’t be too harsh on him as he hasn’t played much.
On the purpose of the India ‘A’ set up:
In the ‘A’ structure, winning and losing is not the be-all and end-all. Our job is to give opportunities to young talent. We know the requirements of the national team, and we want to provide that. We are
in constant touch with the Chairman of Selectors (M.S.K. Prasad). He was here at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, and he will watch the next game (at Alur) as well. Conversations keep happening with the selectors on what the national team is looking at, and how we can provide that. If players keep performing, like Mayank, Prithvi, Siraj and K.S. Bharat have done, it opens up options for the national selectors. That’s our goal.
On Yuzvendra Chahal in red-ball cricket:
Chahal has had a lot of success in white-ball cricket, but he wasn’t considered a red-ball player. We wanted to give him an opportunity in the India 'A' team to showcase his skills in red-ball cricket. We want
to create good options for the Indian team. They (Indian team management) were very keen to know how Chahal performs in red-ball cricket.
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