Rahul Dravid On India’s Grand White Ball Victory, “We were fantastic with the ball”

Rahul Dravid On India’s Grand White Ball Victory, “We were fantastic with the ball”

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19 Jul 2022
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Rahul Dravid

India coach Rahul Dravid praised his bowlers for the Indian victory over England in the series that decided the third ODI in Manchester. In this series, India all-out England in each match, restricted them to 259 on a “really good wicket” at Old Trafford and then successfully chased them down with 7.5 overs to spare.

“We were fantastic with the ball,” Rahul Dravid said on the BCCI website. The way we bowled was extraordinary. That was a really good wicket, and to be able to restrict a team like England to 260, we did well. We took a few wickets first, then they formed a partnership, but I thought our strategy and tactics were absolutely brilliant.”

India made a conscious effort to bowl short or back length, take out bounces and bring big boundaries on the leg side into the game. According to ESPNcricinfo’s log, Hardik Pandya bowled only one full length delivery in his seven overs. He also bowled 15 short deliveries and 24 which were either on length or short of length.

Liam Livingstone and Jos Buttler were the fell in the short ball trap, both men falling in the same over to end England’s innings.

It all started in the 35th over when Livingstone, who was looking to counter-attack, played and missed two short deliveries before hitting a six behind the boundary. Two balls later, he struck a blow to the helmet as Hardik struck his short-ball plan.

Hardik hit the 37th six in his next over as well, but kept hitting the pitch quickly and got not one but two quick wickets – Livingstone trying to clear deep square leg and Butler clearing deep midwicket. Caught trying to. England had slipped to 198 for 7 wickets.

“Credit to the team and the captain for working on some really good strategies to bowl the short ball with the fielders at the back end,” said Dravid. “It turned out really well.”

He was also particularly pleased with India’s response to the top-order collapse. After the top three were bowled out within 10 overs, India found stars in the form of Hardik and Rishabh Pant, whose century stands left the team on the last few strides of victory.

Rahul Dravid said, ‘The way Hardik and Rishabh responded was fantastic. “It was really nice to see the series under pressure. It was really a pleasure for us to have such partnerships and the way Rishabh and Hardik batted,” he added.

Hardik, who smashed a scintillating 55-ball 71 with his four-wicket haul, felt he did whatever he could. Pant played the second fiddle, counter-punching his way down the marker quickly with the bat. Hardik hit 10 fours in his innings but India were bowled out for 55.

Hardik said, “Today was one of those days where whatever I tried, whatever experience I gained, it came into effect.”

“Whatever opportunity I had, I made the most of it. With the ball, it was important to intercept runs because they had a great start. I was very happy with the ball, but I am proud of the way I batted Because batting is always going to be close to my heart.

“I really felt that I was in rhythm. Whatever I wanted to do, I was in control. I would have loved to finish the game, but the way Rishabh batted and finished the game, no complaints.”

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