Team India may not have won an ICC trophy over the last decade, but head coach Rahul Dravid has stated that the side is not feeling any pressure of the same. Admitting that winning an ICC tournament would be nice, he stressed that it’s also important to look at the larger picture.
India’s last triumph in an ICC event came in 2013 when an MS Dhoni-led team lifted the Champions Trophy. Subsequently, they reached the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy as well as the 2021 World Test Championship (WTC), but finished as runners-up.
India have another chance to break their jinx in ICC tournaments when they take on Australia in the WTC final at The Oval starting Wednesday, June 7. At a press conference on Monday, Dravid was asked if India are feeling the pressure of not having lifted an ICC trophy for 10 years.
"No, not at all." Dravid elaborated, "I mean, we don't feel any pressure in terms of trying to win an ICC trophy. Of course, it would be nice to do it. It's certainly nice to be able to win an ICC tournament. But also in the context of things, you look at this and you see this is the culmination of two years of work, it's a culmination of a lot of success that gets you here.
“So there's a lot of positives to take from that to see where you stand on the table, winning series in Australia, drawing series here, being very competitive everywhere that this team has played in the world over the last five or six years.
"Those are things that will never change just because you have or you don't have an ICC trophy. That's really the bigger picture. But, of course, it's nice to be able to lift any game of cricket you want to win. This happens to be like a World Test Championship final and it would be nice to get them on the right side of the result."
Many critics have termed Australia as favorites to win the WTC final, considering the conditions in England are expected to suit them better. However, Dravid had a philosophical take on the matter and stuck to the ‘the better team will win’ theory.
The Indian legend elaborated:
"Look, whatever will happen will happen in those five days. Anything that happens before or after doesn't really make a difference. Who is the favourite, who isn't, when two good teams with good players play, whichever team performs well over the five days, will win.
“I have full hope that if we play good cricket, and, we have the ability, we have the players that we can pick 20 wickets, we can score runs, I have full hope that we can win this. The hype not being there might be a good thing."
India and Australia locked horns in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in India earlier this year, with the hosts clinching the series by a 2-1 margin.
“I'm not sure one match is going to change things drastically” - Dravid on the impact of WTC final
India’s World Cup triumphs in 1983 (ODI) and 2007 (T20) worked wonders for the team’s white-ball fortunes. Dravid, however, feels it would be unfair to compare the possible impact of a WTC victory on Test cricket with the iconic limited-overs wins.
"I don't think you can compare the two. That was a long time ago and they (ODIs and T20s) still are the new formats of the game. Test cricket has been around a really long time and I'm not sure one match is going to transform things or change things drastically, irrespective of whichever way it goes," Dravid said.
“Test cricket faces unique challenges, it's a fantastic game which faces some challenges, which is not necessarily going to change (by) the result of one game," he added.
India won the ODI World Cup for the first time under Kapil Dev in 1983, while Dhoni led the Men in Blue to victory in the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007.