Dravid sees the positives in India A's series loss
Rahul Dravid claims that the series against Australia A was a good eye-opener.
Rahul Dravid began his coaching career with a 0-1 series loss against Australia A in the two match unofficial Test series. However, he claimed that the team’s defeat was a "good eye-opener" for the players as reported by ESPNcricinfo. He stated that the pressure in A games is higher than in that of domestic cricket and will help the young guns to ease into international cricket.
"Well, most of these are young batsmen, a lot of the guys in the team except Virat [Kohli] and [Cheteshwar] Pujara are all batsmen looking to establish themselves, looking to make a mark," Dravid said. "It is a good lesson for them against sustained, disciplined bowling: you will have to work harder for your runs, it is not going to come that easily.”
He also appreciated the Australian bowling effort and stated that they would have to learn from the experience and improve.
"Their bowlers bowled with a lot of good control. That meant that you had to bat well. We will have to learn. That's the thing about this series. You have to keep learning and keep improving. It is nice learning because it is a good step up in level. These guys have played Ranji Trophy but sometimes it is not sustained pressure and quality. It is a good eye-opener for what they need to sustain at this level”, he said.
Performance of India A batsmen
India A lost their last four wickets in 20 minutes for seven runs and then Australia wrapped up the series in quick time with over two sessions to spare. Dravid admitted it was difficult for his side to bat on the final day with sharper turn and bounce posing a greater threat. "Today can happen, one of the things batting with the tail-enders. The ball was turning, so it wasn't easy today”, he stated.
Dravid was also very outright about India A’s disappointing batting performance in the first innings.
"In the first innings, we could have batted better after winning the toss. It  was just not acceptable. On a track where it is going to deteriorate as the game goes on, if you get only 135 after you win the toss, you are always on the back foot. We were a bit hesitant. We weren't positive enough and getting out for 135, we had our backs to the wall”, the 42-year-old stated.
He then commented on the inability of the batsmen to convert good starts into massive scores later on in the second innings. Six out of the seven top and middle order batsmen moved into the 30’s out of which only opener Abhinav Mukund made a half century. Meanwhile, Australia A opener Cameron Bancroft scored 150 which helped them cement a strong position right from the start.
"In the second innings, when we got starts, we could have carried on. Someone, not everyone, is going to get a big score. It happens. But at least one of your top five [could have got a big one]. Between 25-59, I think we had six batsmen. If at least one of those guys had gone on to get a hundred, you are looking at them [ Australia A] having to chase close to 170-180 in the second innings. So, that was one area the boys will look back on and say, 'We could have carried on'”, he stated.
Dravid praises Cameron Bancroft
Dravid also admired Bancroft’s approach and said that he batted well.
"Bancroft played really well. He looked good in the first match as well. In this game, he looked good and assured. It was exactly the kind of innings someone needed to play on this pitch. One batsman needed to carry on and make a big score. For them, it was Bancroft. The highlight was the fact he concentrated for a long time against spin.”
Although skipper Cheteshwar Pujara did not impress much in the second game, Dravid was not at all skeptical about his form and technique.
"I think there is no real major issues. We have had some conversations on some stuff. He knows his game. He is a very aware cricketer. It was unlucky that he got run-out in the second innings. You want the guy to spend time in the middle and he gets run-out. He just needs some time in the middle, he needs confidence, he needs some runs. Hopefully, he goes to Sri Lanka and plays and spends some time out there."