“When you’re asking people to play a slightly more attacking brand of cricket in the middle overs and to take the game on a little bit more, sometimes it’s hard to judge based on two or three games,” Dravid said after the washed- out fifth T20I in Bengaluru.
“I thought he had a pretty good IPL. He might not have looked good on the averages, but his strike rate was really good. He looked to move that up a little bit – to where he was probably three years ago. We’re going to hope that we can get those kinds of numbers from him at the international level as well.
“But he remains an integral part of our batting line-up. We know what he does with the power he has. The fact that he is a left-hander is very important to us as well in the middle overs. And he has played some good knocks. Of course, personally, he would have liked to have scored a few more runs but it’s not that concerning. For us, he is certainly a very big part of our plans going ahead in the next few months.”
“He was picked for a very specific skill,” Dravid said of Karthik. “And it’s nice when that’s kind of indicated in a sense that it came together brilliantly for us in the Rajkot game, where we needed that big performance in the last five overs to be able to make a par score. He and Hardik [Pandya] batted beautifully for us; both of them are our enforcers at the end, guys who can capitalize on those last five-six overs.
“They are probably two of the best in the world in those last five-six overs. So, yeah, it was really nice to see Karthik come off and do what he has been picked to do. It certainly opens up a lot more options for us going forward. Innings like that certainly make you start. Like I was telling the guys it’s not about knocking the door – you have to start banging the door down, and an innings like that certainly means he is knocking very hard.”
“Shreyas, in the early part [of the series] on tricky wickets, showed intent and played positively. Ruturaj showed in one particular innings [in the third T20I] what quality and skill he has got.”
India coach Rahul Dravid
“We’re not going to make knee-jerk reactions,” he said. “As you have seen, I don’t like judging people after one series, or one game. Every one of the guys who got the opportunity here truly deserved the opportunity; they have earned it. And in this format of the game, you ‘re going to have some good games and some bad games.
“In Twenty20, you can have the odd games [where] your form and performance goes up and down a little bit. So we are not very disappointed with anyone. As a group, we were looking to play a slightly more positive and attacking brand of cricket right from the beginning. And we knew you when you’re trying to do that, it’s not always going to come off. But what we are certainly clear about the kind of cricket we want to play.”