“Half an hour before our declaration we were under pressure” – Rahul Dravid explains the team’s striking strategy on day 4 of the Kanpur test

Indian head coach Rahul Dravid disagreed with the assessment that the sluggishness of the team’s hitters on Matchday 4 in Kanpur, ahead of their declaration, proved costly.

New Zealand escaped with a draw on Day 5 in Kanpur. They lost their 9th wicket in the 90th of their innings. However, the last wicket pair of Rachin Ravindra (18 * on 91 balls) and Ajaz Patel (2 * on 23) beat 8.4 overs to allow the Kiwis to escape with a draw.

Although he missed the win by the narrowest margins, Dravid refused to believe India had erred in not being proactive in the overs before the declaration. Speaking at the post-match conference, Dravid replied:

“This is not my reading of the game. Half an hour before our declaration, we were under pressure. All three outcomes were possible. Wriddhiman Saha showed great courage and character to strike with stiff neck. (But) If we had lost our last three wickets quickly and they were chasing 240-450 with about 110 overruns, then they’re looking at 2.2 or 2.3 overruns.

Dravid said India timed its statement appropriately, once it was sure the time of danger had passed. He precised :

“We needed this partnership (between Saha and Axar Patel) that we obtained. We lost Shreyas (Iyer) just before Tea, and then we had this partnership. From 167 for 7 to get to 234 for 7 was absolutely necessary. As you have seen, this wicket is really flat. If he turned square and rebounded, it would have been a different situation.

Saha (61 *) and Axar (28 *) were in an unbroken eight-wicket stand of 67 before the Indian team declared their innings and set New Zealand a goal of 284.

“Phenomenal achievement” – Rahul Dravid praises Ravichandran Ashwin for overtaking Harbhajan Singh

Although India could not claim victory at Kanpur, there was a personal milestone to celebrate when Ravichandran Ashwin passed Harbhajan Singh’s 417 test wickets.

Congratulating the counter-spinning veteran on his achievement, Dravid commented:

“Harbhajan Singh was a very good bowler, someone I played cricket with a lot. What Ashwin did to surpass it in just 80 tests is a phenomenal achievement. Ashwin was an absolute winner of the match for India. Even in this test, the way he pulled us back on that third morning with that 11-overs spell was phenomenal. Today, just to keep us alive in the game, being constantly threatening on wickets like this is a tribute to his skills and abilities.

Adding that Ashwin is someone who never stops learning, Dravid added:

“He’s just evolved, he continues to grow and is one of those guys who keep thinking about the game. That’s why he got to where he is. It is a pleasure to work with him and I am really happy for him.

Ashwin became the third-biggest wicket-taker in Indian testing history when he beat New Zealand opener Tom Latham for 52.

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