Rahul Dravid explains why Prasidh Krishna replaced Hardik Pandya in India squad for ICC Cricket World Cup 2023
India head coach Rahul Dravid explained reason behind Prasidh Krishna replacing Hardik Pandya.
India are all set to face South Africa in a crucial match during the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday, November 5th. Unfortunately, Hardik Pandya, who sustained an injury during the India vs. Bangladesh match in Pune, has been ruled out of the tournament. Prasidh Krishna has been announced as his replacement.
Speaking at a pre-match press conference, India head coach Rahul Dravid provided clarification regarding the selection of Prasidh Krishna as a replacement for the injured Hardik Pandya. He emphasized that Prasidh was chosen to strengthen India’s pace-bowling options because they were lacking a backup player in that specific department. As India’s head coach, Dravid also underscored the high quality of their top seven batsmen as a key factor in their decision-making process.
When a reporter inquired, “Just wanted to know the thought process behind picking Prasidh Krishna as Hardik’s replacement because you have the option of picking someone like Tilak Verma… If you can explain the thought process.”
Rahul Dravid responded to the reporter’s question about the thought process behind choosing Prasidh Krishna as a replacement for Hardik Pandya and why they didn’t opt for someone like Tilak Verma. Dravid explained that the decision is pretty straightforward. He pointed out that Pandya has been dealing with injuries, having missed several games in the recent past, and this has left the team with a specific playing combination of three fast bowlers and two spinners.
Dravid responded by saying, ” I think it’s a pretty obvious thought process. After Hardik has been injured, which he has been for the last two or three games, and then obviously didn’t play a couple of the games in the Australia series as well. We have played with a combination which has been three fast bowlers and two spinners.
Needed a backup for pace battery
Dravid also mentioned that the team had backup options for both spin and batting in their squad, but they recognized the need for a backup in the all-rounder or pace-bowling department, which wasn’t adequately covered. This decision to bring in Krishna as a replacement for Pandya will allow the team to maintain that specific combination while also providing more flexibility in case of injuries, illnesses, or niggles. Dravid clarified that they can still explore other combinations, but they needed to address the potential gap created by Hardik Pandya’s injury in their chosen playing style.
“And yeah, in our reserves, in the guys sitting outside in the 15, we had a backup for the spin. We had a backup for the spin, we had a backup for the batting, and we had a backup in the bowling all around the category. So, we did recognize that if this is a combination we’re going to take, and if there is an issue of an illness, or a small niggle, or an injury, then we need to have a backup for that. It also allows us to play other combinations. It doesn’t mean that we can’t play other combinations. But if this is the one combination that which we have gone with recently, then yeah, that is the one area which we possibly hadn’t backed up with the injury to Hardik Pandya.” he added.
This top-of-the-table clash is of great importance because South Africa currently hold the best net run-rate in the tournament, standing at +2.290. In contrast, India’s net run-rate is slightly lower at +2.102. The outcome of this match could lead to a significant shift in the rankings. If South Africa secure a victory, they will be at the top position. However, if India emerge victorious, they will secure the top spot with just one more match to play.