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The Hindu
The Hindu

Need to find depth in our batting: Dravid after T20 series loss to West Indies

India head coach Rahul Dravid has stressed the need to add batting depth following the 2-3 loss to the West Indies in the T20 series.

India played the series with a long tail comprising Arshdeep Singh, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav and Mukesh Kumar. Spin all-rounder Axar Patel batted at number seven.

In the series decider, India failed to accelerate in the death overs to end up with a below par 165/9. West Indies overhauled the target with two overs to spare.

"I think in terms of our squad here, probably it didn't allow us the flexibility in some ways to be able to change the combinations a little bit. But I think going forward, we've got to look at certain areas in which we can get better.

"Finding depth in our batting has been an area we are trying to address. We are trying to do the best we possibly can but that's certainly an area we can look at, how we cannot weaken our bowling attack but ensure we have a certain amount of depth in batting," said Dravid on Sunday.

On the contrary, West Indies had Alzarri Joseph coming in at number 11 with their side packed with bowling all-rounders.

"As these games are going on, and scores are becoming bigger and bigger, if you look at West Indies, they had Alzarri Joseph coming in at No. 11 and he can hit a mean ball. So you have sides which have that depth.

"Obviously, we have some challenges on that front and we need to work on that. It's certainly something that this series has shown us and we need to build on that depth," the India coach pointed out.

Tilak Varma, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Mukesh Kumar made their debuts in the T20 series and Dravid was left impressed by all of them. Varma made his international debut in the series and showed he was here to stay.

"I thought all the three guys who made debuts for us in this series, stood up. Yashasvi Jasiwal in the fourth game, I thought he played a very good innings. He's shown us what he can do in the IPL and it was nice to see him replicate that in international cricket.

"Tilak Varma, I thought, was really good, to come in in the middle order. He came in sometimes in very difficult situations. But every time, he plays with a lot of intent, plays very positively, looks to move the game along, fielded brilliantly throughout the series, showed us he can bowl one or two overs as well.

"So really positive signs from Tilak and to have that left-hander in the middle order does make a huge difference against some of the attacks that we've been playing against." Prior to his T20 debut, Mukesh also played his first game for India in the Test and 50-over format.

"He debuted in all the formats in this series and I thought he acquitted himself really well. His ability to bowl at the death, sometimes he was called upon to bowl against some really big powerful hard hitters and he acquitted himself well for someone who was just playing his fourth or fifth game.

"So I think there's some real good positives in the guys who made their debuts for us and hopefully they take confidence from the series and keep learning as they go forward." We have a few players coming back from injury in Asia Cup. The focus remains on the ODI format ahead of the Asia Cup and World Cup at home.

Dravid hinted that a few of the injured players including Jasprit Bumrah, K.L. Rahul and Shreyas Iyer could feature in the Asia Cup.

Bumrah's comeback series will be against Ireland beginning August 18.

"We a have few guys coming back from injuries in any case. We have to give them opportunities to play (in Asia Cup). We have a one week camp in Bengaluru from August 23 for the Asia Cup. We will take it as it comes," he added.

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