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Have deep respect for Wriddhiman Saha, he deserved honesty and clarity: Dravid


Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], February 21 (ANI): Team India head coach Rahul Dravid on Sunday confirmed that he had a conversation with Wriddhiman Saha earlier this year, where he conveyed to him that the management is looking to groom a young wicketkeeper and the time might have run out for the Bengal cricketer.

Dravid’s clarification comes a day after Saha in the media opened up on how Dravid suggested retirement as he would not be considered for selection in the longest format.

“I am not actually hurt at all, I have deep respect for Wriddhiman Saha and his achievements and his contribution to Indian cricket. My conversation with him came from that place, I just felt that he deserved honesty and clarity. I did not want him to learn about it from the media. These are conversations I constantly have with players and I am not hurt about it. I do not expect players to always like the messages or to agree with everything I have to say,” said Dravid during a virtual press conference.

“You have difficult conversations with people, sometimes you need to have them with players and you do not expect them to agree with you every time. I truly believe in having those conversations every time playing XI is picked. Even now, Rohit and I will speak to the guys who are not playing. It is natural for players to get hurt and feel respect, because of the respect I have for Wriddhiman, he deserved honesty and clarity,” he added.

Further talking about Saha, Dravid said: “With Rishabh Pant being our No.1 keeper, the idea was to say that we are looking to groom a younger keeper with only three Tests this year and that was it. This does not change my feelings or respect for Wriddhiman. The easiest thing for me is to not have those conversations, this is not who I am. At some stage, I hope they will respect that I was able to front up and have these conversations.”Rohit Sharma was appointed as the new Test captain of the Indian men’s team while veterans Cheteshwar Pujara, Ishant Sharma, Saha, and Ajinkya Rahane were dropped from the Sri Lanka series.

Earlier this week, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced a new schedule for India’s upcoming home series against Sri Lanka. The tour was supposed to start with the two-match Test, but now will begin with T20Is, with the first match being played at the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow on February 24. The second and third T20Is will take place in Dharamsala on February 26 and 27.

Following the T20I series, the teams will play two Tests, which form a part of the 2021-23 ICC World Test Championship cycle. Mohali will host the first Test from March 4 to 8, while the second Test will be played in Bengaluru from March 12 to 16. The first Test will be former captain Virat Kohli’s 100th Test match, while the second Test will be a day/night affair.

India’s Test squad for SL series: Rohit Sharma (C), Mayank Agarwal, Priyank Panchal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas, Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant, KS Bharat, Ravichandran Ashwin (fitness), Ravindra Jadeja, Jayant Yadav, Kuldeep, Jasprit Bumrah, Shami, Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Sourabh Kumar. (ANI)



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