Three ICC finals in 12 months testament to our consistency, hope luck is with us this time: Dravid

Rahul Dravid said India have been remarkably consistent to play three ICC finals in the last 12 months and the outgoing head coach hoped the combination of smart cricket and luck will land his side an elusive ICC title here.
Rahul Dravid, Chief coach, Team India.
Rahul Dravid, Chief coach, Team India.

Bridgetown (Barbados) | Rahul Dravid said India have been remarkably consistent to play three ICC finals in the last 12 months and the outgoing head coach hoped the combination of smart cricket and luck will land his side an elusive ICC title here.

India have been the vastly superior team in the ongoing T20 World Cup, just like they were in the ODI World Cup at home last year where they faltered at the final hurdle against Australia.

Now, Rohit and Co will face South Africa in the summit match at the Kensington Oval here, hoping to win a global title after their triumph in the 2013 Champions Trophy.

“It is a good thing we have been consistently playing good cricket. We have been in finals in all three formats and credit goes to the players. If we play well and rub of the green goes (our way) we will surely win,” said Dravid, who will be looking to end his tenure on a high.

When the trophy is on the line, players tend to feel more pressure than usual.

But in terms of mental preparation, there is not much India can do with just a day separating the semifinal and final.

The team travelled to Barbados right after the semifinal in Guyana against England, but Dravid said India are mentally ready for the match.

“In terms of our preparation, we've just got one day in the middle, so it's unlikely we're going to be having practice.

“It's just about all the guys getting into ensuring that physically, mentally, tactically we are ready for the game.”

Dravid underlined his side's preparedness for the summit match.

“Those are the things that we can control, that we are fresh, that we've looked after all our niggles, if there are any. We've done all our tactical preparation and we're mentally relaxed and excited and looking forward to the game.

“We'll be looking to do that in the next 24 hours and try and get ourselves in the right frame of mind to be able to play that game,” said the former India captain.

In 2023, India lost the WTC final and ODI World Cup final to Australia. Have they taken any lessons from those heartbreaking defeats?

“No, nothing. I thought we were very well-prepared in Ahmedabad (ODI WC). We ticked all the boxes and, on that day, the other team played better. That's part of the sport.

“The other team that's coming there to play has also obviously reached the final because they're a good team and they're playing very good cricket as well. So, they have as much right to win it as we do, but we hope that we'll play better cricket on the day,” he said.

Dravid on Barbados familiarity

In their Super 8 opener here, India were able to post 181 against Afghanistan on a pitch where playing on the up was tough.

Dravid said they were looking to carry that knowledge into the match against South Africa.

“Yeah, I mean, just the fact that we've played a game in Barbados is nice. It's nice that we have that familiarity of having played on that surface in the past.

“But again, I think it's very hard to... We're not going to get exactly the same wicket that we got last time. I mean, it can be different, right?

Dravid emphasised on the work the team put as a group coming into this showpiece while lauding their adaptive skills.

“I think what's really important is that we've done really well as a group. This whole tournament we have shown the ability to adapt, to recognize what is a good score. We played very differently in New York, then we played in St. Lucia, then we played even in Barbados when I thought that the game was quite slow.

“I'm just hoping that whatever we come up against, we will have the ability to recognize it and be able to play accordingly, as we've done in the last three games,” said Dravid.

He was referring to India’s ability to post above-par totals on tricky surfaces including in the semifinal at Guyana where they managed to post 171 on a surface with low bounce.

South Africa managed to break the long-running semifinal jinx in the World Cup, and Dravid said the Proteas will not be carrying any baggage.

“Not really, I mean it's not that the same players have been playing since 1991 and there's so many players that come and go. I don't think that really matters. I can't speak for them. But I don't think players go in keeping their baggage of the past.

Similarly, Dravid said the Indian players have the ability to move on from the Ahmedabad debacle last year.

“Players are very good at moving on from things, recognizing things. So, we will move on from Ahmedabad. I'm sure they will not be thinking about history. It'll be a fresh day.

“Two good teams, two teams I think that everyone will agree will probably be the top two teams in this tournament. So, deserving finals for both the teams. And, hopefully, it's a great game of cricket. Hopefully, we fall on the right side,” added Dravid.

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