Cape Town, January 24: He is all for stability and security but India head coach Rahul Dravid says players will also have to deliver "really big performances" to justify the long rope given to them as he reflected on all that went wrong during a dismal tour of South Africa.
India lost the Test series 1-2 and were hammered 0-3 in the ODIs, outplayed by a team in transition which is also battling several off-field issues, including an ongoing inquiry into alleged racial discrimination.
Dravid did not take names but when he spoke about demanding performances in lieu of security and extended run given to some middle-order batters, he obviously meant Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant.
"We certainly want to give them that consistency and we want to give them that security," he said in a reassuring tone in the press conference after the third ODI, which India stunningly lost by four runs on Sunday (January 23). But then came the rider.
"...and once you give them that consistency and security, you have also got to demand performances, really big performances and that is an expectation you have when you play at this level, when you play for your country, you have to put in big performances and that's a requirement," he made it clear.
"But idea is to give as much stability as you can."
He also said that people like Shreyas need to put their hand up and perform considering that their is so much competition for slots. He managed scores of 17, 11 and 26 during the series, failing to make an impact.
"Whether you bat 4, 5 or 6, you have got to know what the team's requirements are. Shreyas has gone in pretty early in all three games and he has had enough time (out there in the middle)," Dravid pointed out.
"We know guys have done well and we would like to back them as much as possible. Sometimes they would have good tours and sometimes, it won't be possible, that's just the way it is.
"Obviously, there tends to be a lot of competition, people pushing for places and its not easy in that kind of a situation," he said.