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Rahul Dravid wins first Test as coach: India head coach happy to see youngsters perform

Rahul Dravid

Mumbai, December 6: Rahul Dravid saw India winning a Test match for the first time under his tenure as head coach, when the hosts defeated New Zealand by a whopping 372-run margin at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday (December 6).

India had a chance to win the Kanpur Test but Ajaz Patel, who took all 10 wickets in an innings in the second Test, and Rachin Ravindra survived 52 balls for the 10th wicket to deny the home side a win.

But there was no let up in Mumbai.

"I think it was good to finish the series as winners, came close in Kanpur, not able to get that last wicket, had to work hard here. This result seems one-sided, but right through the series, we were made to work hard. There have been phases where we were behind and had to fight back, credit to the team," said Dravid during the post-match presentation.

"It is great to see the boys stepping up and taking their opportunities. Yes, we were missing a few senior players. Credit to the guys who came in, Jayant had a difficult day yesterday, but learnt from it today.

"Mayank, Shreyas, Siraj, who doesn't get a lot of opportunities. Axar, great to see his development with the bat in addition to what he can do with the ball. It gives us a lot of options as well, helps us become a stronger side.

"We knew we had a lot of time, didn't think much of the follow-on, also a lot of young batters in the side, so wanted to give them a chance to bat in conditions like these.

"I knew we may be in such situations in the future where we may have to force pace in tough conditions. So it was a great opportunity and the luxury of time to be able to do it.

"It was great to help in the development of our players. It's a good situation to be in, we've had injuries in the lead-up, so we need to manage our players physically and mentally, it's going to be a large part of my challenge, challenge too for the selectors and the leadership group.

"It's a good [selection] headache to have, see young boys perform well. There's a great desire to do well and everyone's pushing each other. I hope we have more headaches to have, as long as we have clear communication and we explain to the players why, don't see it to be a problem," he signed off.

Jayant Yadav, who took four wickets in the second innings said: "In the morning, the moisture in the wicket helped. You could see the difference between last evening and this morning, was getting much more bite.

"It Was just important to get the ball in the right areas. Wankhede and Mumbai is special, the last Test here, I got a hundred. I missed out on a five-for here, but helped the team's cause. It's useful to feed off Ashwin's mind, he thinks for the team in a different way, should always pick on thinking brains and add to your game. It's great learning for me."

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Story first published: Monday, December 6, 2021, 11:04 [IST]
Other articles published on Dec 6, 2021