The Indian team will take on Australia in the much-awaited Border-Gavaskar Trophy next month. Currently the team is hosting New Zealand for an ODI and T20I series.
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India is playing New Zealand in the third ODI, with a 2-0 lead over the visitors. On the eve of the third ODI, Indian coach Rahul Dravid addressed the pre-match press conference.
Dravid cleared his stance about senior players taking time off to play for the Ranji teams. Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli will not play in the T20I series against the visiting Kiwi side. Former players suggested that these seniors should play in the Ranji Trophy matches since they were available.
The coach said that Rohit and Kohli will not be released for Ranji, because that could hamper their preparations. India will host Australia in the four-match Test series, starting on Feb 9th. With the race for the World Test Championship Final spot heating up, the series is a highly-anticipated one.
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Speaking about their availability for the Ranji Trophy quarters, Dravid said, the players would remain with the Indian camp. The coach said the Ranji matches would clash with their build-up to the Test series.
Tough one for us: Dravid
“We would really like that the boys are able to play, but it is a tough one for us. I think quarters are on the 31st or 1st and build-up to Border-Gavaskar is at the same time,” said Dravid. The coach was speaking on the eve of the third ODI against New Zealand.
Dravid added that the management was open to the idea of releasing players. The coach said players who were not part of the playing XI could play in Ranji semis or finals. “Obviously, in the build-up to a big tournament like that, we won’t be able to release any players, but when the series starts, and an opportunity presents itself where someone is not playing and is required in the semifinal or final then we will certainly look at it.
“We have already agreed that the selectors will not be touching anyone playing in the quarterfinals of the Ranji Trophy,” signed off Dravid.