Photo Credit: ICC
India coach Rahul Dravid is excited by the prospect of leading his side to their first ICC World Test Championship 2023 title in London this week.
Dravid’s team qualified for the one-off decider by finishing in second place on the World Test Championship standings and get the chance to go one step further than they did in 2021 when they take on the talented Australian outfit at The Oval.
For Dravid it represents his best chance to claim an ICC trophy and the former India skipper says he can’t wait for the opportunity.
“I am really looking forward to it,” Dravid said at The Oval on Monday.
“It’s been two years of hard work to get here, quite a few ups and downs along the way. It’s something that you start the cycle aspiring to be in the top two teams so that you can get an opportunity to play this game. So yes, I mean, looking forward to it and hoping for a good game of cricket.”
One player keen to impress in south London will be experienced batter Ajinkya Rahane, who will, if selected, play his first Test match in almost 18 months after he won a recall for the clash.
Rahane contributed scores of 49 and 15 for India in their loss to New Zealand in the inaugural World Test Championship Final two years ago in Southampton and Dravid is confident the right-hander can make an impact this time around.
“It is great for us to have someone of his (Rahene’s) quality back,” Dravid said.
“He brings a lot of that experience, he brings proven performance in overseas conditions and even in England he’s played some terrific innings for us.
“He brings terrific catching in the slips as well to the group and he just brings his personality to the group as well which is really important.
“He’s led the team to considerable success. So yeah, it’s just great to have someone like him around here.”
And Dravid is not concerned by the fact that his side enters the match as the underdog as he believes it will take extra pressure off his players.
“When two good teams play, when two good players are playing with both the teams, the team that performs well over five days will win,” Dravid said.
“I have full hope that if we play good cricket and we have the ability and the players to take 20 wickets and make runs, then I have full hope that we can win.”