NEW DELHI: The outgoing India head coach Rahul Dravid commended the team’s exceptional consistency in reaching three ICC finals within the past year. He expressed his optimism that a blend of intelligent gameplay and good fortune would enable India to secure a long-awaited ICC championship.
Throughout the current T20 World Cup, India has demonstrated their superiority, mirroring their performance in the ODI World Cup held in their home country the previous year.However, in that tournament, they stumbled at the final obstacle against Australia.
Rohit Sharma and his team are now set to face South Africa in the final at Barbados’ Kensington Oval. They are determined to clinch a ICC title, a feat they last achieved during 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,” Dravid, as quoted by PTI, said.

As the final approaches, athletes often experience heightened pressure. However, given the mere 24-hour gap between the semifinal and final, India has limited opportunities for mental preparation.
Despite the swift journey from Guyana to Barbados following their semifinal victory against England, Dravid expressed confidence in the team’s mental readiness for the upcoming contest.
“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 emphasized his team’s readiness for the crucial encounter at the top.
“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 suffered two devastating losses in ICC finals. They were defeated by Australia in both the World Test Championship (WTC) final and the ODI World Cup final.
The question that arises is whether the Indian team has learned from these heartbreaking experiences.
“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
India managed to score 181 runs in their Super 8 match against Afghanistan, despite the challenging pitch conditions that made playing on the up difficult. The team aimed to apply the lessons learned from that game in their upcoming encounter with South Africa, according to Dravid.
The Indian team hoped to leverage their experience on a tricky surface and adapt their approach accordingly when facing the South African side.
“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 praised the team’s collective effort in preparing for this prestigious event, highlighting their ability to adapt to various situations. He acknowledged the hard work put in by the entire squad leading up to the tournament.
“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.
India demonstrated their capability to achieve substantial scores on challenging pitches, as exemplified by their performance in the semifinal at Guyana. Despite the low bounce of the surface, they succeeded in amassing a total of 171 runs.
South Africa managed to break the long-running semifinal jinx in the World Cup and Dravid expressed his belief that the Proteas will enter the match unencumbered by any past disappointments or setbacks.
“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.
Likewise, Dravid expressed confidence in the Indian team’s resilience and their capacity to bounce back from the setback they faced in Ahmedabad the previous 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.