India coach Dravid praise ‘fighting spirit’ shown by young players

Kanpur: Team India head coach Rahul Dravid praised the players for their ‘fighting spirit’ and ‘composure’ they showed in the now-concluded Day 5 of the first Test against New Zealand, here at Green Park Stadium in Kanpur.
New Zealand’s Rachin Ravindra and Ajaz Patel came up with a determined performance to hold off the Indian spinners in the final hour of the Test to earn a commendable draw as the hosts ended the Test one wicket away from victory.
Poor light had a major effect on the match and the head coach also agreed on the same. Yeah, we were expecting it. We knew that the light kinda dipped a bit at that point in time, how it has been happening for every day. Not very difficult, the guys were pretty switched on and I thought we showed great composure, great fighting spirit to be able to work very hard in the last session, even on a very unresponsive pitch, so I think the guys did well by taking eight wickets after lunch, said Rahul Dravid during a virtual post-match press-conference.
Dravid further lauded the young players of the team and said that it is commendable to see them perform for India. It is just great to see the young players coming through and performing straight away and we saw that a little bit in the T20 series as well, where one or two players came and made a good account of themselves. It is always nice to see a young player come and do well for India, said Dravid.
It’s not only just the reflection of the player but also the good reflection of the Indian system. Really happy for Shreyas, he has worked very hard. It wasn’t easy for him as he hasn’t played first-class cricket for the last 4-5 years, he added. The two sides will now face off in Mumbai for the second and the final Test of the series on December 3 with the score evenly poised.
Dravid gave Green Park’s groundstaff, led by Shiv Kumar, Rs 35,000 for preparing a sporting pitch for the first Test against New Zealand.
We would like to make an official announcement. Mr Rahul Dravid has paid Rs 35,000 personally to our groundsmen, the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) announced in the press box after the game.
Earlier in the day, New Zealand survived a testing final session to earn a draw against India in the opening Test here on Monday.
Set a target of 284, New Zealand were 165 for nine when the stumps were called after an engrossing fifth and final day at the Green Park. New Zealand were 125 for four as they entered the third session of play.
The visitors, who resumed their second innings at their overnight score of 4 for one, lost four more wickets in the post-tea session. But the last pair of debutant Rachin Ravindra (18) and Ajaz Patel (2) held on for 52 deliveries to deny the hosts victory.
This was after the Indian spinners came to the party in the second and third sessions to put the hosts in a strong position.

NT Bureau