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IPL 2017: Rahul Dravid Backs 'Skipper' Karun Nair After Crushing Kings XI Punjab Defeat

PTI | Updated: May 1, 2017, 9:24 AM IST
IPL 2017: Rahul Dravid Backs 'Skipper' Karun Nair After Crushing Kings XI Punjab Defeat

A file photo of Delhi Daredevils' coach and former Indian batting great Rahul Dravid. (BCCI)

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Mohali: Delhi Daredevils chief coach Rahul Dravid defended the team management's decision to appoint Karun Nair as stand-in captain when the Karnataka batsman himself is going through a wretched form in this edition of Indian Premier League.

Daredevils lost their sixth game of the tournament and the batting was a disaster getting all-out for 67. Nair himself is having a nightmare of an IPL scoring 89 in 8 matches so far.

Asked how Nair was appointed in place of injured Zaheer Khan, the former India captain said that his form had nothing to do with his captaincy.

"We decided pretty early on in the tournament that if Zaheer Khan gets injured, Karun would be the person, who will take over the captaincy. Obviously, last year's vice-captain JP (Duminy) and Quinton de Kock wasn't here as well," Dravid reasoned.

He defended appointment of an out-of-form player.

"Look, it happens when you are out-of-form, whether you are a captain or you are a vice captain, that's not a reflection on his captaincy. He has led junior teams and led quite well. There is nothing much he can do if there are not good enough runs on the board. Obviously, he and we would like him to score a few more runs," he said.

He had no option but to admit that Daredevils have gone off-track.

"It is very disappointing, just to think there is not much to say when you get out for 67 and they chase it without loss. Nothing much to say except the fact that we were pretty disappointing today (Sunday) in our execution and our batting just was not up to mark."

He tried to put up a brave face that Daredevils will make a comeback but it seemed far from convincing.

"We can only go up from here. Look, we are better than what we showed today." he said.

Dravid said there have been times when they played some pretty good cricket.

"We lost some close games which were relatively close. But the last couple of times, I think, we did not play well. Even in Kolkata, I thought first 15 overs of our batting was good and then we lost in the last five overs," said Dravid.

"And then, of course, we were really very poor and we didn't bat intelligently on that kind of wicket. We didn't assess the conditions well enough and didn't give ourselves a chance," he pointed out.

Dravid said that aim will be not to think too far ahead like winning six on trot.

"We should not try and think too far ahead, just focus on our next game and put up much better performance. I think our fans and our franchise deserves better than what we did."

Asked is maintaining consistency in T20 difficult, Dravid, said, "Yeah, I think once you are in good form and you get on a bit of a roll, in this T20 competition, especially with games coming so quickly and back-to-back.

"Hopefully, we can go to Delhi and turn it around. There is not a lot of time to practice between these games, we literally travel, play the next day, so there is not lot of time to practice and sort of get your groove back."

First Published: May 1, 2017, 9:23 AM IST
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