London: India head coach Rahul Dravid stated that his team is not under pressure in terms of thinking about ending a decade-long drought of winning a global trophy as they build up to play in their second successive World Test Championship (WTC) Final against Australia at The Oval, starting from Wednesday.
Since winning the ICC Champions Trophy under MS Dho’i’s leadership in England in 2013, India has been winless in global tournaments across all formats, something which has been a subject of huge discussion in the run-up to any competition.
India finished as runners-up in the 2014 T20 World Cup, 2017 Champions Trophy and 2021 World Test Championship final. Moreover, they crashed out of the semifinals of the 2015 and 2019 ODI World Cups, as well as the 2016 and 2022 T20 World Cups.
“No, not at all. We don’t feel any pressure in terms of trying to win an ICC trophy. Of course, it would be nice to do it. It would be certainly nice to be able to win an ICC tournament. But also in the context of things, you look at this and you see this is the culmination of two years of work. It’s a culmination of a lot of success that gets you here.”
“So there’s a lot of positives to take from that to see where you stand on the table. Winning series in Australia, drawing series here, and being very competitive everywhere that this team has played in the world over the last five or six years. I think those are things that will never change just because you have or you don’t have an ICC trophy.”
“That’s really the bigger picture. But of course, it’s nice to be able to lift any game of cricket you want to win it. This happens to be like a World Test Championship final and it would be nice to get on the right side of the result,” said Dravid in the press conference.
With many experts giving Australia a slight advantage over India for the upcoming WTC Final, Dravid feels his team not being hyped a lot to win the mace could work in their favour.
“Whatever happens, will happen in 5 days. Whatever is happening earlier or later, it doesn’t matter who is favourite and who is not favourite. When two good teams play and when two good players are playing with both the teams, the team that performs well in 5 days will win.”
“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. So, not being hyped is a good thing.”
Dravid also felt a potential WTC ‘inal win to India’s tempo-changing triumphs in the 1983 ODI World Cup and 2007 T20 World Cups would be an unfair comparison.
“I don’t think you can compare the two. That was a long time ago and it’s the new format of the game. Test cricket has been around a really long time.”
“I’m not sure one match is going to transform things or change things drastically irrespective of either way, whichever way it goes. Test cricket faces unique challenges, and that’s not going to be necessary. It’s a fantastic game which faces some challenges, which is not necessarily going to change the result of one game.”