Preparatory camp ahead of Australia Test series, says Rahul Dravid

The Indian team will undergo a preparatory camp before the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series, but no player in the squad will be released to play Ranji Trophy ahead of the contest against the visiting Australians.

It has been quite some time since the team had a camp before a series, owing to the packed cricketing calendar over the past few years.

The Test players won’t be having any red-ball match practice before the first Test against Australia in Nagpur starting February 9, head coach Rahul Dravid informed on the eve of the third One-Day International against New Zealand at Indore’s Holkar Stadium.

Dravid was asked whether there was any thought of releasing some players for the Ranji Trophy as the series against the Kiwis had already been secured. The Ranji quarter-finals are scheduled to take place from January 31 and Dravid said that the Indian team’s build-up for the Test series is at the same time.

“We are quite keen to call a few guys in the lead-up for our preparation camp and have already agreed with the selectors that we will not be touching anyone who will be playing in the Ranji Trophy quarterfinals,” Dravid said during a press conference on Monday.

The team management has also decided not to release any player who is part of the Test squad for the Ranji Trophy. However, the team will give it a thought once the series starts regarding any player not featuring in a Test. “If an opportunity presents itself where someone is not playing in our team and he is required for a semifinal or a final, we will certainly look at it.”

The former India captain was also quizzed about workload management and how they will balance it out, especially with the Indian Premier League starting in a couple of months’ time.

“For the IPL, our medical team is constantly in touch with the NCA (National Cricket Academy) and the franchises and if there are any issues, we do connect with them and see what’s happening. If any of the big players are injured or if there’s any concern, of course the BCCI has a right to pull them out. But if they are fit, we do release them for the IPL because it is a very big tournament for the BCCI and for us (the team) as well,” Dravid explained at length.

He said that even though the 2024 T20 World Cup is far away, the IPL is a good tournament to assess performance in the shortest format of the game.

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