'It's going to be challenging', Rahul Dravid wary of limited break post IPL for WTC final prep
Rahul Dravid is alert to the fact that India will have less than ten days to give their preparations for the World Test Championship (WTC) final the last touches after undergoing two months of IPL cricket in India.
The India head coach said getting the Test side ready for the WTC final is going to be a "challenge" for the selectors and the team management, one which would require the think-tank to plan in advance to ensure India are able to stand their own against table toppers Australia at The Oval.
The WTC final for the 2021-23 cycle will be played from June 7 in England, while the IPL 2023 final is scheduled to be held on May 28. Indian skipper Rohit Sharma had indicated at the press conference following the conclusion of the Ahmedabad Test that there maybe consideration for some Test regulars not busy in IPL duties during the playoffs stage from May 22-28 could be sent early to UK for adequate practice.
But Dravid agreed the "logistics" involved and the time constraints at hand are going to make it difficult for the set-up to ensure correct form of preparations for the team that just qualified after New Zealand pulled off a thrilling two-wicket win over Sri Lanka on the very day they drew the final Test and clinched the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1.
Dravid assesses WTC final prep troubles
"We just qualified at lunchtime today. I wasn't counting my chickens before they hatched. We'll celebrate this for starters," Dravid told commentator Murali Karthik when asked about the challenge of playing a WTC final straight after the IPL 2023 on host broadcaster Star Sports.
"It is going to be a challenge. There's going to be a lot of logistics involved given the IPL final is only a week before the WTC final. We'll think about it," he added.
Dravid didn't dwell on the top further but must be aware of the threat of travelling underprepared for the bout with Australians, who must be fuming after losing their fourth consecutive Test series against India and will be vying to make amends by undoing their arch-rivals' two years worth of hard work in the final at The Oval.
Rohit indicated India will be managing the workload of their players during the IPL, with physios from the NCA and the Indian team ensuring players are fit and not operating with excess physical or mental strain.
Reportedly, the Indian think-tank has also considered giving Indian players a set of red dukes balls to be able to prepare bowling and batting with it during the IPL 2023 if there is space available in their respective schedules.