Watch: Dravid, Shastri give intense speeches to welcome Suryakumar, KS Bharat to the Test match fold
Indian stalwarts Rahul Dravid and Ravi Shastri offered words of great encouragement in a stirring set of respective speeches to welcome the duo of Suryakumar Yadav and KS Bharat to the Test match set-up.
As the two players approached their Test debut versus Australia in Nagpur, the opening game of the marquee Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Dravid was keen to reinforce how special the India cap means to an Indian batter, having been there himself.
He welcomed Bharat and Suryakumar to the "family", stressing on the Indian team as a collective unit that plays together and stays together in the thick and thins of time.
The India head coach acknowledged the performances that the two players made domestically to earn their Test caps and said there is no bigger honour and a privilege for an Indian cricketer than wearing the pristine whites.
"Always a special day when a couple of more boys join our family. It's obviously a huge dream come true for millions of people. And there haven't been many people who had the pleasure and privilege of having a Test cap and playing Test cricket for India," Dravid could be heard and seen saying in a video posted over Twitter by the BCCI.
Shastri backs Suryakumar to continue on aggressively at the Test level
Having previously backed his Test match prospects, Shastri, the former India allrounder and ex head coach, was chuffed to be welcoming Mumbaikar and T20I maverick Suryakumar Yadav to Test cricket.
Given the chance to present the aggressive right-hander his Test cap by Dravid, Shastri told Suryakumar he shouldn't feel bogged down by the rigours of the format and back his attacking style of play to withstand the challenge.
Also Read - 'Some Mumbai ex-players never appreciative of South' - Murali Vijay takes on Sanjay Manjrekar on Twitter
"Surya, many congratulations. Wear this with pride and honour and remember that every time you step out for your country - You have reached here not with anybody's help. You have reached here because of what you have done. The way you performed over the last few months," said Shastri.
"So enjoy, your game should not change. Just because of this stamp 'Test match cricket'. You play the way you play and treat it as another game. Enjoy yourself and entertain."
𝗔𝘀 𝗽𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝘀 𝗶𝘁 𝗴𝗲𝘁𝘀! ☺️☺️— BCCI (@BCCI) February 9, 2023
Hear from the proud and emotional family members of @surya_14kumar & @KonaBharat - #TeamIndia's newest Test debutants 👏🏻👏🏻#INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/RMo8aa99Ls
Bharat, the experienced Andhra wicketkeeper-batter, was presented with his Test cap by India's veteran No.3 batter Cheteshwar Pujara.
"You have worked really hard to earn this. Wish you all the very best, be yourself. Play the way you do and wish you all the very best for a successful Test career," Pujara said in the team hurdle before the toss on Day 1.