‘Never seen that’: Dravid pulls out ultimate Boxing Day surprise, Kohli joins in | Cricket


Rahul Dravid came up with the ultimate surprise ahead of the Boxing Day Test between India and South Africa in Centurion as the head coach rolled his arms over in a heart-warming sight as toss and start of play was delayed. Due to rain earlier in the day, the SuperSport Park was left with patches of water, which led to the delay, but even as everyone waited for the first ball to be bowled of this high-profile series, Dravid had a post-Christmas present for one and all. One of the greatest Indian batters of all time, Dravid’s medium-pace drew a loud cheer from the crowd.

Virat Kohli with coach Rahul Dravid during a practice session ahead of the first Test(PTI)
Virat Kohli with coach Rahul Dravid during a practice session ahead of the first Test(PTI)

Ahead of the start, as the players warmed up, Dravid chipped in and sent down a few military-medium pacers, joined in by Virat Kohli. Dravid picked five wickets during his 16-year-long India career but all of them fell to his right-arm spin. The visuals of Dravid bowling were unexpected for many, including his former India teammate Sanjay Bangar.

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“Well, he did most of the things that were asked of him from a player point of view – opened the batting, batted at 3,5,6, kept wicket. So this is something that I am surprised with. I have never seen Rahul Dravid do this. But it’s always good because as coaches you do things that you aren’t used to so to see. And there’s nothing wrong with his action; he seems pretty aligned and just has to add a little bit of piece. Otherwise, he looks pretty alright,” he said with a smile.

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Having said that, on a serious note, Dravid hinted at the debut of Prasidh Krishna, which was later confirmed as the 27-year-old received his Test cap from Jasprit Bumrah. With no Mohammed Shami, Prasidh is likely to join Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj as the third pacer. Two years ago, when India last toured South Africa, Dravid was only into his second Test assignment as coach and Kohli was captain. India won the Centurion Test but lost in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

“You need to get little things right against a good team like South Africa. Prasidh is a promising prospect, but we have to be realistic that this is his first Test match. He hasn’t had a lot of First-Class cricket to fall back on because of a number of reasons. But I’m hoping he has a good game and enjoys himself. It’s such a lovely moment when we give out a new cap to someone,” the coach said.

“We come close a couple of times and we’ve played some good cricket here. Maybe a few critical moments… we haven’t been able to get over the line. Having said that, we looked at the last series – we bowled well there and we have the ability to take 20 wickets. You need some luck in these conditions as well; there are a lot of plays and misses. You have to ensure you put the ball in right areas and bat with discipline and recognise that you’re never in, in these conditions in South Africa,” added Dravid.

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