India’s newly appointed head coach Rahul Dravid recently extolled T20I captain Rohit Sharma for his substantial contribution towards the success of Indian cricket over the years, both as a player and also in a leadership role.

Dravid’s comments came during a virtual press conference on the eve of the T20 series opener between India and New Zealand.

He pointed out that when Sharma made his debut in international cricket under his captaincy back in 2007, he had an inkling that the Mumbaikar was a special talent.

The cricketer-turned-coach mentioned that he had not anticipated working with Sharma after all these years in a new role. Dravid commended the right-hander for carrying the legacy of Indian cricket, as well as Mumbai cricket, in exemplary fashion.

Here’s what he said:

“We all knew that Rohit was going to be special. We could just see that this was a very very special talent. Working with him after so many years, is something that I never thought about or I never envisaged. It’s just lovely to see the way Rohit has grown as a leader and as a person over the last 14 years or so. He’s truly been someone who has been an absolute credit to the game and the country.

“From what he’s achieved, both as a player and his success as a leader for Mumbai Indians, it has been phenomenal as well. Having to carry the legacy of Mumbai cricket and Indian cricket forward is not an easy one, and he has done it with a lot of grace and class.”

The Indian think-tank has undergone major changes with Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli’s long-standing association coming to an end after the T20 World Cup 2021.

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While Dravid has stepped into Shastri’s shoes, Sharma has been appointed Kohli’s successor for the shortest format.

Kane Williamson set to miss the three-match T20I series versus India

The impending three-match T20I series between India and New Zealand will be the first assignment for the new captain-coach duo of Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid.

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson has opted out of the T20I series against India to focus on the subsequent Test series.

According to an official release from New Zealand Cricket, the 31-year-old will join the team’s Test specialists who have already commenced their training in Jaipur.

Kane Williamson will miss this week’s three-game T20 series against India as he prioritises preparing for the Test series starting on November 25 in Kanpur. #INDvNZ…

India and New Zealand are slated to battle it out in the first T20I of the series on Wednesday, November 17. The contest will be played at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.

Tim Southee will lead the Black Caps side in the opening fixture in the absence of Williamson.

Edited by Arjun Panchadar

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