"They are young kids and are learning"- Rahul Dravid backs Arshdeep Singh, asks everyone to "have patience" with them
The second game between India and Sri Lanka at the MCA Stadium in Pune was a run feast, with a total of 396 runs scored in 40 overs. Eventually, it was the visitors that proved to be the better team, winning the game by 16 runs.
The host made a number of mistakes throughout the game, and the prime one was bowling seven no-balls in the match. Notably, the left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh, who was coming back from injury, bowled five of those. 22 runs were scored off those 7 free-hits, which became the difference between the two teams.
That was what, the reporters asked from Indian head coach Rahul Dravid when he came to the post-match media conference. Arshdeep gave away 37 runs in just two overs and bowled three consecutive no-balls in his first over.
Sri Lankan opener Kusal Mendis grabbed the chance with both hands on those free-hits and smashed the pacer for 17 runs in his first over. Then, he came out to bowl the 19th over and bowled two more no-balls, giving away 20 runs.
As a result, Sri Lanka reached a big score of 206/6. However, when Dravid was asked about so many no-balls, he replied that it is still a learning curve for the young bowlers. He also urged being patient with the left-armer.
Dravid said, "We need to be patient with a lot of these young kids, There are a lot of youngsters playing in this team, especially our bowling attack. They are young kids, they will have games like this. We all need to be patient with them, we need to be understanding that games like this can happen, but they are learning."
The Indian head coach admitted that an international game is always very difficult, but these youngsters are improving, so we have to show some patience with them. Furthermore, Dravid said that we are trying to give more opportunities to young players in the T20Is to check and support them, but the main focus for us is the ODI World Cup.