Rahul Dravid says Wriddhiman Saha’s comments after the Test break are not hurt at all: he deserves honesty and clarity

India head coach Rahul Dravid shed light on Wriddhiman Saha’s comments after the Indian wicketkeeper batsman revealed a “difficult” conversation between the pair a day after he was dropped from the Test team for the Sri Lanka series. Dravid said he believes in keeping players informed about picking decisions rather than taking the easier route.

Saha, who was ruled out of the 2-Test series against Sri Lanka next month, told the media on Sunday that head coach Dravid had asked him to consider retiring and that the team are working to recruit younger wicketkeeper-batters to replace them to care for Rishabh Pant. Who is the first choice stumper in tests.

Dravid said his intention behind speaking to Saha was to make sure he had a clear picture of where he was and he had no regrets.

“I’m not hurt at all. I have great respect for Wriddhi and his achievements and contribution to Indian cricket. My conversation came from this place. I think he deserved honesty and clarity,” said Dravid after Indian T20I Series win West Indies.

Saha had also withdrawn from the ongoing Ranji Trophy for personal reasons.

Dravid explained the rationale for speaking to Saha, saying it was necessary as Rishabh Pant had already established himself as the new No 1 wicketkeeper across formats and the Bengal would have had no chance.

“I was just trying to convey that with RP (Pant) after he established himself as our No 1 wicketkeeper batsman the idea was to say we want to groom a younger wicketkeeper (Kona Bharat).

“It doesn’t change my feelings or my respect for Wriddhi,” he assured.

DON’T EXPECT PLAYERS TO LIKE THE TALKS: DRAVID

Dravid said he will continue to have such conversations with players whether they like the discussion or not.

“It’s about conversations I have with players all the time. I don’t expect players to always agree with everything I say about them.

“Does not work like that. You can have difficult conversations with the players, but that doesn’t mean you sweep it under the rug and don’t have conversations,” Dravid was crystal clear about his approach.

Dravid said that his philosophy is to have discussions with players before each player is selected.

“I always believe in having those conversations before any playing XI is chosen and being open to questions like why they’re not playing. It’s natural for players to get upset and hurt,” he said.

For Dravid, telling the hard truth is better than avoiding conversation altogether.

“The easiest thing for me is not to have these conversations and not to talk to the players about it. I will not do that.

“But I hope at some point they will respect the fact that I’ve been able to step up and have those conversations,” he added.

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