India must work on batting depth after Windies loss, says Dravid


India cricket

FLORIDA, (Reuters): India must improve their batting depth with the 50-overs World Cup on the horizon, coach Rahul Dravid said after his team lost their Twenty20 series against the West Indies 3-2 on Sunday.

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A young Indian side missing several big names battled back from 0-2 down in the five-match series but crashed to an eight-wicket defeat at Lauderhill, with opener Brandon King helping West Indies chase down the victory target with an unbeaten 85.

Suryakumar Yadav hit 61 off 45 balls but had little support from the middle and lower order as India posted a modest 165-9 in 20 overs. The West Indies finished 171-2 from 18 overs with Nicholas Pooran (47) supporting King.

Dravid said mistakes were made in the series but was hopeful that their one-day team would fare better in the World Cup, which India will host from Oct. 5 to Nov. 19.

“Our one-day team is really different to the squad that we had here. But yeah, it didn’t allow us the flexibility to change the combinations a little bit,” Dravid told reporters.

“But going forward, we’ve got to look at certain areas in which we can get better. Finding depth in our batting has been an area we’re trying to address.

“As these games go on, scores are becoming bigger … even the West Indies had Alzarri Joseph coming in at number 11 and he can hit a mean ball. You have sides that have depth. We’ve got some challenges on that front.”

Dravid said India showed courage to level the series after a poor start but their batsmen could have done better throughout.

“But that can happen. It’s a young team, a developing team so there are going to be times when we have our ups and downs,” he added. “Of course we’re disappointed. To be able to win from 0-2 down would have been special.”

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