Bengaluru, Nov 11 (PTI) Angelo Mathews’ first-of-its-kind timed out dismissal against Bangladesh in a World Cup match has again stirred the debate about ‘Spirit of Cricket’ and India head coach Rahul Dravid on Saturday said a player should be allowed to follow the rules of the game to the letter, if he wishes so.
The heated deliberations started after Mathews was declared timed out following an appeal of Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan after the Sri Lankan batter could not get ready in time to face his first ball, coming in after the dismissal of Sadeera Samarawickrama.
“Everyone thinks differently. We are all unique creatures and we have our own minds and thoughts. There is no real right and wrong. It's fine to have those differences," said Dravid.
“When someone wants to take the letter of the rule to the last Nth degree, I don't think you can complain about it because, honestly, he's just following the rules as he sees it. You might not do it yourself. But you can't blame somebody for following it.” Turning his attention back to India's final league match against the Netherlands here on Sunday, Dravid said it was all about focusing on the game without worrying about factors such as playing 11 and conditions.
“We've had six days off from the last game. So, the guys are in good shape. At this stage, it's about focusing on getting the guys who you think are going to be playing in the 11 in the best possible space mentally and physically to be able to play that semifinal and hopefully the final – if we earn it.
“There are times for larger picture thinking and there are times for narrow focus thinking. In my opinion, now's the time for the narrow focus thinking,” he added.
Dravid was not ready to take the Netherlands lightly and lauded them for putting up a spirited show in the tournament.
“We're very impressed with the way they have played in this tournament, the effort that they've gone through to be able to qualify. I certainly know how difficult it is for Associate teams to be able to reach this level and play, having spent some time in Scotland myself in the early part of the 2000.
“It's quite inspiring to see that in spite of the challenges they face they're able to compete at this level. I know they'll be well prepared, a well-coached cricket team. We're looking forward to playing them,” Dravid signed off. PTI UNG PDS PDS