Dravid, Laxman's absence opportunity for youngsters: MS Dhoni

Rahul Dravid (above) and VVS Laxman’s absence would mean that India would have to fill in the void at the slip cordon AFP

Hyderabad: Aug 22, 2012

India captain MS Dhoni said the team would miss the retired duo of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman but felt that their absence would provide opportunity to youngsters to prove their mettle.

“Definitely these are our two great players and we will miss them on the field. But that’s how it is,” he said on the eve of series opener.

“It’s an opportunity for the youngsters to take up the responsibility in the longer format. We are hoping that the youngsters would grab the opportunity and do well,” he added.

The duo’s absence would mean that India would have to fill in the void at the slip cordon, of which Laxman and Dravid were integral part. But Dhoni hoped that Virender Sehwag, Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli would take up the responsibility.

“We are hoping that we won’t miss them in the slip cordon. When it comes to scoring runs and the experience they had, it would be quite difficult. That’s one area where we will definitely miss them,” the skipper said.

“But we don’t think we will be short of fielders. We have players like Kohli, Raina, Sehwag who are already fielding at the slips. We have seen the youngsters catch the ball really well. Sehwag most likely will stand at the first slip.

“With the spinners, there might be a bit of issue. It’s challenging when there’s bounce. We will miss Rahul over there. But let’s look ahead and hope one of the youngsters take this opportunity and take a few good catches there,” he added.(PTI)