Ready to step aside if suitable opener found: Dravid

May 21st, 2012 - 7:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Jaipur, May 21 (IANS) Rajasthan Royals captain Rahul Dravid has said he is ready to give up his playing role in the side if the management can find a young batsman to open with Ajinkya Rahane in the 2013 season.

Rajasthan Royals ended their Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign with a heavy loss to Mumbai Indians Sunday, finishing seventh in the standings.

Dravid, however, enjoyed a good season with the bat, scoring 462 runs in 16 games. He and Rahane ended up as the most successful opening combination in the tournament.

Talking about his future participation in the IPL, the 39-year-old said he would take a call after discussing it family and the team management.

“I have not really decided on my future as yet. I have got a break now so I will get the time to think about it (future). I will sit down with my family and discuss with them, discuss with the RR management and the owners,” said Dravid after the teaam’s final league game of IPL-V.

Dravid said he was open to mentoring the team if it found a suitable top-order batsman for the next season.

“My role is to develop some good youngsters in the side. We have got good players in the middle order in (Ashok) Menaria and (Stuart) Binny and they will only get better with experience.

“But at the top of the order, we need to find a good young player to bat with Rahane. There are couples of guys who are not getting enough opportunities in the other franchises. We are looking at them and hopefully we can attract them to the franchise. If that happens I will be happy to step aside and make way for the youngster.”

Asked about his highlights of the season, Dravid said: “Rahane’s batting was sensational. (Siddharth) Trivedi again proved handy with the ball. Menaria and Binny continue to grow as good young players. Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan showed what they can do in the spin department.

“Gajendra Singh is another fine bowler though he could not get the opportunity this year. We got two good wicket-keepers in Dishant Yagnik and Shreevats Goswami.

“We also got talented foreigners. (Kevon) Cooper did a good job for us. Apart from that, the spirit in the team was fantastic,” he added.

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