The Indian team is all set to embark another arduous tour of Sri Lanka. A triangular series involving hosts Lanka as well as New Zealand will be followed by a three-match Test series. The Indians go into the tri-series without the services of injured Sachin Tendulkar, but vice-captain Rahul Dravid is confident that the Indians can still do well.
"Obviously, it is difficult to replace anybody like Sachin. But, I'm sure this will be a good opportunity for some youngsters to prove their worth," Rahul said exclusively to Thatscricket.com on the eve of his departure to Chennai on Saturday. Excerpts of the interview:
How are you enjoying your role as vice-captain?
It is nice to be a part of the team management. I'm also involved in the decision making process. I don't view the role of vice-captain as anything different from that of a senior player. It helps to be a part of the scheme of things and help Saurav out on the field.
What are you looking forward to in the tour of Sri Lanka - One-day tri-series as well as the Test series to follow?
We are straight away going into the One-day triangular series where we would be playing six games. We will address the Test series when we come to it. But, the tour is going to be a challenge as the Sri Lankans are a tough side at home. We have a young side and it should be fun playing out there against Sri Lanka and New Zealand.
Would you be missing Sachin Tendulkar?
It is obviously difficult to replace somebody like Sachin. But, it is time for someone to put up his hands and be counted. We are hoping that Sachin would be okay for the Tests and may be the One-day final. It is a good chance for some of the younger boys to prove their worth. It is a great opportunity for the youngsters to stand up and show that they have come of age.
Your thoughts on coach Keki Tarapore, who passed away recently.
Keki's contribution to Indian cricket has been immense. It is a great loss to everybody and me personally. He was one of the finest coaches who gave his life for the game. In fact, the players that he coached to international fame is a huge list. He always said that one had to give out one's best. And in this series in Sri Lanka, I would like to go out and give my best for the sake of Keki.