Bridgetown, June 25: Prized Indian veteran and Man of the Match of the first Test against the West Indies of the ongoing tour, Rahul Dravid, has showered praise on his nation's new stock of Test players. With first-choice players in Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir sitting out the series in the Caribbean, Test debutants Virat Kolhi, Abhinav Mukund and Murali Vijay may not have demonstrated the verve required to fill the enormous shoes of the men they are replacing. But Dravid is off the opinion that they will find their groove soon enough.
"These youngsters are even better than we were, in terms of talent," Dravid said after the match. "We put too much pressure on youngsters; we need to relax and give them time, we need to be patient with them, and we can't be questioning them after every one or two matches."
The just-concluded Test at Kingston marks a decade-and-a-half since Dravid along with Sourav Ganguly notched up auspicious debuts at Lords. VVS Laxman also burst onto the Test scene the same year, forming the essence of what was to become a world-class middle order, along with Tendulkar.
But Dravid said that the new-comers possess the potential to outperform even his batach. "We all needed time - we have been around for 15 years since we were given a bit of time and you can't expect performances straight away," Dravid said. "To be fair to these guys, they have been performing brilliantly in ODIs and I believe Indian cricket is in good hands and these youngsters are going to perform much better than we did even."
Dravid, along with VVS Laxman and MS Dhoni, took part in the Kingston encounter without much time to adapt to the Caribbean. Dravid said it was one of the issues the team struggled with in Jamaica and hoped for a rectification before the second Test in Barbados from the 28th.
"We know we need to do better than we did in this Test," Dravid said. "If we are honest we know there are areas we need to improve on, and hopefully we will get that right in Barbados."