Uncapped opener Priyank Panchal is looking forward to his reunion with head coach Rahul Dravid after being added to India’s Test squad for the South Africa Test series. Panchal has been added to the 18-man squad after Rohit Sharma was ruled out of the Test series due to a hamstring injury.
Panchal revealed that he has followed Dravid ever since his cricket career started and knows the importance of work ethic, having seen the current India head coach train at the National Cricket Academy.
31-year-old Priyank Panchal, who plays for Gujarat, lead India A during the recent unofficial Test series in South Africa. He hit 96 in the first unofficial Test against South Africa last month in Bloemfontien.
“I was very excited during training sessions, thinking that now that I am captain, I have to do this and do that. In excitement, you forget what you really want to do. So Rahul sir had told me, ‘Just be normal.
Panchal, who has worked with the current India coach in the past, received an important lesson from Dravid on dealing with the added responsibility when he first became India A captain in 2019.
“You have it naturally within you, and that is why you have been given this job. You don’t need to change your game at all. Just follow your path, the way you have performed in domestic cricket all these years, just do that here.’ That really helped me,” Panchal was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
“I have seen how hard Rahul sir would train at the NCA during my Under-15 days. I have followed him ever since I began my career. I have been lucky to have interacted with him while with India A. When he says something, you absorb it instantly as a cricketer, because it comes from someone who has had such a long cricketing journey and so much experience,” concluded Panchal.