India coach Rahul Dravid faced a massive backlash on social media after Prithvi Shaw was not named in the playing XI for the first T20I against New Zealand in Ranchi on Friday.
The series opener against New Zealand in Jharkhand saw Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan opening the batting for India with coach Rahul Dravid and captain Hardik Pandya leaving out Prithvi Shaw from the XI.
Prithvi Shaw recently made his return to the India squad after remaining on the sidelines since 2021, including serving a doping ban for 12 months. His inclusion in the squad was expected after he lit the domestic circuit with his brilliant performances, highlighted by the 363 runs he scored in the 2022 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
After winning the toss in Ranchi, India captain Hardik Pandya revealed that Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan were chosen as openers while Prithvi Shaw missed out.
“It’s a young side, everyone’s ready to go. Yuzi, Mukesh, Jitesh and Prithvi miss out,” he told the broadcaster Star Sports at the toss.
“Nahi sir. Shubman ne bohot achha kiya hai so usko pehle mauka milega. Actually, mauke ki baat hi nahi hai. (No sir. Shubman has done really well so he will get the opportunity first. In fact, with him it doesn’t even come down to opportunities) Shubman will start because the way he is batting, he will obviously be in the team,” Hardik Pandya added.
Although Hardik Pandya disclosed the reason behind not including Prithvi Shaw in India’s starting line-up, fans lashed out at the team management, including head coach Rahul Dravid for not picking the young opener.
The netizens were extremely severe in their criticism of Rahul Dravid as they went on to label him as an “idiot” and “stupid”.
On the other hand, some even used expletives to show their anger at Rahul Dravid and Hardik Pandya’s decision.
Give him 11 explosive batters.. Rahul dravid still prefer best mugz in T20 .. worst coach for T20 format.. benching shaw is criminal
— chichupedatha (@6eChaithu) January 27, 2023
Rey luccha @hardikpandya7..! How can you bench SHAW for Gill and Kishan as 1st choice openers?
I don't know what this chutiya Dravid is coaching 🤷♂️
— Arun Showri (@runwrites) January 27, 2023
Shaw was scoring triple hundreds in Ranji ,pr ees chetan sharma sae dekha nhi gya so he selected him in t20 to bench him .
Shaw ki success sae Dravid aur chetan ki jal jaati hai https://t.co/fAUpaC5cpa
— Fr🅾️nt F🅾️🅾️t 🦶 (@frontfoot73) January 27, 2023
First they buried Sanju Samson and now it's going to be Prithvi Shaw and the common factor is Rahul Dravid. Feel all Rahul's have that invisible power
— yogesh chaturvedi (@yogee67) January 28, 2023
This isn’t the first time Rahul Dravid has faced social media mockery following his contentious selection calls.
Last year, he became a butt of jokes after India chose to drop Kuldeep Yadav from the XI for the second Test against Bangladesh.
Interestingly, Kuldeep Yadav was the Man of the Match in the previous Test, having accomplished a five-wicket haul in the first essay before sending three more Bangladesh batters back to the pavilion in the next innings. Moreover, Kuldeep Yadav contributed with the bat as well, scoring a vital 40 runs in India’s first innings.
Some even claimed it was Rahul Dravid’s ‘dirty mind’ that decided to exclude spinner Kuldeep Yadav from the playing XI in Mirpur because such a move could only be backed by a mindless person and not by someone who has played 164 Tests and 344 ODIs.
While others demanded his removal as the coach of the Indian Cricket Team because he had no clue whatsoever about the side’s composition.
Another set of his critics compared him to Australia’s Greg Chappell who was the coach of the Indian cricket team during the 2000s.
Greg Chappell’s era is regarded as a dark period in the history of Indian cricket and his arrival led to a huge rift between him and then captain Sourav Ganguly which eventually resulted in the former’s removal as skipper before being ousted from the side altogether.
Rahul Dravid was also trolled after wicketkeeper batter Rishabh Pant was not included in the national squad for this month’s ODI series against Sri Lanka.
Taken aback by the Chetan Sharma-led selection panel’s move, Rishabh Pant’s admirers went on to dub it a “truly shocking” decision.
Though it was the Indian selectors who decided to exclude Rishabh Pant from the Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya-led ODI and T20I teams, his supporters blamed Rahul Dravid, assuming that he would have given his feedback to them regarding the left-hander’s place in the side.
Rishabh Pant’s admirers went as far as to dub Rahul Dravid a “fool” while some even used “cuss” words to describe him.
“Since the start of last year, Rishabh Pant’s numbers in ODIs are outstanding – average of 45, strike rate of 109 – and three innings ago he made an exceptional hundred to win a series away from home against the world champs. If he has been dropped, and not rested, it’s baffling,” a fan wrote on Twitter.
Before that, the Men in Blue supporters hit out at Rahul Dravid after India’s disappointing T20 World Cup campaign Down Under, claiming that he backed players who were not good enough to be a part of the national squad.
But instead of dropping them, the former batting stalwart persisted with them, resulting in India’s exit from the prestigious tournament they haven’t won since 2007.