Indian cricket has embarked upon a new dawn as Rahul Dravid took charge as the coach of the men’s team while Rohit Sharma wore the captain’s hat for the T20 side on Tuesday. Meanwhile, VVS Laxman has formally accepted the BCCI offer to take charge as director of cricket at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru starting mid-December.
After the debacle at the just concluded T20 World Cup, the Indian side was long overdue several changes. With Virat Kohli stepping down, Rohit Sharma has been granted the opportunity to lead the men-in-blue in the shortest format. Given the rich haul of franchise trophies Sharma has in his cabinet, the Indian fans would be ecstatic to have him in the middle of proceedings.
Players’ health in bio-bubble paramount: Rahul Dravid:
However, it is the appointment of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman that has brought a sense of calmness to the fans. During his first media interaction, Dravid made it clear that players’ health in the unforgiving bio-bubbles will be of paramount importance.
“We are not looking at separate teams at the moment. We need to be in conversation with all the players in the time (COVID-19) we are living in. Players’ physical and mental well-being is of paramount importance at the moment. That’s why we might not be able to play every single ‘all-format’ player in every series,” said Dravid.
Such has been the tight scheduling that three days after playing the World Cup final, New Zealand is touring India to play a T20I and Test series. Meanwhile, the Indian players are coming into the series after a gruelling second half of the IPL and a World Cup.
Coaching template different for different sides: Dravid
Asked about his vision for the senior Indian side, Dravid said, “There is going to be no let-up in preparations in the next couple of years. The focus is going to be the 2022 T20 World Cup, the 50-over World Cup in 2023, and then the World Test Championships. We are looking to improve and keep getting better as a side.”
Rahul Dravid as a coach will not only help in building the team once again but will also help in changing the team environment for the better. His expertise in coaching the Indian Under 19 team to victory in foreign conditions will be an additional boon. Speaking about his coaching the Indian colts, Dravid remarked:
“Everywhere you coach, you can’t do it in the same way. Everything I did at the Under-19 level, I can’t do it here as we. My mantra is – ‘Get the best out of players’,”
There are no fingers that can be raised on the integrity and commitment of Rahul Dravid for India, and he will give his very best in raising the overall bar of the Indian team. Meanwhile, Laxman’s job will be to build upon the template set by Dravid at the NCA.
Before Dravid took charge, NCA had been reduced to a rehabilitation centre for the injured players going through some kind of niggle or another. However, Dravid has once again overhauled it into an assembly line of future national team players for the country.
With the pair that scripted the historic essay at Eden gardens in 2001 taking the centre stage in Indian cricket, the fans could not have asked or hoped for anything better.