With the next big ICC event that will capture the imagination of the country slated to begin in a week, the BCCI has managed to break big news. The Indian team will be captained by Virat Kohli and coached by Ravi Shastri in the mega ICC T20 World Cup. However, Shastri’s tenure will come to an end post the marquee tournament. He may return back to the commentary box where he has received much applause. King Kohli, prior to the commencement of the second leg of the IPL in UAE, announced that he will be stepping down from the position of captain of the Indian T20 team and Royal Challengers Bangalore after the world cup and IPL respectively.
With the ball having set, BCCI was on the lookout for a new coach. Post the world cup, India will be playing New Zealand at home followed by series against South Africa and Sri Lanka. Therefore, it was imperative that the prospective coach is vetted and appointed well in time. There was speculation that India would go for an Indian individual as the head coach.
All the murmurs around this episode have now come to rest with BCCI announcing that Indian legend Rahul Dravid will take up the position of head coach. There are reports that BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and honorary secretary Jay Shah, both met Dravid in Dubai and persuaded him to take up this important position.
Dravid’s coaching testimonials need no introduction. He has coached the U-19 and India A teams for close to 3 years now. His result-oriented coaching has worked wonders for Indian cricket. India won the 2018 ICC U-19 World Cup under Dravid’s coaching. His consistent diligence and hands-on coaching have helped India recognize their future stars and also created an enviable bench strength. In Australia in 2020-21, the team struggled with plenty of senior players getting injured. At that point, players such as Gill, Siraj, Pant and Saini stood up and took charge. They delivered a historic series win in Australia. A few years back, this would have been unimaginable. All of these players and many more have all come from the stable of Dravid.
It is not the first time that Dravid has got the proposition of coaching the international team. In the past too, he was offered the position but he insisted on training the players coming into the system to supplement the men’s team. In July-August this year, he went into Sri Lanka for a limited-overs bilateral series as head coach. Due to covid restrictions, the main team who were in England could not travel to Sri Lanka so BCCI ended up sending a second team to represent India under the guidance of Dravid.
It is reported that Dravid, who was recently reappointed as the head of NCA will give up that position to take this new job. He will join the team just before the home series against New Zealand. Dravid has been appointed for a 2 years contract and will draw a salary of INR 10 crores. Team India has also appointed lieutenant Paras Mhambrey as their bowling coach, replacing Bharat Arun. Vikram Rathour continues as the batting coach while the decision on who would replace fielding coach R Sridhar hasn’t been made yet.
Considering the fact that Dravid and Paras have interacted with these bunch of boys, it would not take much for them to get going. The results thus far have been impressive and this two years contract would be a step in the right direction for the 2023 world cup.