In the BCCI goof-up, Dravid is a welcome change


New Delhi: It was October 15, the Indian Premier League final at Dubai International Stadium, when BCCI President Sourav Ganguly introduced his former teammate and former Indian skipper Rahul Dravid to host dignitaries as India’s next head coach.

And two days later, BCCI published an advertisement for the same position on October 17, inviting applications from suitable candidates from around the world. By then, the word had traveled the world via social networks. Coaches or former greats who wanted to apply for this coveted position immediately began to appeal to their connections in India.

And one of those interested Australian candidates called a former senior BCCI official to ask him “if he should throw his hat in the ring or if this is just a formality to formalize the informal engagement. “. The conversation was long but to cut it short, this Australian was told in as many words as “the name of Dravid was already finalized during his meeting with the secretary of the BCCI Jay Shah and Ganguly”.

It was no secret to those covering the IPL final in Dubai that Dravid’s name had been erased from the summit (the summit these days is not the President but the Junior Shah).

As you might expect, no big name from outside applied for India’s most coveted position. And anyone who applied from India was not called for a formal interview until Dravid’s name was finally announced earlier this week.

Whatever the reasons the BCCI have called on Dravid through the back door, there is no doubt that he is the most worthy candidate to manage this star-studded but struggling Indian team. And to have it just at a time when Virat Kohli and his team hit a new low by losing two crucial games on the trot and almost losing the roster of the current T20 World Cup semi-finals, the entry of Dravid in the locker room is an indication of a few big changes that are expected in the coming months.

Anyone who follows Indian cricket closely understands that preparing Dravid for this new role has never been too easy for BCCI officials.

Also in the past, Dravid had apparently made it clear that “he is ready to take over once this current generation of senior players passes away.” It was obviously a clue to Kohli or elsewhere Rohit Sharma and others, with whom Dravid had shared the locker room as a Team India player, domestic or in IPL.

So Dravid’s role was limited to managing India A, Under19 and running the National Cricket Academy. And the ugly feud between Karnataka giant Anil Kumble and Kohli in 2017 was another reason for Dravid to avoid putting on the big shoes. He was happy to earn generously (around 7 million rupees per year) by sitting at home and spending quality time with his family (including two children).

It was during the England tour when players were ‘forced out of the bio-bubble’ to attend Ravi Shastri’s book launch and this resulted in a few of them catching the Covid-19 virus. . Dravid’s entry will bring a different work ethic and professionalism to the locker room. Given the reserved nature of The Wall (as Dravid is known in the cricket fraternity), there might be less lectures like Shastri and more work and strategy that would now be seen during practice sessions.

Not to mention, Team India apparently canceled a training session during the current T20 World Cup because it was scheduled for Abu Dhabi, but to imagine that happening again under Dravid is unimaginable.

Dravid had been a team man at heart and so he even agreed to put on the wicket-keeper’s gloves at the 1999 World Cup to give the team a better balance when a injury to regular goalkeeper Nayan Mongia ruled him out. But that wasn’t all, Dravid later suffered on several occasions when he was somehow adjusted in the team’s eleven only for agreeing to be a wicket hitter, which he didn’t. never liked.

This is why many believe that Dravid would never pass such a critical judgment to the extreme as Kohli did in the case of the world’s best spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin. Leaving aside Ashwin, first in England and then now on the sluggish grounds of the United Arab Emirates where many other teams have played with even three spinners at once, has to put his finger on the direction of the Indian team.

There is no doubt that Indian cricket needs Dravid more than ever before, and his success as a mentor-coach would be essential in instilling a new belief for the future.


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