Former India captain to replace Ravi Shastri after the upcoming T20 World Cup.
After months of speculation, former Indian captain, current NCA (National Cricket Academy) head coach and legendary batter Rahul Dravid is set to become the next head coach of the Indian men’s national cricket team following the upcoming T20 World Cup, which will also see current coach Ravi Shastri’s tenure come to an end.
Dravid has been the favourite for the position ever since it was announced that Shastri couldn’t re-apply once his term was over due to age restrictions. Dravid, who is the head of the NCA, will have to step down from that position to be able to take up his new role.
Dravid, apart from holding the top position at the National Cricket Academy, served as the head coach of the India Men’s U19 team and the India A-team from 2016 to 2019. Dravid helped the India U19 team finish runners-up at the 2016 U-19 World Cup and champions at the 2018 U19 World Cup. He has been instrumental in developing a solid foundation for the young domestic players coming through, and many of the current youngsters who have made it to the national team under his guidance have vocally spoken about the impact Dravid has had on the grassroots level in India.
Most recently, Dravid coached the second-string Indian team that toured Sri Lanka, while the main team was in England playing concurrently.
It is also reported that former Indian pacer Paras Mhambrey, who assisted Dravid at the U19 and A-team levels as bowling coach, will take over from Bharat Arun in the same capacity. Vikram Rathour, the current batting coach, who was appointed in 2019, is reported to continue.
It is reported that BCCI President, Sourav Ganguly, and Secretary, Jay Shah, sat down and finalised the details with Dravid. A BCCI official commented on the appointment, stating:
“Dravid has confirmed he will be the next head coach of the Indian team. He will be stepping down as head coach of NCA soon.
“Dravid has agreed and it cannot get better. The other positions will now be looked into while Vikram stays as the batting coach. The Indian team is in a state of transition with youngsters coming in and they have all worked with Dravid and it will be all the more easier for Indian cricket to continue on its path to become world beaters on the pitch.
“Jay and Sourav spoke to him and it was about Dravid being convinced because it does need a lot of time as you need to be on the go constantly. But things went well and Dravid has always kept the interest of the Indian cricket on the top so it made things easier as the team would do well to have someone like him guiding the boys.”
Dravid is most likely to be given a two-year contract and his first assignment as coach would be the New Zealand series in November, scheduled to commence right after the T20 World Cup.
With captain Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara all well over the age of 30, Dravid and his staff will not only have to get the most out of these senior players but also make sure a smooth transition takes place to build a secure base for the team for the future.