‘Magnificent’, ‘disciplined’, ‘zero ego’, ‘experienced’, ‘treasure’ – these are some of the adjectives used to describe Rahul Dravid. The big question now is will he take over from Ravi Shastri as Team India coach?
Rahul Dravid knows cricket well, and, as a coach, he knows cricketers even better. It was his acumen that guided what former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga chose to describe as India’s ‘B-Team’ to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and win the recent ODI series against the island nation.
At one stage, the visiting Indians seemed to have lost the plot, but team vice-captain Bhuvaneshwar Kumar acknowledges the wisdom in Dravid’s decision to send Deepak Chahar ahead of him to bat on Tuesday – the result has gone down in cricketing history.
“It was Rahul Dravid’s call to send Deepak Chahar ahead of me. He (Rahul) knew Deepak Chahar could bat, as he has played under Dravid, and Chahar proved him right,” Kumar said. Chahar, who was rejected by Greg Chappell at the RCA because of his height and told to look for a different occupation, single-handedly won the match for India.
Former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar feels Dravid’s association with the National Cricket Academy (NCA) has helped the team a lot. “He (Dravid) has been with the NCA for a long time now.”
He knows all the players who have graduated from NCA to international cricket very well, their temperament, cricketing skills, etc. So it helps for him make the correct decisions. Being extremely disciplined himself, he inculcates the right values in young cricketers, which is so important for them,” Vengsarkar said.
Former Indian pacer Karsan Ghavri, who knows Dravid well, says, “His inspiring personality can motivate the youth. His experience is a treasure.”
Ravi Shastri’s tenure as head coach will end after the World T20 this November. With an age-cap of 60 years in force for support staff, the big question is whether the BCCI will continue with the former captain or not. If the board decides to remove Shastri, a replacement may not be difficult to find.
“The biggest advantage that the BCCI has is the presence of a tremendous personality like Dravid. It can put him in any position and he will make it work. Such is his strength,” believes Saad Bin Jung, a former first class cricketer.
“The simple reason why Dravid scores over every other retired cricketer is that he has zero ego, he is a magnificent man, he has been one of the greatest players that India has ever produced,” he says.
“Rahul is an excellent candidate as Team India coach,” says former India stumper Farokh Engineer. He further adds, “Rahul was recognised as one of the most technically correct batsmen. A thorough gentleman and a wonderful man. He has his own management style and coaching skills, and he would be an excellent choice.” But, “Let us not forget what a wonderful job Shastri has been doing,” he stressed....