Rahul Dravid has been appointed the new head coach of the senior national cricket team to succeed Ravi Shastri. His tenure will start with the upcoming home series against New Zealand.
The development was on the cards ever since the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) managed to get the former skipper to come on board. He met senior BCCI officials in the UAE during the Indian Premier League (IPL). Dravid is the present Director of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru and head coach of the India Under-19 and A teams. In that capacity, he has been responsible for grooming several young players who have made the transition to the senior side over the last few years.
“It is an absolute honour to be appointed as the new Head Coach of the Indian Cricket Team and I am really looking forward to this role,” Dravid said in a BCCI press release. “Under Mr Shastri, the team has done very well, and I hope to work with the team to take this forward. Having worked closely with most of the boys either at NCA, U19 and India A set-up, I know they have the passion and desire to improve every day. There are some marquee multi-team events in the next two years, and I look forward to working with the players and the support staff to achieve our potential.”
The tenure of Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun, batting coach Vikram Rathour and fielding coach R Sridhar end together, and BCCI secretary Jay Shah said the Board will soon make appointments of other coaching staff.
Apart from the home series against New Zealand, the next two years has major ICC events including the T20 World Cup in Australia and the 2023 50-over World Cup, scheduled to be held in India.
Dravid will also look to go one better in the 2021-2023 World Test Championship cycle, after falling at the final hurdle against the Kiwis in June this year.
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, who was Dravid’s teammate for most of their careers after making their Test debuts in the same game, hoped he will guide the Indian team to new heights.
“Rahul has had an illustrious playing career and is one of the greats of the game. He has also served Indian cricket as Head of National Cricket Academy with distinction. Rahul’s effort at the NCA has nurtured several young cricketing talents who have gone on to represent the country at the international stage. I am hopeful that his new stint will take Indian cricket to new heights,” the former India skipper said.
Shah alluded that Dravid’s appointment was part of a well-thought-out policy.
With two World Cups scheduled to take place in the next two years, it is important to have a seamless transition, and the former India captain is the right man for the job. Having provided the much-needed direction to NCA and overseen the progression of the boys at India U-19 and India A level, we believe this is also a natural progression for him as a coach,” the BCCI secretary said.