Desi Talk - page 29

May 27, 2016
By Anupam Pratihary
he Indian cricket
board’s experiment with
former Indian players as
coaches needs to reach
its logical conclusion –
an Indian head coach. At least,
this time the Board of Control
for Cricket in India (BCCI) has
the luxury of considering some-
one with credentials such as
Rahul Dravid.
Few can rival his invaluable
experience as a player, having
scored over 24,000 runs and 48
centuries in international crick-
et. Dravid is a modern-day crick-
et legend and his understanding
of the intricacies of the game,
including the T20 format, will be
of immense value to this young
Indian team.
Besides, he has done the hard
yard as coach, having mentored
IPL teams Rajasthan Royals and
Delhi Daredevils, apart from
coaching junior Indian teams
(Under-19 and India A). He
understands the rigors of the
Dravid may not have thrown
his hat in the ring, but he is
known to take decisions after
weighing all the factors. For the
current coach of the junior
Indian teams and a mentor for
the Delhi Daredevils, taking up
Team India’s coaching assign-
ment should be a natural pro-
Cautious as ever, Dravid told
the media in April, “Anything
that comes back to you needs to
be weighed with a lot of consid-
eration, not only in terms of
whether you feel you want to do
it but also time that is involved
in doing a lot of these things —
what does it entail and what
does it require, can you devote
time and energy, anything that
you would want to do, you want
to ensure you are completely
100 percent focussed on it.”
He may not have aired his
intent but it appears India’s most
prolific number three batsman
of all time is considering all that
the job entails. Now that June 10
is the BCCI’s deadline to accept
job applications, the ball is in
Dravid’s court.
Dravid had been a part of the
core group of the Indian team,
regarded to have the best batting
lineup in its test history and
arguably the finest in the world
during its time.
It was perhaps the first Indian
team that had the self-belief and
aggression needed to win test
matches in Australia, England,
South Africa and Pakistan – tra-
ditionally the toughest to beat in
their backyard. And it did.
The team led by Sourav
Ganguly was truly a champion
side and Sachin, Dravid,
Laxman, Sehwag, Kumble,
Harbhajan and Zaheer were his
legendary sharpshooters who
could bring down any team in
their own territory. It was during
this golden phase that the team
systematically set out to win
series abroad, which it famously
did in England, Pakistan and
New Zealand and just falling
short in Australia and South
Africa. India was almost unbeat-
able on home soil.
Perhaps this is the most valu-
able intangible asset that Dravid
will bring to the table – the art of
winning against the best.
To become a champion side, a
team requires the technical
prowess, self-belief, combative
attitude and the ability to plot
the opposition’s downfall com-
ing from behind, as Dravid had
done with Laxman in the
famous Kolkata test against a
ruthless Aussie outfit in 2001.
And this is where Dravid’s expe-
rience will come in handy for
Virat Kohli’s boys, who are strug-
gling to make their mark in test
Being one of the finest bats-
men of his time, Dravid can pro-
vide the right ecosystem for the
likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Murali
Vijay, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya
Rahane and Rohit Sharma —
some of the most promising
batsmen in international cricket.
Dravid can help convert their
potential into consistent per-
formance, more so in tough
overseas conditions where glory
can be elusive.
Another crucial phase where
a player needs valuable techni-
cal input and support is when
he is going through a lean peri-
od. And you can’t ask for a better
person than Dravid to help iron
out flaws.
The road to excellence can be
brutally lonely and monotonous
for a player. A coach who has
accomplished success at the
highest level can inspire players
to realize the importance of rou-
tine training regimens, sacrifice
and commitment needed to
excel in international cricket.
What separates the greats from
others is work ethic and mental
toughness. The way Boris Becker
has helped Novak Djokovic to
transform himself into a great
champion illustrates the role of
a coach, even though tennis is
an individual sport unlike crick-
Another skill for which Dravid
hasn’t received enough credit is
fielding in the slip cordon. He
holds a world record of 210
catches, mostly in slips – where
most players except Rahane
have struggled. This is one area
where Dravid may have to work
the hardest as it needs special-
ized training and understanding
of the field position.
Former Australia captain
Ricky Ponting also believes
Dravid will make a good coach.
“… I don’t think the BCCI will
find many better candidates
than someone like him
(Dravid),” Ponting said recently.
“If he’s interested in doing the
job, he will do a good job.”
Can the Indian cricket board
get a better endorsement for
Rahul Dravid as coach?
– Reuters
By Nivedita Shankar
ast bowler Shardul
Thakur was the surprise
selection in India’s 17-
man squad for their test series
againstWest Indies, the Board
of Cricket Control (BCCI) in
India announced on its web-
site( on Monday.
The 24-year old earned his
first call-up to the national
side after playing a key role in
Mumbai’s 41st Ranji Trophy
victory in February, picking up
41 wickets in
his 11 match-
Virat Kohli
has been
named captain
of the side for
the July-
August series
with Ajinkya
Rahane will be
his deputy.
The four-
match series
will mark the
resumption of
bilateral ties
between the
sides after the Caribbean team
pulled out midway through a
2014 tour of India over a pro-
tracted pay dispute with the
West Indies Cricket Board.
The BCCI also announced a
weakened 16-man squad for
the one-day and Twenty20
internationals to tour
The uncapped Faiz Fazal,
Yuzvendra Chahal, Jayant
Yadav, Karun Nair, Mandeep
Singh were included while
experienced players such as
Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran
Ashwin and Suresh Raina were
India will play three one-
day internationals and three
Twenty20 games beginning in
West Indies tour squad:
Virat Kohli (captain), Murali
Vijay, Shikar Dhawan, KL
Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara,
Ajinkya Rahane,
Rohit Sharma,
Ravindra Jadeja,
Ishant Sharma,
Kumar, Umesh
Yadav, Shardul
Thakur, Stuart
tour squad:
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (cap-
tain), KL Rahul, Faiz Fazal,
Manish Pandey, Karun Nair,
Ambati Rayudu, Rishi
Dhawan, Axar Patel, Jayant
Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni,
Jasprit Bumrah, Barinder Sran,
Mandeep Singh, Kedar Jadhav,
Jaydev Unadkat, Yuzvendra
– Reuters
Fast Bowler Shardul Thakur
Named To India Test Squad
– that’s all you need to know
A Suitable Coach For The Indian Cricket Team
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