Rahul Dravid set to replace Ravi Shashtri as team India coach

Rahul Dravid (© IANS)

Dubai: Following initial resistance to the BCCI’s invitation, India’s batting star Rahul Dravid is set to take over as the national cricket team’s head coach post the T20 World Cup in the UAE.

Dravid was always the BCCI’s first choice, but it appeared that it required President Sourav Ganguly and Secretary Jay Shah to meet down with the former captain in Dubai on Friday and discuss with him before he consented to be with the team full time.

“Yes, Rahul has agreed to coach the Indian team till 2023 World Cup. Initially, he was reluctant but it is understood that president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah had a meeting with Rahul on the sidelines of the IPL final where they were able to convince him,” a BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

“It won’t be an interim role,” he added. Dravid’s trusted lieutenant Paras Mhambrey is expected to be the bowling coach while Vikram Rathour is likely to continue as batting coach.

The basic objective behind having the Dravid-Mhambrey combination in the Indian national set-up is to ensure that when the team transitions in another two years, the nucleus changes smoothly, while current coach Ravi Shastri’s contract expires with the T20 World Cup, which begins on Sunday.

The next two years in international cricket will be packed with big ticket events in each format – the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia, the 2023 ODI World Cup at home and the 2023 World Test Championship final.

Dravid, 48, has been in charge of the India A and U-19 setup for the past six years, and many players like Rishabh Pant, Avesh Khan, Prithvi Shaw, Hanuma Vihari, and Shubman Gill have come through his system. He is currently the director of Bengaluru’s National Cricket Academy. And it is highly expected that under his guidance, the men in blue will reach further glory.