VVS Laxman heaped praise on his former India teammate Rahul Dravid ahead of the latter’s first assignment as the national side’s head coach for India’s short limited-overs assignment against island nation Sri Lanka.
Calling him a “terrific mentor,” VVS Laxman stated that as a coach at the junior level, Rahul Dravid emphasized giving everyone in the squad a chance, but now at the international stage, the focus will be on winning.
VVS Laxman: Rahul Dravid Is A Terrific Mentor Cricket Wise And Beyond
The epic 331-run stand between Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman in the 2001 Eden Garden Test against Australia took the Sourav Ganguly-led side from the brink of defeat to a miraculous win. The duo was in the middle when India was asked to follow on and was four wickets down.
The duo went on to bat the entire 90 overs on Day 4 – with the former scoring 180 runs and the latter registering 281. India declared with a mammoth 657/7, setting Australia a stiff total of 384 runs to chase on the final day. Australia lost seven wickets for 46 runs in the final session of the final day as India won a memorable encounter.
“Most players in the squad have worked with Rahul [Dravid] previously, either with India ‘A’ and Under-19 or at the NCA, and have clearly benefited from his wisdom. I am sure they will be better off for this experience because Rahul is a terrific mentor, cricket-wise and beyond,” said VVS Laxman.
“In the past, Rahul has stressed on making sure everyone in the squad gets at least one game. That philosophy is certain to give way to a strong emphasis on winning,” VVS Laxman wrote in his column for TOI.
As batting partners, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman have brought Indian cricket some of its finest moments in their cricketing chronicles – most notably the Kolkata win against Australia in 2001 and the Adelaide victory against the same opponent in 2003.
VVS Laxman Is Happy For Shikhar Dhawan Whose Consistency Have Been Rewarded Being Assigned Captain
VVS Laxman also expressed his happiness for the “consistent” Shikhar Dhawan, who will captain the Indian side in Sri Lanka. One of the leading batsmen in the limited-overs, the 35-year-old is yet to cement his place in T20Is as India has a top-heavy full-strength unit in Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and KL Rahul.
The former batsman believes the limited-overs tour is a good opportunity for Shikhar Dhawan to nail his place in the side ahead of the T20 World Cup that starts in October this year. VVS Laxman mentored Shikhar Dhawan during the latter’s stint at Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in earlier editions of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
“I am particularly happy for Shikhar [Dhawan], whose consistency and seniority have been rewarded with the captaincy of the national side. It’s a great opportunity for him to not just showcase his leadership skills, but also nail down his place ahead of the T20 World Cup given the competition of places at the top of the batting order.”
With 380 runs at 54.28 and a strike rate of over 134, Shikhar Dhawan is also the current Orange Cap holder in the IPL 2021, which is set to resume in September.
Shikhar Dhawan has been in tremendous form during the now postponed IPL 2021, after getting dropped from the T20I side in the home England series preceding the IPL. Opening for the Delhi Capitals, the left-hander scored 380 runs in 7 matches and was the leading run-scorer before the tournament got suspended. Shikhar Dhawan was the 2nd highest run-getter in IPL 2020 too with 618 runs in 17 games.