WV Raman: Rahul Dravid Taking Over As Full Time Coach Is Likely To Happen
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Rahul Dravid Taking Over As Full Time Coach Is Likely To Happen: WV Raman

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid - K. MURALI KUMAR

WV Raman, a former Indian batsman said it is perhaps a matter of time before Rahul Dravid takes over as the full-time coach. Speculations are rife that Rahul Dravid will take over as India’s head coach when Ravi Shastri’s tenure comes to an end at the end of the T20 World Cup slated in the UAE later this year.

Reports of Rahul Dravid being the head coach of a young Indian side minus the top experienced stars set to tour Sri Lanka started doing the rounds before the confirmation from the BCCI came a month before the Sri Lanka series. Full-time head coach Ravi Shastri’s future was now being looked at through a prism of doubt.

WV Raman PC: Twitter
WV Raman PC: Twitter

Rahul Dravid Was Reluctant To Be India Team’s Coach For Travel Duties

Under Ravi Shastri’s tenure, an ICC trophy may have eluded India so far, but the Virat Kohli-led Indian side has reached stratospheric heights in all three formats. Ravi Shastri was not even confirmed as the Indian side’s head coach when Rahul Dravid agreed to coach the India A and U-19 sides back in June 2015. In fact, the MS Dhoni-led Team India did not have a designated head coach after Duncan Fletcher had parted ways post India’s semifinal exit in the 2015 World Cup.

Rahul Dravid was the first choice of the BCCI advisory committee (now defunct) comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman to replace Duncan Fletcher but ‘The Wall’ Rahul Dravid was reluctant because of the travel duties that the job would bring.

Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Till then, Ravi Shastri had had a couple of stints as a Technical Director with the Indian side. Former captain Anil Kumble was suddenly named full-time head coach of the side only to be replaced by Ravi Shastri after India’s loss to Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final in 2017. Meanwhile, Rahul Dravid had started to reform the junior cricket structure. His name again cropped up when Anil Kumble quit as coach.

Sourav Ganguly had in fact announced that Rahul Dravid will be working as a batting consultant along with newly-appointed head coach Ravi Shastri which didn’t happen due to BCCI regulations which give full freedom to the head coach to select his own support staff. Ravi Shastri went ahead with Bharat Arun as bowling coach and Sanjay Bangar was retained as the batting consultant.

Under Rahul Dravid, India even went on to lift the U19 World Cup in 2018 while Ravi Shastri did a fantastic job with two series wins in Australia under his belt. It was only recently – with the Sri Lanka tour and BCCI’s decision to prepare two separate Indian teams to minimize travel – that the debate once again started gaining steam.

WV Raman: Rahul Dravid Will Be The Coach When He’s Ready To Travel

WV Raman said it is perhaps a matter of time before Rahul Dravid takes over as the full-time coach.

“I won’t want to talk about the time frame but that (Dravid taking over as full-time head coach) is likely to happen, maybe sometime in future. I can’t be indulging in crystal ball glazing and say when it will happen but it will happen whenever Dravid is ready. In fact, there has been a lot of talk going around for the last four-five years. It’ll happen when he feels he’s ready to take the travel,” said WV Raman, the former India women’s head coach.

WV Raman, who will be a part of the Tamil commentary team for the India-Sri Lanka series, said Rahul Dravid can work and mould the cricketers better if he gets a longer tenure rather than a month-long tour.

“He can make them aware of the talent they possess. And he can also help them utilize that talent towards achieving the optimum. He’s anyway worked with most of these youngsters for a period of three-four years.

“But if he’s there with them regularly for a period of say two years, it will be easier to make changes as both the players and he will stick together and chalk out a plan or a routine on how to go about things. So a lot depends on the tenure that a coach works with the players,” WV Raman added.

Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI

The former left-hander WV Raman said the presence of Rahul Dravid in the dressing room will reassure the young cricketers whenever they go through a rough phase.

“The very presence of Rahul Dravid will give these cricketers reassurance because he’s a calm person by nature and he’s also one of those who believe that failures are part of a cricketer’s career.

“He can sit with them, make sure they don’t get dejected, which is very important because when a cricketer is doing well, the entire world will be behind him. It’s only when they are having a bad day that they need somebody to have a chat. Rahul Dravid is someone who is very good at it, he can pick the players up,” WV Raman added.

Rahul Dravid will start his journey as an India head coach on July 18 when India takes on Sri Lanka in the first ODI at Colombo.
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