How head coach Rahul Dravid can be a game-changer for the Indian cricket team?
The Indian cricket team would now be under Rahul Dravid's guidance, with Ravi Shastri stepping down. Meanwhile, we analyse how Dravid can change Indian cricket.
The Indian cricket team is all set to get a new head coach in Rahul Dravid. It all comes after Ravi Shastri decided to step down following his successful four-year stint but could not win any ICC title, as the side was knocked out early in the Super 12 stage of the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup.
As the onus now comes upon Dravid, he will have a grave task at hand. His job would involve turning the side into a title-winning material and building a formidable squad for the future, capable of dominating world cricket in the years to come. As he gets his commitments underway from November 17 during the home series against New Zealand, we analyse how he could change the face of Indian cricket.
Grooming young talents
Dravid has gained tremendous recognition during his just-concluded stint as the head coach at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru. He produced enormous promising young talents, thus gaining enough recognition for the same. Young guns in the current Indian setup, consisting of Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson and many more, all flourished under the guidance of Dravid during his stint as the coach of India A and India U-19.
Dravid has to ensure that he continues to groom the young talents getting a chance in the team through domestic and Indian Premier League (IPL) performances. While he has always believed in giving every debutant an opportunity in a series, he has to continue the trend, which was not so regular under Shastri's reign. Doing so would not only give them regular exposure to competitive international cricket but also boost their confidence.
Focus on all-rounders
Speaking of young talents, Dravid is also likely to focus on all-rounders. The Indian team has promising all-rounders, but it needs more of them to build up for the long run and the better future of Indian cricket. As the sport gets competitive with each passing day, having enough all-rounders would give the side enough balance and flexibility. With that being said, it would indeed be a humungous task to find quality all-rounders who excel in both departments.
While Venkatesh Iyer is the latest to come into the fray and join the list, Dravid needs to hunt down more. Also, grooming the likes of Lalit Yadav, Shahrukh Khan, Rahul Tewatia, Shreyas Gopal and Mahipal Lomror in the coming days would be highly crucial for Dravid. Although they are promising all-rounders, they are yet to show stability and consistency in both departments.
As far as the captaincy goes, India is already witnessing a change, with Virat Kohli stepping down from the role in T20Is, while Rohit Sharma has been handed the duties. Considering the latter's success in the shortest format, the change makes sense, having led Mumbai Indians (MI) to record five title wins. However, what about One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and Tests?
The idea of split captaincy has always been debated for a long time. As of now, it is unclear if Dravid would vote entirely in favour of split captaincy for all three formats. However, he would probably like to have one captain for limited-overs and the other for the most extended format. Kohli is likely to stick to Test cricket, while calls are being made to promote Rohit as the skipper in ODIs.
Nevertheless, Dravid cannot be complacent with Kohli and Rohit. He has to ensure that he builds grooms players capable of taking up leadership duties in the future. While KL Rahul is being groomed, having already been bestowed with the responsibilities of deputy captain, Pant can be a great example in the coming days, along with Shreyas Iyer and even Jasprit Bumrah.
Title-winning campaigns, including ICC trophies
Last but not least, Dravid has to ensure that he grooms the players strong to make Team India a force to be reckoned with in global cricket to win titles. While success in bilateral cricket would be mandatory, he would be under pressure to help India deliver an ICC title, something that India has been lacking since 2013.
Dravid's upcoming ICC commitment would be the T20WC next year in Australia, followed by the ICC World Cup 2023 in India. These two tournaments could well decide Dravid's fate as the Indian head coach and his credibility to impact the side. Success in either one would allow Dravid to continue, while failure would raise eyebrows.