'He has a bigger challenge': Ex-India all-rounder explains what Rahul Dravid will be 'addressing' in SA

Published on Dec 19, 2021 03:47 PM IST

The Virat Kohli-led Indian unit will take on hosts South Africa in a three-Test series beginning December 26.

Rahul Dravid, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli(BCCI/Getty)
Rahul Dravid, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli(BCCI/Getty)
By, New Delhi

Rahul Dravid's stint as the head coach of the senior Indian men's team started with a T20I series sweep against New Zealand but a stiff challenge awaits the batting great in South Africa. The Virat Kohli-led Indian unit will take on hosts South Africa in a three-Test series beginning December 26 (Boxing Day) and Dravid will be looking to add another feather in his already illustrious cap.

India have never registered a Test series win in South Africa, and the last time they made a visit to the rainbow nation, Kohli and Co were beaten by a 2-1 margin. As Dravid gears up for his first major assignment, former India cricketer Reetinder Singh Sodhi believes the head coach will be "addressing" any strife between Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.

Rohit has taken over the mantle of ODI captaincy from Kohli and many reports have hinted towards a rift between the two superstars. Kohli, however, has reiterated that there are no differences between him and Rohit.

"He has a bigger challenge because of the recent controversies that have happened, to uplift the team after that. It is an acid test for Rahul Dravid. If we talk about Rohit and Virat, to make them stand together and get the partnership back, if there is a difference of opinion between them, so Rahul will be addressing that first," Sodhi said in a discussion on India News.

Sodhi feels Dravid will also have to reinforce the batting unit in overseas conditions. "And this tour which will be in different conditions, how our batters excel in South Africa. South Africa have a good bowling lineup and Rahul Dravid will have to work a lot there."

The Indian team had a warm-up session on Saturday where the players did a bit of jogging and stretching before hitting the nets. Kohli was also seen receiving batting tips from Dravid in a video shared by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

"We have done well in the home series but now is the acid test. If Rahul can get his team to do well here, the great respect he has in the entire world as a player, it will grow a lot as a coach also. So yes, a big test for Team India and a very big Test for Rahul Dravid," Sodhi further said.

Though India are yet to conquer the South African turf in red-ball cricket, Sodhi predicted a win for Dravid's team and praised the quality of players at the team's disposal.

"The sort of team we have and the way Rahul Dravid encourages them, the way he is balanced, I feel India will definitely hand a big defeat to South Africa in their own backyard," he concluded.

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