'I hope people don't say that he's an overrated coach': Akhtar explains why Dravid has a 'big job' on his hands

  • Virat Kohli's exit from the leadership role has got everyone talking & Akhtar also weighed in on the captaincy change and future of Indian cricket.
Rahul Dravid & Virat Kohli(Twitter)
Rahul Dravid & Virat Kohli(Twitter)
Published on Jan 23, 2022 07:31 PM IST
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By, New Delhi

Virat Kohli's exit from Test captaincy has left head coach Rahul Dravid with an unexpectedly stiff challenge. Six months ago, Kohli was spearheading the Indian set-up with a reputation of wearing his heart on his sleeve. Cut to the present day and he is not leading India in any of the three formats, and the team has already suffered a series defeat in South Africa in the Test and ODI formats.

Kohli's exit from the leadership role has got everyone talking. The mercurial cricketer's farewell from leadership has put a question mark over his relationship with the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar feels Indian cricket is currently at the crossroads. 

ALSO READ | 'Kohli could've been captain but who were they listening to? Dhoni': Karthik explains decline in Team India duo's form

Dravid may have started his India coaching stint with a T20I series sweep against New Zealand at home, but Akhtar feels the head coach will have to prove that he is not an "overrated" coach.

"I don't know what (BCCI president) Sourav Ganguly and other people think. But Indian cricket is definitely at the pinnacle point (crossroads)," Akhtar told PTI.

Akhtar further dismissed talks of Indian cricket facing a slump, adding that Dravid has big shoes to fill after Ravi Shastri's successful tenure as the head coach. The new coaching management under Dravid suffered its first defeat on the maiden overseas tour after losing the ODI series on Friday. India had won the first Test but lost the next two, prolonging their wait of clinching the first-ever Test series win in the Rainbow Nation.

"No, Indian cricket is not going down. You have to take control of the situation. Rahul Dravid has a big job in his hands.

"I hope people don't say that he's an overrated coach. He has to prove that, and obviously he has big shoes to fill in the place of Ravi Shastri. He has a big task ahead, let's see how he performs."

The current team management has got quality pacers at its disposal and Akhtar heaped praise on Jasprit Bumrah & Mohammed Shami. "I love everyone, I love Bumrah, Shami is great... It will be good fun if they also start developing an attitude like the Pakistanis," he said.

The 'Rawalpindi Express' also weighed in on the transition phase, with the likes of Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar being in the latter stage of their careers. "They are like the 'wheels' of the team. Of course, you have to replace them like you change 'tyres'. They also need a bit of rest in between and you also have to make them perform.

"There's too much of cricket nowadays, there's too much of pressure on cricketers these days, especially on the fast bowlers, there's too much pressure and the amount of travelling they do. It's not right," he concluded.

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Saturday, May 28, 2022