'In my tenure, India won 2 Asia Cups. But koi baat karta hai?': Ravi Shastri's tracer bullet on Rahul Dravid
To rate Rahul Dravid's performance as coach Ravi Shastri's mind harked back to 2016 and 2018, when India won the Asia Cups in back-to-back editions.
In the 16 months since Rahul Dravid took over as the head coach of the Indian team, he has had a bitter sweet run. Truth be told, there have been more misses than hits. Losing both the Test and ODI series in South Africa, not qualifying for the final of the Asia Cup and getting knocked out in the semifinal of the T20 World Cup will go down as some of the biggest let-downs of the Dravid era. Then again, there have been positives too – such as continuing India's unbeaten streak at home and retaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with a 2-1 series win over Australia.
Dravid has big shoes to fill considering he came in as a replacement for Ravi Shastri, under whom India achieved so much. And when such a situation arises, comparisons are inevitable. In the present scenario, Dravid has a lot to do to reach the same level of success his predecessor Shastri did. In fact, Shastri himself in a way rated Dravid's performance as coach urging people to show more faith and be patient with The Wall.
"It takes time. It took me time and it's going to take him time too. But Rahul has an advantage that he was at the NCA, he was with the A team as well and now he's here too. He is experienced with the contemporary cricketer players and with the system. Give him time," Shastri told Sports Tak on the sidelines of Legends League Cricket Masters.
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Dravid's contract is set to expire at the end of this year's World Cup, and while it is likely to get renewed for another term, how India perform in a World Cup Year, let alone at home, will surely impact Dravid's future in a way. Shastri backed Dravid, and reminded that people in India only care about winning trophies, only till the time they don't. To explain this theory, Shastri's mind harked back to 2016 and 2018, when India won the Asia Cups in back-to-back editions.
"In our country, public memory is short. If you have to win, you have to win. During my tenure, we won two Asia Cups, but no one remembers. Has anyone mentioned Asia Cup? We've won it twice. And no one talks about it. But when we lose in Asia Cup, then the tournament comes into the picture. Why? That's why I'm saying, the effort should always be there," he added.
"Everyone wants to win but what's important is to put your best foot forward. And see what happens. Sometimes you don't play your best cricket and still you'll win the game but you're going to have to be extremely lucky for that to win a World Cup. Very few teams win a World Cup by not playing well on that day. Very rare."