Rahul Dravid appointed head coach of India men's cricket team, to take over from New Zealand series starting November 17
The BCCI announced that the upcoming home series against New Zealand after the T20 World Cup will be Rahul Dravid's first assignment as India's full-time head coach.
Batting legend and former captain Rahul Dravid has been officially appointed as the new head coach of the Indian cricket team, the BCCI announced on Wednesday. Dravid will take over the new role and begin his tenure as India's full-time coach from the home T20I series against New Zealand starting November 17.
"The Cricket Advisory Committee comprising Ms. Sulakshana Naik and Mr. RP Singh on Wednesday unanimously appointed Mr. Rahul Dravid as the Head Coach of Team India (Senior Men). The former India captain will take charge from the upcoming home series against New Zealand," a release sent out by the BCCI read.
Dravid will replace current coach Ravi Shastri, whose stint comes to an end after the T20 World Cup. Shastri, who entered the Indian coaching set-up back in 2014 first as its manager, became the head coach in 2017 after Anil Kumble stepped down following his infamous fallout with captain Virat Kohli. Two years later, in 2019, Shastri was re-appointed as coach for a two-year-term, with the team playing some breathtaking cricket during his four-year-reign.
However, the stage is now set for Dravid to usher Indian cricket into a new era. Having worked with most of the youngsters in the India A and Under-19 circuit, Dravid is no stranger to the younger crop of players. Earlier this year in July, with one set of players being in England for the Test series, Dravid was appointed India's interim coach for India's limited-overs series in Sri Lanka. The team won the ODI series 2-1 but lost the T20Is by the same margin.
After the series was completed, when Dravid was asked if he would be keen on taking up a full-time role as coach, the former India batsman did not show much eagerness. "I have enjoyed this experience. You know, look, I have not really thought anything far ahead," he had said. But The Wall is now keen to embark upon a new chapter of his cricketing journey.
"It is an absolute honour to be appointed as the new Head Coach of the Indian Cricket Team and I am really looking forward to this role. Under Mr. Shastri, the team has done very well, and I hope to work with the team to take this forward. Having worked closely with most of the boys either at NCA, U19 and India A setup, I know they have the passion and desire to improve every day. There are some marquee multi-team events in the next two years, and I look forward to working with the players and the support staff to achieve our potential," the BCCI quoted Dravid as saying.
Dravid's appointed was welcomed by none other than BCCI chief, his former India teammate and captain, Sourav Ganguly, who believes 48-year-old's rich coaching experience, along his successful stint as director of the National Cricket Academy (NCA), bodes well for Indian cricket and its future.
"The BCCI welcomes Rahul Dravid as the Head Coach of India's senior men team. Rahul has had an illustrious playing career and is one of the greats of the game. He has also served Indian cricket as Head of National Cricket Academy (NCA) with distinction. Rahul's effort at the NCA has nurtured several young cricketing talents who have gone on to represent the country at the international stage. I am hopeful that his new stint will take Indian cricket to new heights," said Ganguly.
It was seven years ago that Dravid kicked off his coaching journey. It began with the Indian Premier League franchise Rajasthan Royals, a team Dravid had represented before retiring. Dravid took charge of the unit in 2014 and went on to guide the Royals to a fifth-place finish. Although Royals missed securing a place in the Playoffs by a whisker, in the following edition, RR produced a remarkable show, finishing third after going down to Royal Challengers Bangalore in the eliminator.
After ending his association with the Royals, the former middle-order batter took charge as the head coach of the India U-19 and India A teams. Dravid made immense progress in his maiden stint as U-19 coach as the team stood runners-up in the ICC Under-19 World Cup in 2016. It was the first time talents such as Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan and Washington Sundar were unearthed.
Dravid reached the peak of his coaching career in 2018, when under him, India, led by Prithvi Shaw lifted the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand. The following year, Dravid was appointed as the NCA chief, where he served successfully and with dedication, helping Indian cricket groom young and promising talents.
Now that Dravid is set to officially take over, his support staff is expected to be announced shortly. Paras Mhambrey, who worked closely with Dravid at the NCA, is the front-runner to replace Bharat Arun and become India's bowling coach, while Abhay Sharma and former India wicketkeeper Ajay Ratra have put their names in the hat to be the next fielding coach.
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