Tried to convince Rahul Dravid to stay: Rohit Sharma | Crickit
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Tried to convince Rahul Dravid to stay: Rohit Sharma

Jun 04, 2024 11:46 PM IST

They haven’t won an ICC trophy but the India skipper swears by the direction Dravid as coach has helped the team take

India captain Rohit Sharma said that he tried to convince outgoing head coach Rahul Dravid to extend his stay when he was informed of his decision to step down after the T20 World Cup. On a one-year extension, Dravid made it clear on Monday that he won’t reapply for the position for which Gautam Gambhir is reportedly being considered.

India's captain Rohit Sharma with head coach Rahul Dravid during a practice session (PTI)
India's captain Rohit Sharma with head coach Rahul Dravid during a practice session (PTI)

"I tried convincing him to stay, but obviously there are a lot of things that he needs to look after as well,” Rohit said ahead of India’s T20 World Cup opener against Ireland in New York on Wednesday. “I personally enjoyed my time with him. I'm sure the rest of the guys will say the same. It's been great working with him.”

Rohit went on to say how Dravid became a big influence early in his career when he made his debut under him in 2007. "He was my first international captain when I made my debut in Ireland. Then I've seen him play while I was just coming into the team (for) Test matches when he was captain. And such a big role model for all of us," he said. "Growing up, we watched him play and we know what he has achieved, personally as a player and also what he's done for the team over the years. Battling out for the team from difficult situations and that is what he's known for.”

As far as coach-captain partnerships go, Dravid and Rohit have brought stupendous bilateral success though they haven’t won an ICC trophy, losing in the 2023 ODI World Cup final and in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup in 2022. "It's been very fruitful. Other than the big silver (trophy), we won all the major tournaments and series. I've enjoyed every bit of it, working with him, deciding what direction the team needs to head.

"And for him to buy into that thought, obviously makes a huge difference. And he was the first one who came and said, "this is what we need to do as a team, noo matter what happens, at least we'll give it a good shot", when he arrived," said Rohit, who is also probably playing his last ICC white-ball tournament.

Also Read | Jasprit Bumrah holds key to unlocking India's T20 World Cup fortune

Failure in the last two ICC events may have been difficult to swallow but Rohit said he isn't dwelling much into the past. Asked about the conditions and potential combinations, Sharma said IPL type scores can’t be expected on the drop-in pitches of New York, one of which has already produced a low-scorer with Sri Lanka being shot out for 77 and South Africa losing four wickets to overhaul that total. “Spinners will get help,” he said. Rohit also stressed on using more allrounders to give the team bowling flexibility.

“Since two of the spinners are allrounders — (Ravindra) Jadeja and Axar (Patel) – they give balance. We have Hardik (Pandya) and (Shivam) Dube as fast bowling allrounders too. We will have to see how they are used in this tournament. That’s our focus.”

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