What coach Rahul Dravid brings to the table
Speculation surrounding Rahul Dravid’s decision to decline a role in The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) advisory panel has ended with him being announced as the coach of the India's A and U19 teams.
It was stated that he wanted a more ‘hands on’ role and has had his wish fulfilled by the BCCI, who deserve to be applauded for bringing in the services of former greats like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman and Dravid into the present cricketing set up.
There are plenty of reasons why cricket fans and players who will be representing the India A and Under 19 teams should be apprehensive about this appointment. Let’s look at a few of them.
1. Experience as a mentor
Dravid has already tasted success as a mentor of the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL). His work behind the scenes has helped shape the careers of Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson, Stuart Binny and most recently, Deepak Hooda.
He was also there to help the Indian team prior to their series against England in 2014 where his inputs were thoroughly appreciated by the likes of Murali Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane. Both went on to have successful outings over there and attributed their success to Dravid.
2. Building a strong base
The Under-19 and the A teams promote the best young talents to the next level. By having Dravid as the coach, it will ensure that the India has a strong base of players who will be ready to perform when asked to do so at the highest level.
Dravid was one of those players who would be the first to arrive at a net session and the last to leave during his playing days. If he can ensure the same amount of dedication from the lot he will be working with then we can be rest assured that the future of Indian cricket is going to be a bright one.
3. Will ensure players keep their feet firmly on the ground
The riches offered by the IPL can be a distraction for the likes of a Shreyas Iyer, who was sold for a whopping 2.6 crore rupees and had a fantastic debut season.
The presence of Dravid though will ensure that players don’t get too carried away by opportunities to earn quick money and instead look to establish themselves as players who can succeed at all formats in the national and international level.
The fact that he is well respected by the entire cricketing fraternity (both past and present) will make youngsters eager to emulate him.
4. Wealth of experience
There can be no substitute for experience. Having been a veteran of 509 international matches (164 Tests, 344 ODIs and one T20I) that spanned over 16 years, Dravid knows the nuances of the game better than most other people do.
That will be a key when the teams go on foreign tours and come up against alien conditions and oppositions. He has always stressed on the fact that experience is the biggest teacher and the youngsters will be looking to draw valuable inputs from his playing experiences.
5. Team comes first
Dravid’s policy was to give his best and do whatever the team required him to do. He opened the batting when the need arose and kept wickets to allow the team to play an extra batsman in limited overs cricket.
Cricket is a team game and even though individual performances can win you the odd match or two, the importance of the team coming ahead of an individual was shown by Dravid time and again.
6. Calm and cool and dependable
Coaching youngsters require a lot of patience and that is one of Dravid’s greatest strengths. His ability to remain unflustered at crucial junctures of the game and maintain a level head at all times will be something youngsters will be looking to learn from the one time Mr. Dependable.
With a young family around it was obvious Dravid would not be coaching the senior team and also given the fact the fact that he has only just retired a couple of years back meant that he wasn’t ready to travel all year round.
The current position though means he can be at home for a major part of the year and yet help young players transform themselves and play with the right attitude and the right spirit.
© Cricket World 2015