New Delhi: Despite losing the ICC ODI World Cup final to Australia at home, the Indian cricket team has shown confidence in Rahul Dravid as their head coach and extended his contract till the next T20 World Cup in 2024. Dravid, who took charge of the team in 2022, has transformed the team into a formidable force in all formats of the game, winning 10 consecutive matches in the ODI World Cup before falling short in the summit clash.
Dravid’s impressive record as a coach
Dravid, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time, has also proved his mettle as a coach, both at the domestic and international level. He has coached the India A and India Under-19 teams, leading them to several victories and trophies. He has also mentored the young and emerging players, grooming them for the senior team. He has been credited with creating a pool of talented and versatile players, who can adapt to any situation and condition.
Dravid’s most notable achievement as a coach was winning the ICC Under-19 World Cup in 2018, with a team led by Prithvi Shaw. He had also reached the final of the same tournament in 2016, with a team captained by Ishan Kishan, but lost to West Indies. Dravid has also coached the India A team to several wins against the A teams of other countries, such as England, Australia, and South Africa.
As the head coach of the senior team, Dravid has faced some criticism for experimenting with the team composition and resting some key players in the series before the ODI World Cup. However, he has silenced his critics by guiding the team to a dominant performance in the ODI World Cup, where India defeated every team they faced, including arch-rivals Pakistan and defending champions England, before losing to Australia by a narrow margin of 12 runs in the final. Dravid has also improved the team’s performance in the Test and T20 formats, winning the series against Sri Lanka, England, and New Zealand.
Dravid’s next challenge: T20 World Cup
Dravid’s next challenge as the head coach of India is to win the T20 World Cup, which will be jointly hosted by America and West Indies in 2024. India has not won the T20 World Cup since 2007 when they beat Pakistan in the inaugural edition of the tournament. India had also reached the final of the T20 World Cup in 2020 but lost to Australia by seven wickets.
Dravid has already started preparing the team for the T20 World Cup, with a focus on developing a more aggressive and explosive batting order. He has given opportunities to young and promising batsmen, such as Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rinku Singh, and Jitesh Sharma, who have impressed with their power-hitting and consistency. Dravid has also backed the experienced and proven players, such as Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, and Rishabh Pant, who form the core of the team.
The team’s preparation for the T20 World Cup will begin with the T20 series against South Africa, which will start from January 2024. The series will be a good opportunity for the players to acclimatize to the conditions and test their skills against a strong opposition. The series will also help Dravid to finalize the best combination and strategy for the team, ahead of the mega event.
Dravid, who is known for his calm and composed demeanor, has expressed confidence in his team and said that they have the potential and talent to win the T20 World Cup. He has also thanked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for extending his contract and showing faith in his vision. He has also appreciated the support and cooperation of the captain, Rohit Sharma, and the other players and staff. He has said that he is looking forward to the challenge and hopes to bring glory to the country.