With Rahul Dravid’s tenure as Team India’s head coach ending with the conclusion of the Cricket World Cup 2023, the senior national team is without a designated coach at the moment. While VVS Laxman is with India’s troops for the 5-match T20I series against Australia, work is ongoing in the background to find the ideal coaching solution. It has been learned that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has offered an extension to Dravid, the role of T20 coach, however, was first offered to Ashish Nehra.
According to NDTV sources, Nehra was offered the job to lead India’s T20 team but he rejected the proposal. The BCCI then went to Dravid, asking him to continue coaching the team in all three formats.
Nehra impressed many with his ongoing coaching stint with Indian Premier League franchise Gujarat Titans. In his first season (2022), the franchise emerged as champions before being beaten in the final by Chennai Super Kings in 2023. For the former India pacer, however, the prospect of coaching the Indian team isn’t a project he wants to take up at the moment.
Dravid was approached by the board last week, with the tenure of extension being open-ended. But it is not yet confirmed if Dravid has accepted the offer. A key reason why BCCI chose to stick with Dravid was to maintain continuity to the structure and environment in the team that he had put in place over the past two years, which could have been disrupted with the appointment of a new coach.
If Dravid accepts the extension, his first assignment in his second stint will be the tour of South Africa from December 10, which will have three ODIs and T20Is each and two Tests. The red-ball leg will start from December 26.
Following that will be a five-match Test series against England at home, before the ICC T20 World Cup in June in West Indies/USA.
Dravid replaced Ravi Shastri following a disappointing ICC T20 World Cup campaign in 2021, which saw India exit in the Super 12 stage. He was appointed for a two-year term, which ended with India’s runners-up finish in the recently concluded ICC Cricket World Cup at home.
This is the joint-best finish under Dravid in an ICC tournament, losing to Australia in the ICC World Test Championship in June. Before this, they registered a ten-wicket loss to England in the semifinals of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia.
If Dravid opts to continue, it is expected that the same set of assistant coaches will be retained, i.e, Vikram Rathour (batting coach), Paras Mhambrey (bowling coach), and T Dilip (fielding coach).
With ANI inputs
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