What’s the story?
Rahul Dravid, who is the newly-appointed batting consultant of the Indian Cricket Team, will not be present for India’s tour to Sri Lanka that is scheduled to start later this month. This is because the 44-year-old is set to accompany the India A team for its tour to South Africa, which clashes with the senior team’s schedule in Sri Lanka.
"Dravid will obviously not travel with the team to Sri Lanka as he has to be with the 'A' side in South Africa and Zaheer Khan and Ravi Shastri will take charge during the upcoming tour. So, all these points need to be kept in mind while formulating Dravid's contract," a BCCI official told the Times of India.
While Dravid’s role with the Indian team is still unclear, it remains to see how BCCI deal with the terms of Dravid’s existing contract as the head coach of India’s youth teams. It looks tough for the man to give a lot of his time and experience to the senior team, considering his time is already divided between two other national teams.
"The clause is 'he'll be called whenever he is needed'. It doesn't mean he will have to travel on every overseas tour. The board is currently zeroing down on the amount he needs to be paid on top of the existing contract. But one thing is certain that no fresh contract will be made for his role with Team India. It is kind of a part of the compensation," the official added.
In case you didn’t know...
The Cricket Advisory Committee, that consists of Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, appointed Ravi Shastri as the head coach of the Indian team earlier this week. Along with Shastri, they also appointed Dravid and Zaheer Khan as the batting and bowling consultants respectively.
While Shastri’s appointment was partly-expected, the other two came as a surprise to the regular fan of Indian cricket.
According to the new mandates of the BCCI that were released a month ago, national coaches will not be permitted to coach any other teams, including IPL franchises. Hence, when Dravid signed a new two-year contract as the India under-19 and India A coach, he automatically had to let go of his mentorship role at Delhi Daredevils.
There have been media reports that suggest that the only reason why Dravid was drafted into the support staff of national team was to compensate for the loss that he underwent after pulling out of the IPL.
India’s tour of Sri Lanka is an extensive affair that has 3 Test matches, 5 ODI games and a one-off T20I.
The Indian team will play Test cricket after a gap of four months, while the Sri Lankan team will come off the back of a Test series with Zimbabwe. The ODI batting line-up and its middle order have questions that need to be answered. The shortest format of the game is an even bigger worry for Kohli’s men, considering they’ve lost 4 of the last 6 T20 matches that they have played in the international circuit.
Dravid’s guidance would’ve been ideal for Virat Kohli’s men in such a situation, but unfortunately, the team will remain bereft of his tutelage.
While Dravid’s experience can really bring a lot to the table for the Indian team, the former Indian captain seems to have too much on his plate currently. It seems that with his multiple commitments and responsibilities with Indian youth cricket, he cannot invest much in the senior team’s development.
His appointment, thus, does not make complete sense and evades its primary purpose.Published 14 Jul 2017, 11:46 IST