Rahul Dravid’s break! Indian cricket fraternity seems divided

Indian cricketers facing flak from the fraternity over taking rest after the IPL or ahead of the ICC tournament is not new, but the coaching staff is now finding itself in the mud for the same. The Board of Control for Cricket in India has recently granted rest to the head coach of the men’s cricket team Rahul Dravid and his team from the New Zealand tour, after a gruelling one-month-long T20 World Cup 2022, in Australia. 

While the new coaching staff under the leadership of VVS Laxman, along with Hrishikesh Kanitkar (batting coach), Sairaj Bahutule (bowling coach), and Munish Bali (fielding coach), has already taken the job with the Hardik Pandya-led squad in New Zealand, Indian cricket fraternity, back in the country seems divided over the rest granted to Rahul Dravid and his team. 

A retired cricketer who was closely involved with the team till one year ago has questioned BCCI’s decision to grant rest to Rahul Dravid & team, but a prolific Indian cricketer has openly backed the decision from the apex body citing a reasonable reason. 

Ravi Shastri questions break to Rahul Dravid: 

Former Indian head coach Ravi Shastri appeared furious after BCCI granted a break to Rahul Dravid and his team from the New Zealand tour, citing workload management following T20 World Cup 2022. In a virtual press conference, Ravi Shastri lashes out at the idea of taking a break ahead of the highly-competitive bilateral contest against New Zealand. 

“I do not believe in breaks. Because I want to understand my team, I want to understand my players, and I want to be in control of that team. These breaks…what do you need that many breaks for, to be honest? You get your 2-3 months of the IPL, enough for you to rest as a coach, but other times, I think a coach should be hands-on, whoever he is,” Shastri said. 

R Ashwin backs break to Rahul Dravid: 

Veteran Indian off-spinner R Ashwin, also known for having an apt cricket mind, has come out in open backing break to the Indian head coach. Speaking on his YouTube channel, the ace Indian spinner cited extensive work during the T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia as the main reason for approving a break for Rahul Dravid. 

“Rahul Dravid and his team put in extensive hard work ahead of the T20 World Cup – right from the first strategy. Since I saw this from close quarters, I am saying this,” he said. 

The Indian spinner further claimed that Rahul Dravid and his team had a specific in-depth plan for each venue and opposition. “That could be one of the reasons why the coaching team was under mental and physical burnout, and everyone needed a break. As soon as the New Zealand series will conclude, we have the Bangladesh tour ahead of us; that’s why we have a separate coaching staff led by Laxman for this tour,” added R Ashwin. 

What’s the way ahead? 

Hardik Pandya-led Indian team is already in New Zealand, and the first T20I had already been washed out due to rain on November 18 in Wellington. The second and third T20Is are slated for November 20 & 20 at Bay Oval and McLean Park, respectively. 

The three-match T20I series will be followed by as many as ODIs, starting on November 25 at Eden Park, Auckland. We wish all the best to the boys and stand-in coaching staff, while we also hope that Rahul Dravid & his team bounce back strongly after a happening break ahead of the Bangladesh tour.

(With inputs from PTI, and R Ashwin’s YouTube channel) 

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