Sourav Ganguly, the president of India’s Board of Control for Cricket, has claimed that although the whole board and administration were always eager to have Rahul Dravid as the senior Indian team’s head coach, getting him to accept the position was difficult. This comes after the Indian team has started off positively playing great cricket under him now.
Ganguly stated that he had almost given up on bringing Dravid on board at one point. That was since the latter remained unconvinced despite repeated efforts from both Ganguly and BCCI secretary Jay Shah. Despite that, he took charge and the team seems to be playing some really good live cricket at present.
The former player said that Dravid was primarily hesitant to accept the position since it required him to spend significant time away from home, despite the fact that India remains one of the busiest cricketing countries.
“We had Rahul in mind for a long time, both me and Jay [Shah, BCCI secretary], but he wasn’t agreeing because of the time away from home [and] because doing a national team’s job is [about] being on the road for about 8-9 months a year and he has two young children,” Ganguly said in an interview with Boria Majumdar on the show ‘Backstage with Boria.’
“At one point, we gave up on having him as part of the Team India setup. But he was selected as the head of NCA (National Cricket Academy, Bengaluru) to oversee and advance things. We had completed all of the interviews and paperwork. This was including his interview and application and he was appointed to the NCA back then. However, even after he was appointed for the role, we persisted,” he continued.
I am not sure what sparked the shift in his thinking, but he agreed: Sourav Ganguly
However, Ganguly said that after a few personal contacts, during which he also conveyed to Dravid that not only the BCCI, but also the players, want him on board, the 47-year-old consented.
“And when we spoke to the players about what kind of person they want, you could obviously see that there was a leaning to Rahul, so we conveyed that to him. I told him several times, ‘I know it is hard, but give it a try for two years, and if you find it too difficult, we will look for another approach.’
“Fortunately, he accepted, and I am not sure what sparked the change in his attitude. But he consented at that point in time. And I believe this is the best BCCI could have done in terms of coaching after Ravi [Shastri] departed.”
Dravid, who took over as captain when Shastri’s stint ended at the conclusion of the 2021 T20 World Cup, will remain with the squad until the 2023 ODI World Cup, which will be held in India.
Under his supervision, India will compete in at least three ICC events: the T20 World Cup in 2022, the World Test Championship, and the 50-over World Cup in 2023. India hasn’t won an ICC trophy since 2013, and overcoming the championship drought would be one of Dravid’s most difficult tasks.
What next for Team India, as they start the Dravid-era with a historic win?
Team India secured a huge win over New Zealand in the second Test match in Mumbai. It was the first under Rahul Dravid, where they beat the Kiwis by 372 runs. The team played really good 12BET cricket and dominated the series as a whole, something that is expected at home.
It will contribute to their World Test Championship ranking and they will want to keep pushing forward and getting more points in the long run. With that being said, only time will tell what kind of progress they can make under Rahul Dravid and whether the change in leadership in the shorter format of the game, helps Team India or not?
For now, the team will be happy with the win and focused on the upcoming series against South Africa. They have done well for themselves so far and it will be keen to see how they focus on things to come. Let’s wait and watch what happens in the upcoming tour of the Proteas.