India Head Coach: Legendary batsman and former India captain Rahul Dravid has agreed to become the coach of the Indian cricket team after the T20 World Cup to be played in the UAE (United Arab Emirates). Dravid was not ready for this responsibility at first but after insisting from the BCCI (Cricket Board of India) he agreed to it.

The 48-year-old Dravid, one of India’s greatest players, has been in charge of the India A and U-19 system for the past six years. Under his supervision, players like Rishabh Pant, Avesh Khan, Prithvi Shaw, Hanuma Vihari and Shubman Gill have traveled from junior level to the national team. He is currently the head of the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore.

Will handle responsibility till 2023 World Cup
A BCCI official told PTI on condition of anonymity, “Yes, Rahul has agreed to coach the Indian team till the 2023 World Cup. Initially, he was reluctant, but it is understood that board president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah had a meeting with Rahul during the IPL final and were able to persuade him to take the responsibility. There will be no interim responsibility.

When Indian captain Virat Kohli was asked about Dravid’s appointment as the team’s head coach ahead of the T20 World Cup in Dubai, he said he had no idea “what is happening”. Kohli said on Saturday, “I have no idea what is going on on that front. I haven’t had a detailed discussion with anyone.

It is understood that Dravid’s trusted aide Paras Mahambre will be the team’s bowling coach, while Vikram Rathor is likely to continue as the batting coach. However, BCCI will still place an advertisement for the post to ensure that due process is followed. The Board will have to constitute a Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) for this, which will be mandatory to complete the process laid down by the Lodha Committee.

Board officials are contemplating how to best utilize Dravid’s immense knowledge of talent resource and management in Indian cricket and how his role could be more holistic rather than confined to the national team’s head coach.

The India A or U-19 teams will have their own coaches but the BCCI may make Dravid the head of all the coaches, with all the cricket departments working under his supervision along with the NCA staff. When Ganguly took charge of the BCCI, he spoke to the media about the synergy between the national team, the age-group team and the NCA.

After seeing the success of the Indian team under Ravi Shastri, the BCCI wants to re-appoint the Indian coach but there are few options of that stature. A former Indian captain and legend had already refused to coach in the current team system as Virat Kohli still remains the Test and ODI captain.

It is learned that some former veteran players used to shy away from coaching the team led by Kohli. However, this situation has changed after the Indian team’s resounding victory in Australia during their paternity leave. Shastri gets a salary of about eight and a half crores from the BCCI for his services. It is understood that BCCI is also offering Dravid a huge amount, which will be more than his NCA remuneration as well as Shastri’s current salary.

Dravid, however, had earlier rejected this role citing giving time to the family. Dravid’s son Samit is now making his mark as a batsman in Karnataka’s age-group cricket. The basic idea behind having a Dravid-Mhambre combination in the Indian team is to ensure that the transition phase in the team goes smoothly over the next two years.

A BCCI source said, “Rohit will turn 35 next year, Virat is a few days away from his 33rd birthday. Apart from him, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane are all great players, but they will be dropped from the national team in a phased manner over the next two years.

He said, “The players who are set to come in place of these players are mostly from the Under-19 system. That is why it is necessary that Dravid should be appointed.” In terms of coach of the national team, there is hardly anyone better than India’s second highest run-scorer in Test cricket (13,288 runs). He has also scored around 11,000 (10,889) runs in ODI cricket. The Indian team will take part in the series against New Zealand starting on November 17 and it is expected that before that the BCCI will complete the formalities of his appointment.

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