Former Indian captain Rahul Dravid is currently coaching a second-string Indian team in the limited-overs series in Sri Lanka. The main Indian squad is currently in England to play a five-match Test series. That squad is coached by Ravi Shastri who is doing the job successfully for a few years now after Anil Kumble left the post the 2017 Champions Trophy final loss.
Currently, both Indian captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri make a formidable pair and have together etched Test series victories in Australia, and Test wins in England and South Africa.
— The Field (@thefield_in) July 18, 2021
Although Shastri has the support of captain Kohli and the selectors, it will come a time when Shastri has to leave it for another man. So, who could be the likely successor of Shastri once he completes his tenure as a coach?
With Dravid coaching a second-string Indian side, The Wall is the hot favorite to bag up that post. There are few reasons why Dravid could turn out to be a better Indian coach than Shastri if The Wall is given that post permanently. Cricwizz takes a look.
Dravid has an ICC title as the coach
A captain or a coach is known for the war he has won, and not the battles. And that’s why MS Dhoni, who has won three ICC titles as captain, is regarded as one of the best skippers ever. The Kohli-Shastri combo has failed to win a single ICC title despite taking India to a couple of ICC knockout matches in the 2019 World Cup semi-final and 2021 World Test Championship final. But it has been a problem for India since 2013 as India has lost five ICC knockout matches so far.
Although Dravid has not won a single ICC title as a captain or a player (except for the shared ICC Champions Trophy in 2002 with Sri Lanka), he has coached a young Under-19 team to the World Cup win in 2018. Out of that winning Indian XI, 2 of them are currently in the Indian squad in Sri Lanka (Prithvi Shaw) and the Test squad in England (Shubman Gill). Hence, Dravid has the experience as a coach to take India across the finish line in ICC tournaments. And India desperately needs a coach who can break this knockout jinx, and there is no better than Dravid for that job.
Dravid a better strategist than Shastri
As a captain, Dravid has led India to a 1-0 Test series win in England in 2017, something that has been out of reach of Indian skippers, even for the famed MS Dhoni. Dravid was at his strategic best in that series and proved his mettle as a Test skipper. With Dravid as the coach, India could have the best chance to achieve a series win over England in England. With Kohli and Shastri failing in their efforts so far, Dravid might just make the difference and steal a series win in England.
Dravid could resolve Indian batsmen’s batting technique
Although India has technically sound batsmen in C Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, they have struggled on the seaming tracks of England. In fact, it is strange that Pujara has not been able to put up a big score for a couple of seasons despite being the most technically equipped batsman in the Indian Test squad. Other than Virat Kohli, none of the Indian batsmen have been able to set the stage on fire on English soil in recent tours. Dravid, who has had once scored 3 tons in a five-match Test series in England, is perhaps the best coach to guide Indian batsmen in resolving their technical woes and shining on English soil.
Dravid is not a “puppet”
Dravid has the respect of all, be it his seniors or juniors or youngsters coming up. In fact, he is revered as a demi-god next to Sachin Tendulkar. Dravid has remained controversy-free throughout his captaincy and coaching career. While Shastri has been criticized as being just a "puppet" in the hands of the captain, Dravid could set a new style of coaching for the betterment of Indian cricket.
He would bring his cricketing brain that feeds on calmness, restrained aggressiveness, and a no-nonsense approach towards cricket. And his coaching style could help India bring more laurels to the country.
Cover image courtesy: BCCI.tv