Dravid’s qualities are exactly what men's Indian cricket team need to imbibe to become a world-beating unit.

Five reasons why Rahul Dravid will be a good coach for the Indian Cricket TeamFile image: PTI
Voices Cricket Monday, April 04, 2016 - 07:55

By Aditya Ramani

On Sunday, media reports broke out that the Indian cricket board's advisory committee, comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, has approached batting legend Rahul Dravid to accept the role of the chief coach of the Indian cricket team. Rahul is reported to have said that he will give it a thought.

Dravid might take the role, or he might not – we don’t know. But we do know that he is perfect for the job. Mr. Dependable and the Wall which has always stood rock solid to support the Indian team, Rahul Dravid will only be doing the Indian team a favour by agreeing to coach them, and here are our five reasons.

1. Peer, but also a legend

Dravid retired from test cricket in 2012, which was just a few years ago. He has played alongside Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Suresh Raina and Ajinkya Rahane in the test whites for India. He has also played with youngsters like Sanju Samson and internationals like Steve Smith and James Faulkner during his stint as ‘captain and mentor’ of the Rajasthan Royals. Some of the former lot of players are currently the back bone of the Indian cricket team. Dravid’s experience of having shared a dressing room with them will mean that he will fit right in.

Yet, this familiarity does not diminish his stature. He is still respected as a legend of the sport. Which means that when it comes to looking for inspiration, the young players of the Indian squad (and there are a bunch of them right now) need not look too far.

This unique combination makes Dravid well qualified to coach the Indian squad.

2. He’s got a decent track record in leadership/mentorship/coaching positions

Dravid as captain of the Indian team had a fairly good run. While his legacy is mostly sour with the Greg Chappel and 2007 World Cup episode, Dravid lead India to numerous successes as captain, most notably the 2007 Test series in England.

As captain and playing coach of the Rajasthan Royals, Dravid often got the young and inexperienced team to punch like heavyweights. They finished third in the 2013 IPL and finished as runners-up in the CLT20.

And most recently, as the coach of the Under-19 (U19) team, he guided India to the finals of the U-19 World Cup. In fact, the Indian U19 team was unbeaten under him for 18 matches in a row till the final of the World Cup.

3. His technical genius is a boon

The soundness of Dravid’s technique and the legendary work ethic upon which he built his success is perhaps the very thing India needs. A player’s success across formats and conditions is largely dictated by the strength of their fundamentals and Dravid is the best person for this role.

In helpful batting conditions, everyone scored runs. But Dravid was often India’s best batsman in overseas conditions. The skills he showed on those tough, seaming and swinging wickets lead to a consistency that almost extinct these days. The likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma could certainly use his guidance for this.

4. His own flexibility is inspiring

In his time, Dravid played across a variety of positions for India. His preferred position was No. 3. But from opening on a green pitch in England to being a finisher in ODIs at No. 6 he has done it all. On the field as well, while he preferred to be at slip, he has fielded across the outfield and even kept wickets. Dravid has done just about anything required for the team (he’s also bowled but that can certainly be neglected). What was remarkable about his flexibility was that even though he was never a specialist in any of his other roles, he still flourished.

In a time when many players come with a pre-determined roles, Dravid should be able to impart this flexibility and mould a team which can thrive in all conditions.

5. His mental toughness is second to none

Unflappable in the face of sledging, measured in his aggression, composed under pressure, tenacious in his approach and steely in defence – these are the attributes that made Dravid a great cricketer.

This Indian cricket team is a promising bunch. But they have been fragile. Dravid’s qualities are exactly what they need to imbibe to become a world-beating unit.

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