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The Hindu
The Hindu
Amol Karhadkar

Dravid & Co. reappointed for another term

Rahul Dravid and his three comrades in the coaching staff have been reappointed at the helm of India’s men’s cricket team at least till the 2024 T20 World Cup.

A Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) statement on Wednesday announced Dravid’s reappointment as the head coach.

“The BCCI engaged in productive discussions with Dravid after the term of his contract ended following the recently concluded ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 and unanimously agreed to further the tenure,” the statement read.

“The Board acknowledges Mr. Dravid’s instrumental role in moulding the Indian Team and commends his exceptional professionalism. The Board also appreciates Mr. V.V.S. Laxman for his exemplary roles as Head of NCA and as the stand-in Head Coach.”

The BCCI statement did not mention the tenure of Dravid’s reappointment along with Paras Mhambrey (bowling coach), Vikram Rathore (batting coach) and T. Dilip (fielding coach). A BCCI functionary privy to the proceedings confirmed to The Hindu on anonymity that the appointments are “till the next ICC event for now”.

Between the World Cup and the T20 World Cup, to be played in the West Indies and the United States of America in June 2024, India is scheduled to play 11 T20Is, including the ongoing five-match series versus Australia. It means Dravid and Co. will have only six games to try out various combinations in their quest to regain an ICC title.

Dravid was confident about taking forward the team culture that has been set in the previous two years. “The skills and talent that our team possesses are phenomenal, and what we have stressed is following the right process and sticking to our preparations, which has had a direct impact on the overall result,” Dravid said in the statement. “As we embrace new challenges post the World Cup, we remain committed to the pursuit of excellence.”

Dravid’s tenure saw India making it to the semifinal of the T20 World Cup in 2022 and losing the World Test Championship and World Cup finals to Australia this year. While India continued its domination at home across formats, India failed to win a Test series in South Africa and also suffered an ODI series loss in Bangladesh.

It will be interesting to see if Dravid and chief selector Ajit Agarkar continue the trend of playing T20Is without stalwarts Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in the run-up to the T20 World Cup.

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