Ravi Shastri & Co not to seek extension as head coach for Indian cricket team, all eyes on Rahul Dravid
Since taking charge of the India A and Under-19 setups in 2015, the former India captain was elevated as head of cricket in 2019.
CHENNAI: On a day when the BCCI advertised for the position of head of cricket for the National Cricket Academy all eyes were firmly on the incumbent Rahul Dravid.
Since taking charge of the India A and Under-19 setups in 2015, the former India captain was elevated as head of cricket in 2019. Should he re-apply for the job before the August 15 deadline, it wouldn't come as a surprise. However, if he stays away, then it would open the doors for Dravid to take charge as the head coach of the men's team after the T20 World Cup.
Current head coach Ravi Shastri and the tenure of the support staff come to an end with the T20 World Cup and as things stand, there are indications that they won't seek an extension. Shastri, first as team director and then as head coach, has been part of the national men's team set up for six years across two tenures. During the period, he has led India to the top of the Test rankings.
However, according to the top officials of the BCCI, Shastri is not keen on continuing after the T20 World Cup. Even bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar are expected to part ways with batting coach Vikram Rathour. Although an ICC title has eluded India during Shastri's tenure, he has turned the team into a formidable outfit. And since 2017, no team has a better win-loss abroad than India in away Tests as the team even played in the World Test Championship final. Among the most stellar feats under Shastri's tenure include back-to-back Test series win in Australia and an ODI series win in South Africa for the first time.
With Shastri heading for exit, whether Dravid reapplies for the NCA post is being seen with interest. In the years Dravid has spent at the NCA, he has been credited with creating a strong bench strength and bringing in an A team programme that has bridged the gap between domestic cricket and international cricket. Last month, he accompanied the India white-ball team to Sri Lanka as head coach and was non-committal when asked about taking up the role full-time.
However, the perception in the BCCI circles in the recent years is that Dravid would eventually take charge of the national team. In fact, he was even named as a batting mentor when Shastri took charge of the team in 2017 after Anil Kumble's exit, only for the team to stick with Sanjay Bangar. With two ICC events lined up in 2022 and 2023 and the World Test Championship running parallel, the BCCI is planning to finalising both the roles at the earliest as it would help in preparations. Over to Dravid now.