India head coach Rahul Dravid was interviewed before the start of the 5th T20I between India and South Africa and he revealed that he found it challenging but fun, having to work with 6 different captains in 8 months span in the national team.
Rahul Dravid began his stint as head coach with Rohit Sharma at the helm during a home series against New Zealand last year. The former India captain has also worked with Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, and Shikhar Dhawan (in Sri Lanka last year). Dravid has also worked with plenty of young names as vice-captains, including Jasprit Bumrah.
While Rishabh Pant is captaining India for the first time in the ongoing series against South Africa, Hardik Pandya will lead the team when India tour Ireland later this month. VVS Laxman, the National Cricket Academy chief, will be India's head coach for the Ireland T20Is.
"It’s been exciting. but it’s been challenging as well. 6 captains in the last 8 months which wasn’t the plan when I started out. But yeah, I think, it’s just the nature of the Covid-19 pandemic and the nature of the number of games we’re playing. Obviously, you’re managing the squad and managing the workload, so there are bound to be a few changes in the captaincy as well.
I have worked with quite a few captains which in itself is challenging but great fun. It’s an opportunity to create more leaders in the group as well. I think, as a group, we are learning. We need to get better, we are trying out and giving opportunities to a lot of people which is great," Dravid told Star Sports on Sunday.
The head coach also made it clear that workload management would be the key leading up to the T20 World Cup in 2022 and the ODI World Cup in 2023.
Dravid said the only disappointment 8 months into his stint as head coach was the Test series defeat in South Africa earlier this year. India lost the Test series 2-1 despite winning the first Test match and then were whitewashed 3-0 in the ODI series under the captaincy of KL Rahul.
"If I look back at the last 8 months, South Africa was a little bit of a disappointment. In the Test series, we were 1-0 up there but we failed to win the series after that. It was a disappointment, especially with the World Test Championship cycle.
But I think our white-ball cricket has been good. We were able to come back from there and get on a bit of a roll in the T20I games. Even in the series, we have been able to fight back and show the character of the team and the quality that we have," Dravid added.
After this T20I series, Dravid will travel to England to link up with the Indian squad which has begun practicing for the warmup match against Leicestershire, before taking on England in the fifth Test from last year’s series in Edgbaston from July 1.
(Star Sports inputs)