Rahul Dravid – A great Player but a Lost coach.

A good player, a good captain and a good coach are all exclusive to each other. The issue starts when the emotional thought process tries to mix them.


Cricket has been evolving year after year and with the entry of the T20 format, the pace of the game has exponentially changed. While the cricket purist still believes that Test cricket remains at the top of the pedestal, teams like England, Australia and India have really gone all out to make the boring slow pace of the longest format to be viewer friendly. Many visible changes were made to the other two formats too.

In the past, cricket was not known for its pace and had a set viewership. For an outsider, the game looked mundane and slow. Even after 5 days, teams were happy with the draws. In fact, there was a time when India while playing bigger teams like Australia and England, considered drawing a test match as a strategy.

India today, is a different team altogether with results being the only motive to play the game

England has taken this to a different level with their BAZZBALL approach.  They play test cricket on T20 mode with Ben Stokes leading the way. This is not a person-specific short-term strategy adopted by England. When England coaches were appointed, a more accomplished aggressive T20 coach, Brendon McCullum was given the assignment to coach the Test team. This approach was clearly to revive Test cricket and bring in the fans.

Australia too is following a similar style and they do make very high result-oriented pitches back home which sometimes backfires on them occasionally but they still continue to play the hard dogged cricket they are known for

The third team is India which still plays the conventional format of Test cricket and still yields the desired results.

Ravi Shastri as the coach of the Indian team, during his tenure, had his flaws but one thing he cannot be faulted for was bringing the Indian Test and limited overs team to the top of the ICC ranking. The team played well under an equally aggressive captain, Virat Kohli. The revival of Indian Test cricket can be credited to the Kohli-Shastri duo.

During his tenure, Virat went overboard and started dropping key players from the final 11 under the excuse of Horses for courses. Ashwin who can be compared with greats like Kumble was made to sit out to accommodate Jadeja who is in the team more for his batting and less for his wicket-taking prowess.  Or the case of the dropping of the Kuldeep-Chahal combination. Some decisions went from bad to plain absurd levels. Whether right or wrong a sense of insecurity did creep into the Indian team.

The fact that they faltered at the most crucial period in the World Test Championship finals, World Cup – T20 and ODI cannot be ignored. It eventually led to the change in the guard for captaincy and coaching in the Indian Team. While this happened, the old mistakes of poor player selection by the selectors continued.Rahul Dravid1

Hopes were very high when Rahul Dravid succeeded a successful coach Ravi Shastri. Everyone expected India to move on to the next step of winning ICC trophies which was probably the biggest failure in the Virat Shastri combo

New Coach Appointment

Rahul Dravid initially was very reluctant to take over this role purely because he was comfortable in the grooming stage of a cricketer like in the U19s rather than managing a team of already established stars in their own right.

The initial home game wins against New Zealand, West Indies and Sri Lanka gave Rahul a comfortable passage into the system.

These wins would have happened even if India did not have a coach but gave Rahul Dravid, breathing space in this new assignment.

Once this honeymoon period was over and what followed later in the year would test the waters for a new coach and it did.

As it happens when a new coach arrives, the ex-captain Virat was side-lined and new players were tried. More than appx. 40 players were tried. All in garb and excuse of the upcoming Worldcup in mind. No one complained then. While many debuts were made during these 2 years, Indian caps were distributed to undeserving candidates which resulted in an even more baffling team combination.  In the end, India ended up fielding almost the same eleven who had a disastrous previous Worldcup

Rahul hid behind failures with an excuse that the team was building the right combination for the upcoming T20 WorldCup.

With his stature as one of the most decorated Indian cricketers, questions were never asked of him as a coach.

The last Test match against England in the England tour was rescheduled due to covid. India was with a 2-1 lead and a great opener for Rahul as a coach. Unfortunately, his decisions during the game of play were not only schoolboyish; but in some cases, outrightly ridiculous.

We failed miserably from a position of strength and one bad strategic day lost us a match similar to the ICC World Test championship.

Rahul would have started smelling the coffee of the weight of expectation on him with that failure. 

Under Coach Dravid, we had a disastrous Asia cup and World T20, embarrassingly losing the ODI series in Bangladesh.  This team under Rahul has nothing good to write home about except for the Test Series which was also marred with captaincy and coaching blunders. It was purely on the Individual brilliance of a few players that we managed to win the series 2-0.

Injuries in team

In the recent past, player breakdowns due to injuries have gone up. What is surprising is the players who are making a comeback after their injury rehab in the NCA relapses or break down with another injury. This has been the story of the Indian team in all formats. India has not been able to get the desired playing Eleven. This has proven disastrous.

As of now, half the bowling team is nursing injuries in the NCA. I had this to say in twitter when Deepak Chahar was making his come back

Whether all injuries are genuine is another topic to be discussed but it is evident from player availability during selections also that team members prefer not to play one format and fake injury to avoid another. No one was to avoid T20 as that may affect their IPL auctions.

Even in domestic cricket, players who are comfortable with their IPL place tend to disregard the Four-day tournaments and the Ranji trophy games.

Bowlers prefer to bowl the 4 overs in a T20 and do prefer to sit out in the longer format as they do not see a future in the Indian test team. That’s the gruesome reality.

Talks are on to make Hardik captain of the ODI format also. I do not know what Hardik has proved in his 60-odd ODIs that makes him a captaincy material in ODI.  Hardik hardly plays three to four back to back T20s , takes breaks during ODI tournaments and is not available for selection in Test due to his fitness. Still, the think tank including the coach thinks the fragile Hardik Pandya is ready for ODI captaincy is a joke.

Rohit also cannot be faulted for the T20 World Cup disaster. He had a weak team to start with and a list of injured players unable to be available for selections.

Rohit Sharma is an aggressive captain but Rahul Dravid cannot be considered an aggressive coach.

This is no Ben Stokes- Mc Cullum Duo.

As you can see, you can embed showcase you post images in a gallery. This works like a charm in a lookbook or who wore what type post.As you can see, you can embed showcase you post images in a gallery. This works like a charm in a lookbook or who wore what type post.

Confused mindset

In the recently played 2nd test vs Bangladesh, Kuldeep Yadav was shockingly replaced by a third seamer in Mirpur. The selection raised a few eyebrows as Kuldeep Yadav had just won the Man of the Match for his first Test performance. Rahul Dravid and KL Rahul saw a Gabba wicket in Mirpur and hoped it will help the pacers more than the spinners. They played 3 seamers and 2 spinners while Bangladesh went with the 3 spinners and 2 pacer strategy.

Unadkat who led Saurashtra to the Ranji championship was awarded for his domestic achievement. While there is nothing wrong in giving chance, why should a performer sit out? Was it a pitch for 3 Pacers?

Rahul Dravid cluttered mind is the reason for it.

Even in the first Test, the Indian team did not enforce follow-on when they had a healthy 250 run lead after they bundled our Bangladesh at 150. Such is the defensive mindset of the Coach.

While England and Australia are desperate to bring life back in Test cricket, India is taking a step back.

Sunny Gavaskar upset with Kuldeep Yadav being dropped. Calls the decision ‘unbelievable’ and then says he want to use a far stronger word. #INDvBAN

Rohit unfortunately is not in his best shape in the past 2 years and struggled with constant injuries. This made Rahul Dravid try out many combinations and players only to end up playing the same 11 once injured players came back.

One more glaring flaw of the coach was players who did exceptionally well in the T20 format were put in the ODI series and players who could gel well in the 50-over format were put in the t20 format. The result was for all to see.

The coach wanted the current lot of players to be secure even if they did not deserve a place in the squad. A temporary drop in one format was warranted.

One of the biggest failures of the coaching staff is the inability to create a core team for all three formats with the desired replacement players.

Rahul should realise unlike in U19, the place in the Indian team is not to groom and teach players to play at the highest level. It should be awarded to those who are ready to play at the highest level. You can groom someone in the team for taking leadership roles or play a certain position in the team.

Even after repeated failures, the same players are seen playing for the country in all formats as if they are indispensable.

Even after repeated failures, the team did not make changes in the eleven. This showed pure arrogance and a fixed mindset, not ready to be flexible. A coach needs to be flexible and take tough calls.

Post The Worldcup Disaster, players were given rest for the New Zealand series when India played only 4 World Cup matches before their humiliating exit. Shikar Dhawan was made captain in the ODIs. We won the only T20 match in the 3-match series due to bad weather and New Zealand won the only ODI match in the 3-match series. Again, like in the T20s, the weather did not allow the other 2 games

For the Bangladesh series which followed the New Zealand series, all the main players were back in the eleven. The Worldcup disaster was forgotten. The replacement players who did well and were part of the New Zealand tour sadly had to give way to the “STARS”.

Dravid looked clueless in the Bangladesh ODI debacle. The loss in the Bangladesh ODI series is an even bigger embarrassment as we played the same team we played in the Asia cup and Worldcup……. so what changed …. NOTHING


With this track record, any other coach would have been shown the door but in India we donot make tough calls. Rahul Dravid will remain the India coach till he completes his tenure as coach. This is baffling.

The Flaws of the coach in a nutshell are

  • The inability to make up a core team is the root cause here
  • No evident roadmaps and no accountability of the players and coaches
  • Players are given rest every 2nd series and expect to get back their positions when they are back
  • Out of Form Rohit, Rahul and inform Kohli were all rested for the New Zealand series immediately after the T20 world cup which defied logic
  • Was the Bangladesh series given more weightage to New Zealand series?
  • Rahul Dravid himself took a break for VVS Laxman to be the interim coach.
  • A second-string Indian team lost to the Kiwis and a full strength Indian team lost to Bangladesh
  • Coach also failed in stopping constant injuries which were creeping into the team.

Injured players like Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah should not come back into the Indian team till they play a specific number of domestic games.

There is a growing need to keep white ball coaching and Test cricket coaching separate and in times to come, do not be surprised to see A New Captain, A New Coach for the White Ball team.

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