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Non-interference with techniques, focus on mentality: What makes Rahul Dravid a successful coach?

What makes Rahul Dravid the coach so successful?

Rahul Dravid is set to become the head coach of Team India

Rahul Dravid is set to become the head coach of Team India (Source: Times of India)


The Bridge Desk

Published: 16 Oct 2021 11:17 AM GMT

The 14th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) drew to a close yesterday with the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) cruising to their fourth IPL title.

This was supposed to be the biggest story of the 16th October 2021 in Indian sports. Only that it is not. Something even bigger transpired in Dubai during the course of the CSK v/s KKR final, which has managed to completely overshadow the men in yellow's return to dominance.

As per reports former Indian cricketer and the current chief coach of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore, Rahul Dravid, is set to take over as the head coach of the Indian men's cricket team after the upcoming T20 World Cup.

While it was widely reported until yesterday that Dravid will continue at the NCA, things took a turn after 'The Wall' met the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Saurav Ganguly and Secretary Jay Shah yesterday.

A report in the Times of India also seems to suggest that though Dravid is not keen on taking up the role, the BCCI feels there is no better candidate than him to take over the reins.

"The Board told him he cannot continue at the NCA at the same salary. And moreover, BCCI has not been able to find a coach of similar stature. If wants to continue working with the Indian cricket, then taking up the Team India job is going to be his only option," TOI quoted a BCCI official.

While Rahul Dravid the cricketer faced a lot of criticisms for his playing style during his heydays, his coaching tenure has been the exact opposite.

Having taken over as the coach of India under-19 and India A teams in 2015, Dravid has enjoyed tremendous success during the past six years even guiding the country to an Under-19 World Cup in 2018.

So what makes Rahul Dravid the coach so successful?

First and foremost, the trust the upcoming players have in him. Dravid has been one of the greatest batsmen of his era and the youngsters have complete faith in his abilities. From the likes of the experienced Shreyas Iyer to the younger ones like Yashasvi Jaiswal, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and others, each and every youngster has come out and acknowledged the influence of Dravid has had on their game when they trained under him.

Dravid philosophy as a coach is simple. Let the players be. Do not tinker with their techniques unless absolutely necessary.

"Dravid sir is a kind of a coach who does not really like to tinker with a player's technique. He would not go to a player and ask them to improve this or that in their technique. He rather focuses more on the mental and tactical aspects and how you can be mentally strong in a tough situation," Shubhman Gill – a player who graduated to senior-level under Dravid, had said in a podcast with The Grade Cricketer.

Known for his calm demeanour during his playing days, Rahul Dravid seems to be exactly the same as a coach as well.

"It was a good experience. I was looking forward to working with him, and we all know how calm he is and how he works. He was very similar when he was coaching us," Bhuvneshwar Kumar had said about Dravid after the recently concluded India's tour of Sri Lanka.

With so much hype around his 'to be appointment' as the coach of the Indian national team, the pressure to deliver will be tremendous on Rahul Dravid. But, then pressure is what he thrives on, right?

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