News that former India captain Rahul Dravid will soon be taking over as the head coach of the men’s cricket team has found tremendous excitement and unbridled positivity.
It’s hardly a surprise too, truth be told, given it’s the man described as Mr. Dependable who’s soon going to coach a team he once played for, returning once again to a leadership position without having to wear his much loved Indian jersey.
Not that the position from which to contribute matters or ever did for a man who always put his team ahead of his ambitions- whether as keeper, the ever reliable one-down batter and even as opener who gave it everything when the team was going downhill, circa 2011 tour to England wherein among the many feats Dravid achieved was a Lord’s ton.
Exciting it is then to get a chance to see a man as a coach who went as far as making, and time and again, his team’s goal as his own.
That is how those 13,228 runs and 36 centuries were scored at the pinnacle of the game.
Though, that being said, make no mistake.
The challenge that Rahul Dravid faces now will be no less onerous as the one he faced during his time as India’s defiant number # three, a period of time wherein he became a determined soldier for India who reminded us time and again that virtues like selflessness weren’t filmy terms or phrases best suited for a work of fiction.
It only makes sense, therefore, that Team India, in its endeavour to find stability and a newfound meaning, imbibes some of the virtues its latest coach, rather “Guru” brings to the fore.
The feeling of unity. The oneness; pride in celebrating one another’s achievements and standing tall amid adversity much like the Wall did throughout his career.
But will Dravid’s journey be all too smooth?
Since one knows that among Team India’s many challenges at this interesting phase - where it is vying to up its T20 game and win more overseas Tests- is to find stability.
How far can Dravid go to ensure that the balance of the side remains what’s classic textbook style much like his forward defence- the combination of experienced names and the alacrity of India’s youth?
What innovative ways will be put to use by Indian cricket’s Guru Dronacharya in bridging the communication gaps- if any- between cricketers who may be playing under one identity but aren’t, may not be necessarily communicative.
In essence, how will Dravid put together the missing pieces in India’s jigsaw to build a more consolidated unit that continues to play its quintessential firebrand and inspiring brand of cricket?
And that’s only the tipping point. Dravid will also have to ensure his own acceptance by a team that may perhaps have not expected him to coach, not the idea of being in his great company is any less tempting as that of eating a sugary delight one too many.
And finally, how smoothly can Dravid assist Kohli to embrace, once again, the right hander’s original (and thus far, purest) role, it being that of a magnificent run scorer and redoubtable winner?
For if Kohli’s transition having been a constant captain to now having to be just a batsman, regardless of age, series or quantum of runs, is not looked after well, then it could hurt the side’s chances in the long run.
At the same time, Dravid will have to balance the attention given to one of the greatest to have ever wielded the bat for his country and the same time, extend all possible support to a man who’s made a name for himself for being the Hitman!
The very batsman who could soon become India’s new leader- Rohit Sharma.
And should there be any discrepancies or differences of opinion as suggested by many in hush-hush terms or any lack of cohesiveness between these two distinctly gifted batsmen, then one reckons, Dravid will have to raise the wall of comfort and equanimity to ease out any kind of tensity.
For once again, that is what will be needed the most. Moreover, one expects a man of immense depth of character in Rahul Dravid to make team India a level playing field (for one and all) not some egotistical battleground that provides room for self inflated worth and camps to flourish as suggested by media grapevine and half baked theories none of which are helping.
For it is needless to say, it’s all about the team and team alone and always, right coach Dravid?