Mumbai: The Indian cricket board’s advisory committee, comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, has approached batting legend Rahul Dravid – in charge of India A and India U 19 squads for almost a year now – to enquire whether he would be interested in taking over as chief coach of the senior team.
The ever-dependable former No. 3 batsman, it is learned, was asked about his availability if such a proposition were to be made in the near future. “Rahul has said he will give it a thought,” said a source in the know of developments.
BCCI is keen to have a man who can show the way forward to a bunch of talented young batsmen in the side, especially where Test cricket is concerned. Sources say should Dravid agree to take up the challenge, he is likely to be given a free hand and a long-term contract, possibly extending till the 2019 World Cup.
There is no clarity, however, on ex-cricketer and commentator Ravi Shastri, whose term as India’s team director ended with India’s campaign in the World T20. Shastri, it is learnt, is keen on continuing to work with the Indian team, but highly-placed sources say he is not being considered for the role of the head coach.
The advisory committee will meet on Tuesday to discuss the issue of the chief coach. Dravid is presently the mentor of the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Delhi Daredevils. Before this he led the India Under-19 team to the WC final last month. While playing for Rajasthan Royals earlier, Dravid had also taken up the role of a mentor for the franchise, a job in which he continued even after quitting the game.
BCCI’s present mindset can be seen in the backdrop of having watched Dravid seamlessly blend with youngsters across all formats of the game. Further, with India scheduled to play 18 Test matches between June 2016 and March 2017, a proven-hand like Dravid – a veteran of the game with 164 Test matches and 344 ODIs behind him – makes all the more sense to the board right now. Neither Dravid nor any of the three-member advisory committee members were available for comment.
The board had earlier contacted former Australia batsman Michael Hussey to take up the challenge but the arrangement failed to work out. In the meantime, the BCCI is all set to continue with the services of assistant coach Sanjay Bangar, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar. Their contracts are likely to be extended soon.