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Dravid to mentor Indian batsmen on Dhoni's request

Last updated on: June 30, 2014 06:25 IST

Dravid to mentor Indian batsmen on Dhoni's request

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Former captain Rahul Dravid will have a few sessions with India's batsmen ahead of the first Test against England, starting at Nottingham on July 9, although he hasn't been appointed in any capacity, Board of Control for Cricket in India secretary Sanjay Patel said on Sunday.

It is learnt that skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and coach Duncan Fletcher approached the BCCI to have Dravid for a few interactive sessions with the young batsmen in the team and the batting legend readily agreed to it.

"Let me clarify at the outset that Rahul Dravid has not been appointed batting consultant or in any other capacity. Since he is a legend and has enjoyed stupendous success in England, the team management wanted the boys to interact with him before the first Test," Patel said.

"Subsequently, MS (Dhoni) and Duncan requested me to find out whether Rahul could spare some time with the boys ahead of first Test at Nottingham.

"I spoke to Rahul and he was gracious enough to agree. We want him to share his vast experience. He has had so much success in England that no one can tell the current lot better about technique and temperament than Rahul," Patel added.

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Image: Rahul Dravid
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff

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Dravid achieved huge success in England during his playing days. Six of his 36 Test hundreds, aggregating 1376 runs in 13 Tests, at an average of 68.80, there.

He was India's best batsman on the last tour of England in 2011, his three centuries the only bright spot in a 0-4 rout.

Asked if there could be any contractual obligations, Patel said, "Absolutely not. It's an interaction arranged on request of team management. There is no one-Test or two-Test thing. Rahul will be in England at that time. Also, being a mentor at Rajasthan Royals, he has had a positive influence on youngsters. We hope for the same as India embark on a tough series.

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Image: Rahul Dravid (left) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Photographs: Morne de Klerk/Getty Images

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If Gautam Gambhir is not picked in the playing eleven, India will go into the first Test with a top six that has never played Test cricket in England.

For Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Chetshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane, this will be their maiden five-day challenge during the English summer when Jimmy Anderson is expected to make the ball talk.

The 41-year-old Dravid stood tall amid ruins during India's disastrous last tour of England in 2011.

His batting was the only saving grace, as he scored three Test centuries including one at Lord's, in the the 0-4 'whitewash'.

 


Image: Rahul Dravid
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff

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