Dravid says unable to take up India coaching job now
'I would love to work with the Under-19s or India 'A' on shorter tours, but, really, the Indian coaching job, unfortunately at this point of time, is something I cannot do,' says former India captain Rahul Dravid. Harish Kotian reports.
Former India captain Rahul Dravid has dismissed a suggestion by batting icon Sunil Gavaskar that he should take up the job of India coach, saying it will be extremely difficult for him to spend the amount of time the role demands.
“Firstly, I am happy and honoured that he thinks I am capable of doing the coaching job of the Indian team; it is nice of him to say that,” said Dravid, in Mumbai on Friday, at the launch of Gillette’s first ever special edition India razors.
Following the Indian team’s disastrous showing in recent months, Gavaskar had called for the head of incumbent coach Duncan Fletcher and suggested that Dravid could be the ideal replacement.
“At this point of time, obviously, the time constraints… the time that is required to be able to do the Indian coaching job, which is a job that is 11 months in the year. I have just finished playing cricket, so it is extremely hard for me to devote that kind of time at this point of time,” Dravid added.
However, he kept the door open for the role in future while revealing that he is keen on working with the India Under-19 or India ‘A’ teams.
“Who knows? Someday, sometime in the future, after few years.
“I am involved with Rajasthan Royals for a couple of months this time with a slightly different role. Time permitting, I would love to work with the Under-19s or India ‘A’ on shorter tours, but, really, the Indian coaching job, unfortunately at this point of time, is something I cannot do,” he said.
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Image: Rahul Dravid
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani
'You got to give the coaching staff and support staff four years to try and change things'
Dravid also backed under-fire India coach Fletcher, who is under a lot of criticism following the team’s poor recent showing overseas.
He believes India will not look to change things with the World Cup coming up next year, which is the right approach.
“With the World Cup nearly a year away it is unlikely that India will change its coaching staff and support staff. You got to give the coaching staff and support staff four years to try and change things.
"With two big tours of Australia and England coming up, and the World Cup after that, it is unlikely that India will change its coaching staff or any part of the leadership group. I guess they will review that after the World Cup,” he said.
Image: Duncan Fletcher
Photographs: Tom Shaw/Getty Images
'Playing international cricket and playing well abroad is not easy'
The 41-year-old, who scored 13,288 runs in Tests and 10,889 in ODIs, said the Test team will take time to improve performances overseas because it is not easy to win Test matches abroad.
He pointed out that despite the presence of Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and himself in the team India lost eight straight Tests in England and Australia.
"It is a combination of things and it is not only now. I have been part of the team that has lost eight Test matches in a row towards the end of my career and we had some very good players including myself, [Sachin] Tendulkar and [VVS] Laxman in that team as well.
"It is a learning process, a learning curve. Playing international cricket and playing well abroad is not easy. India had two very good opportunities in the last two Test matches, one at the Wanderers and another Test match in New Zealand where India had a really good chance of actually winning the Test match. They were not very far away.
"They are a young side, a developing side, and they are not far away. I am sure slowly they will get better. England and Australia are going to be a big test for them," he said.
Image: Sachin Tendulkar (left) and Rahul Dravid pick runs during Day 2 of the tour match between Somerset and India at the county ground on July 16, 2011 in Taunton, England
Photographs: Stu Forster/Getty Images