Virat Kohli may have finally ended the wait for his 71st international century, but India’s early exit from the T20 Asia Cup leaves the team management with a lot of questions, especially with the World T20 about a month away. Head coach Rahul Dravid said that losing two games in the ‘Super 4’ stage of the Asian tournament does make his side terrible and there is no need to overreact to things, as he faces the tricky task of finding an ideal team combination and assigning specific roles to players.
Following India’s ouster from Asia Cup, former national selector and player Saba Karim feels Dravid is aware of the fact that his honeymoon phase as India’s coach is over. Since Dravid’s appointment, India won bilateral T20I series against New Zealand, West Indies (twice), Sri Lanka, England and drew versus South Africa. But Karim explained why the current time is a crunch one for the India head coach.
“Well even Rahul Dravid is aware that the honeymoon period is over, and he is trying his best to be an alchemist but so far, such metals haven’t been converted into core. One would expect him to do that. This is crunch time for Rahul Dravid,” said on Sports 18’s show ‘Sports Over The Top.
Karim recalled Test defeats to South Africa and England, saying Dravid would have swapped those defeats with the bilateral series wins that India got under him. Series defeat in South Africa against a young Proteas unit and loss at Edgbaston marked a patchy start to Dravid’s spell as head coach.
“If given an option, Rahul Dravid would love to have those Test series wins in South Africa and the last Test match in England. He would love to swap that with so many bilateral wins that India has got under his belt. But that’s the nature of the challenges which Rahul Dravid has to face,” said Karim.
Ravi Shastri stepped down from his role following last year’s T20 World Cup, following which the former India player was succeeded by Dravid.
“See Rahul is sensible and intelligent enough to understand that the only way he can define a successful tenure of his coaching career is if India – number one, wins ICC events and number two it starts to win Test series in SENA countries. I’m not talking about Test wins.
“Test wins even while Rahul Dravid was playing, India has done that. But more importantly, when India starts to win in SENA countries, the Test series, that’s when Rahul Dravid will be very happy with team India’s performance,” he added.