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Rahul Dravid confirms T20 World Cup as his last gig

Dravid took over as the head coach of the Indian side in 2021. Since then India have remained a consistent force but they have not been able to pick up the titles to cement their claim.
Last Updated : 04 June 2024, 00:01 IST
Last Updated : 04 June 2024, 00:01 IST

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New York: Rahul Dravid will not reapply for the role of India coach after the end of the T20 World Cup in the Americas. 

While this doesn’t come as a surprise given the happenings of the last month or so, including Board of Control for Cricket in India secretary Jay Shah’s announcement that Dravid would have to reapply to be considered for the role, it coming out of the horses’ mouth had a profound effect on the crowd which gathered at Cantiague Park in New York. 

The setting itself was surreal for the press conference was held in a counselling room of a recreation of sorts with stools meant for children, and Dravid did make a joke about that, but it was the resignation in the Bengalurean’s face that transcended it all. 

“This is going to be the last tournament I am in charge of,” he said on Monday. “I find myself at a stage in my life where I will not be able to reapply. See, every tournament is important so this doesn’t assume significance because it will be my last. Every game I have coached for India is important. This is no different.

“I have enjoyed coaching India, and I am very privileged to have been given this chance, but considering the schedules and so on, it won’t be feasible for me to continue. I don’t think this tournament or the days to come will be the most important for me because I have thought every day since I took up the job to be important.”

Dravid took over as the head coach of the Indian side in 2021. Since then India have remained a consistent force but they have not been able to pick up the titles to cement their claim. 

During Dravid’s reign, India lost in the semifinals of the T20 World Cup in 2022, went down to Australia in the World Test Championship Final, lost the Asia Cup, and failed on the final hurdle at the 50-over home World Cup. 

“We have played very good cricket at World Cups, we have been very consistent,” he began. “Right from the semifinal loss at the 2022 T20 World Cup, we have been getting to the finals of all big events. The WTC itself was a feat because we had to play consistently to even get to the final. We have had some trouble crossing the final hurdle, and that is something we have looked at address, but you cannot say we have not played good cricket. 

“As far as this tournament is concerned, we cannot be prematurely concerned about getting to the finals and how it will go there. That won’t work. We have to think about our daily goals, our routines and stick to them. Play one moment at a time and look to put ourselves in good positions, and not worry about all those lines/ hurdles we need to cross.”

As things stand, this won’t only be Dravid’s last World Cup, the same fate is likely to be met by Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. On the wrong side of the 30s, the illustrious duo must find it hard to get motivated for this tournament when their expiry date is flashed in front of them as frequently. 

“If I have to motivate the players to play for India, we have the wrong people in the side,” said Dravid when asked how he keeps his players going. “They have to have their own motivation to play for India. 

“The work these boys have put in is immense. I think they’re motivated, I don’t doubt their motivation. It’s ability to read conditions, execute in the middle, ability to make the right decisions with bat and ball in critical moments, that will be the deciding factor. That’s what we worry about. Of course, there are expectations, that means we are playing good cricket, but we’re not seeing what experts are saying.”

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Published 04 June 2024, 00:01 IST

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