Former India captain Rahul Dravid is seemingly the front runner to take over as the next Indian team head coach from Ravi Shastri if reports are to be believed. Shastri, who took over as the head coach position in 2017, has decided to part ways after the completion of the T20 World Cup 2021.
ESPNCricinfo has reported that if things fall in place, Rahul Dravid will head the backroom staff as early as for the home series against New Zealand starting late November. New Zealand will visit India for three T20 Internationals and two Test matches.
Dravid was recently seen in the Team India head coach position when a white-ball squad traveled to Sri Lanka when Ravi Shastri was with the Test squad in England for the Test series. Shastri was offered an extension to his contract but refused the offer citing that the T20 World Cup which begins from October 17 onwards will be his last assignment as the Team India head coach.
Rahul Dravid Was Always BCCI’s Favored Candidate
Rahul Dravid took up coaching assignment after retiring from cricket in 2012 and worked hard with the India A and U19 sides. He even guided the Prithvi Shaw-led India U19 team to the Youth World Cup glory in New Zealand in 2018. Currently, the former Karnataka player is the head of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, his hometown.
Dravid has always been the BCCI’s favored candidate to take over the job from Shastri, who is ineligible to reapply for the position when his term expires, owing to age-restriction norms currently in force.
There will still be a formal process of inviting applications, but if Dravid chooses to apply, the BCCI is unlikely to look beyond him, ESPNCricinfo understands. And the site also reported that BCCI officials have been involved in discussions with Dravid for a few months now.
Apart from the head coach position, BCCI will also be looking for applications for the posts of batting, bowling, and fielding coaches as the stints of Vikram Rathour, Bharat Arun, and R Sridhar, too, end after the World Cup. ESPNCricinfo also reported that Paras Mhambrey, Dravid’s long-term deputy at the NCA, India A, and U19 teams, is expected to become the new national team bowling coach.