With former India captain Rahul Dravid set to take over as the national team’s head coach after the T20 World Cup, the BCCI mandarins are mulling over how to make the best use of the 48-year-old’s vast knowledge with the talent in Indian cricket.
Thus, his role may be a more holistic one rather than being confined to the chief coach of the national team. While India A or U-19 teams would have their respective coaches, the BCCI could well put Dravid in charge of all coaches, to whom all the cricketing departments, along with the NCA staff, would report. Dravid, who had in earlier years said no because his children were very young, is expected to contribute in a broader manner.
The BCCI had been keen on appointing an Indian to replace Ravi Shastri. However, one former Indian captain and stalwart had refused to become the coach as Virat Kohli remains the Test and ODI captain.
It is learnt that some big names were wary of coaching a team in which Kohli had mostly called the shots till the Australia tour earlier this year. The dynamics have changed since then after India beat Australia in the absence of Kohli, who was on paternity leave at that time.
The BCCI wanted someone of big stature to coach the team, and there could be no candidates better than Dravid, who is India’s second highest run-getter in Test cricket (13,288 runs) and has 10,889 runs in ODI cricket.
Shastri’s annual pay cheque was Rs 8.5 crore and it is understood that the BCCI would offer Dravid a fee that would be significantly more than his current remuneration as well as Shastri’s pay.
Rahul Dravid’s trusted lieutenant Paras Mhambrey is expected to be the bowling coach while Vikram Rathour is likely to continue as the batting coach. The basic idea behind having the Dravid-Mhambrey combination in the Indian team set-up is to ensure that in another two years, the expected transition in the current team would be smooth. “Rohit will be 35 next year, Virat is days away from his 33rd birthday. Apart from them Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane… At some point during next two years, they will be phased out,” a BCCI official said. “The players who are set to come in are mostly from the U-19 set-up. So it’s imperative that Dravid is appointed.” It is understood that the BCCI will advertise for the position to ensure that due process is followed. The BCCI has to form a Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), which would be mandated to complete the process of selecting the new coach, as prescribed by the Lodha Committee reforms.