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“As a coach at the end of the day my job is to help the captain deliver his vision, his philosophy” – Rahul Dravid
By SMCS - Jul 6, 2024 10:19 am
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Former Team India head coach Rahul Dravid shared in a candid interview with BCCI.tv about his coaching philosophy, why results are secondary to him and the relationship he has shared with players like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli during his two-and-a-half years tenure as coach.

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli

“As a coach at the end of the day my job is to help the captain deliver his vision, his philosophy of how he wants the team to play,” says Dravid. “I don’t really like talking more about results. Yes results are important. I am in a business that runs on results. “I think results are the factor of many things. When you are constantly rotating players and the kind of number of players you will have to play in spite of that the kind of results we got in these past months have given me more satisfaction.”

Rahul Dravid also opened up he has loved working with Rohit Sharma and enjoyed watching him grow as a player first and then as a captain as well.

“I have really enjoyed working with Rohit. He is someone I knew as a young boy. Just to see him grow as a person, grow as a leader in Indian cricket. He is someone who is able to contribute to the team in the last ten or twelve years, both as a player and now as a leader. It has been a real tribute to him and the effort he has put in the time he has put in. I really enjoy getting to know him as a person as well,” said Dravid.

He also shared his bond with Virat Kohli. He added, “I only had a chance to work with him in a couple of series, in a couple of Test matches when he was the captain. I am getting to know him as well. His desire to improve, his desire to get better is fascinating to watch.”

PM Narendra Modi
PM Narendra Modi meets Team India

However, Rahul Dravid also opened up about his philosophy as a coach and why he believes that coaching is more about creating a safe environment rather than chasing the results as well.

“I like to believe that coaching is not just about coaching cricket. This is about building connections with the people and creating right environment that allows for success. I feel that I am a part of the team whose responsibility is to create the right professional, safe, secure environment that really doesn’t have fear of failure as such but its challenging enough to push people. That is always been my endeavour to try and create that atmosphere,” he said.

“I am someone who likes continuity in life. I don’t like chopping and changing too many things because I think that creates a lot of instability and doesn’t create a very good environment. “The vision of course is to win a cricket game. You try to win as much as you can. But I always look back to the fact that what is it that leads to the winning? How do you win more games? What is the process required to win more games? For me the vision was to get that process right. Ticking all those boxes. How do you challenge the players enough? How do you practice enough, how do you well prepare tactically and technically? Are we supporting the players in the right way? These are the things I wanted to tick before going on to the winning. Hopefully, if we would do most of these things, winning will take care of itself,” he further added.

Meanwhile, Rahul Dravid added in the post-COVID era the cricketing calendars were packed but it was a blessing in disguise as it allowed him to give chances to many young talents and that’s why India now can form two teams, who can play simultaniously in two different continents.

“One of the things that we really had to manage in my early part of coaching tenure here with India was … we’re just coming out of the Covid. The voice that came out from the COVID was that there were too many restrictions for players. We really had to manage their workload through all three different formats. There were few injuries. We had five or six captains in the first eight or ten months of me being here. It is not something that I thought about but it sort of organically happened,” he again shared.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma addressing team huddle

“I think the other thing that happened and presently which is happening is that due to COVID we had to play too many series and cram in a lot cricket. There were times we actually had two teams playing in different parts of the world. And it so happened that in the last two-and-half years especially in white-ball cricket we’re able to give opportunities to a lot of young people. I was glad to see how quickly they adapted to the international cricket and the kind of performances a lot of these young boys out in as soon as they came. I think that’s a real tribute to the system as well,” he stated.

“Some of them developed and stayed in the team for longer, some of them were there in the team because the seniors were injured. They will get their chances. The hardest thing is that there are so many good young players and to decide which of them will play all the three formats regularly. It is one of the toughest decisions I had to make,” Rahul Dravid concluded.