Dravid the Guru Behind India’s Serene Process-Driven Progress

 

Rahul Dravid (Image: Debasis Sen)

One man who prefers to say away from the limelight and do his job quietly for Team India is Rahul Dravid, the coach. As the team celebrated their success, and eight wins in a row in the ICC World Cup, TV images of a composed Dravid caught the eye.
As a former captain and a thinking cricketer, Dravid has always been steeped in the game’s techniques and traditions. He has been a student of the game and a teacher, which is why his work away from the glare of the arc lights is so special.
Coaching at the highest level is not so much about correcting techniques and imparting new skills. For that, Dravid has enough people working under his guidance to help the players. Yet, there is a temptation to compare his working style with that of his predecessors.
When Virat Kohli, as captain, and Ravi Shastri, the coach, had their leadership innings ended, Dravid was coaxed into accepting the job. It is no secret that Sourav Ganguly, the former BCCI President, had to plead with his one-time teammate to accept the job. Once “The Wall” took on the role, people wondered what his approach and style would be.
Coaching in cricket is more a mentoring job. At a time when a team like Afghanistan has seen Jonathan Trott, their coach, and Ajay Jadeja, as mentor, guide the team to new heights, Dravid is once again under the radar. He played cricket at the very highest level, yet coaching the senior side was an altogether different challenge.
Having spent time at the NCA (National Cricket Academy) in Bengaluru and been with the India A team, Dravid knows the younger lot very well. Yet, the big question mark centred on how he would mesh with Rohit Sharma, the new captain, who was also the team’s senior pro. When the Indian team did badly, losing the semi-final of the T20 World Cup to England (2022), and the World Test Championship to Australia last June, many were quick to label Dravid a misfit.

Today, those voices are silent. Dravid, however, continues to stay away from media interviews and too many interactions with the microphones. This is very much in keeping with how he was as a player as well.

If we rewind to the early years of the century, Indian cricket had foreign coaches who wanted to overhaul the system in India. Greg Chappell, now in some financial strife back home in Australia, had a controversial stint in charge, immediately after John Wright’s half-decade of relative success. After that, Gary Kirsten helped MS Dhoni and India to win the World Cup in 2011.

Rahul Dravid (Image: BCCI)

Comparing Dravid and Shastri serves no purpose. They played cricket in different eras. Shastri has always been a strong personality, who ensured he brought the best out of the boys. Who can forget how he and Ajinkya Rahane, the stand-in skipper, won a famous series in Australia when Kohli took paternity leave and returned to India in 2021?
Dravid as coach is very much his own man, and not really concerned about what image the world has of him. When he was captain, during Chappell’s years as coach, he bought into the process-driven philosophy. As did Dhoni, who became an integral part of the side across formats in that era.  

The constant references to ‘process’ were often mocked, especially when the team did badly. But if you observed Dhoni as a leader, he never got carried away with victories, just as he didn’t lose heart because of defeats. Dravid the coach has been like that – no hyperbole when India win, and no throwing players under the bus when they lose.

Even seasoned beat reporters struggle to get anything out of Dravid. Without being antagonistic, he has kept the media at arm’s length. People were critical of his old-school ways and reckoned he was not the best person for the job in white-ball cricket. The results in 2022, both at the Asia Cup and the T20 World Cup, went a long way towards establishing that narrative.  

After the recent stellar run, Dravid the coach is back in focus. He has struck up the right kind of rapport with Rohit, as well as Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul, his deputies. Dravid has always been blessed with great acumen and a cool head. He seems almost in a meditative state when one sees his images on TV. That calmness and his preference to stay behind the scenes has shut up the rumour mill. He is not the sort of man who wants publicity or a social media presence. But it’s become increasingly clear that Dravid has tried to imbibe the best qualities he found in men like Chappell, Wright and Kirsten. He is now a Guru in the true sense, one driven by process and not the obsession with victory and defeat.

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One man who prefers to say away from the limelight and do his job quietly for Team India is Rahul Dravid, the coach. As the team celebrated their success, and…
The post Dravid the Guru Behind India’s Serene Process-Driven Progress appeared first on RevSportz | Latest Sports News. 

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