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During Ravi Shastris resignation from the position following the 2021 T20 World Cup, Rahul Dravid, a very successful under-19 coach, assumed the coaching duties. Sourav Ganguly, the former BCCI president, subsequently acknowledged that Dravid was first hesitant to accept the position but eventually consented after Ganguly "continued pressuring." The outcomes after a year in the command show that his hesitation was justified.
Dravid has not had a smooth time in office thus far, with all four of his most high-profile events failing to proceed as planned. India lost to South Africa (2-1) in a Test match and gave up a record chase to England, giving up the chance to win the series. They havent advanced to either the Asia Cup or the T20 World Cup final in T20Is.
|Nov-Dec 2021||NZ||Ind won 1-0||Ind won 3-0|
|Dec-21- Jan 22||SA||Ind lost 2-1||Ind lost 3-0|
|Feb 2022||WI||Ind won 3-0||Ind won by 3-0|
|July 2022||Eng||Ind Won 2-1|
|Aug 2022||Wi||Ind Won 4-1|
|Aug 2022||Zim||Ind Won 3-0|
|Oct 2022||SA||Ind Won 2-1||Ind Won 2-1|
|Oct-Nov||World Cup||Lost Semifinal|
|Nov-Dec||NZ||NZ Won 1-0 (3)||Ind Won 1-0 (3)|
|Dec||Ban||Ind Won 2-0||Ban Won 2-1|
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There have been notable victories, such as the dual white-ball bilateral series victories in England, yet there have also been some mitigating circumstances. In addition to having to cope with injuries and significant players missing important tours, Dravid also had to figure out how to manage his workload while entering series without a reliable squad. Even though he took over after the South Africa series and skipped the England Test, the decline under him and skipper Rohit Sharma is obvious.
This is significant because, at the conclusion of the Virat Kohli-Ravi Shastri period, there was the impression of a squad poised for greatness that just needed a boost to advance. Before it was postponed, India had a 2-1 lead in the Test series in England after winning both of the matches in Australia. A remarkable trio of overseas series victories would have been completed with a win in South Africa and averting a loss at Edgbaston. Instead, the opportunity was lost.
Soon after the teams early elimination from the 2021 T20 World Cup, Rohit Sharma assumed the captaincy in Twenty20 Internationals last year. He spoke extensively about playing aggressively and with "purpose," two terms that had been absent from their language. With a 28-ball 27, the skipper himself fell short of living up to expectations in the T20 World Cup semifinal. The way in which the management gave in, months after an early departure from the Asia Cup, shows that they just touted the reforms without actually moving forward.
Concern should be expressed about more than just the outcomes; it should also be expressed about problems with team selection and tactic. India were uninspired and unconfident in the second Test against South Africa, which KL Rahul led after Kohli was forced to withdraw due to injury. Rahuls leadership was afterward evaluated by a BCCI official, who asked, "Did KL Rahul, by any stretch, appear like a captain?" But according to sources, Dravid chose Rahul over other candidates for the long-term captaincy after first designating him as Indias vice-captain for the Test matches against South Africa.
After Kohli was removed as captain from the ODI format, Rahul took over as Indias captain. Rahul led India to a 3-0 loss and gave the impression of being a hesitant leader rather than a proactive one. Although Rahul continues to serve as Indias vice-captain, Hardik Pandya seems to be a more proactive captain with natural leadership qualities, therefore it is unclear if Rahul will ever be a serious candidate.
Kohli made a comeback for the third Test in South Africa, but the string of errors persisted. When India sought to tighten the game on the fourth day, none of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, or Shardul Thakur bowled. The fielders were dispersed, and R Ashwin bowled very cautiously as the game dragged on and India failed to achieve their goal of dominating the globe.
In the semi-final match against England, Rohit said that if India had won the toss, he would have preferred to bat first. India has never been good at setting goals in T20I matches, and given the way their openers were playing, chasing was always the wisest course of action. Jos Buttler won the toss, so it didnt come down to that, but the management made a mistake since the pitch grew easier to bat on as the game went on. Arshdeep Singh, probably Indias discovery of the tournament, barely bowled two overs even during the game while the others were being destroyed. Even though he scored 27 out of 28 in the match, Rohit afterwards blamed the bowlers.
The managements actions, both in terms of team selection and on-field choices, were called into question by the teams failure to win the Asia Cup and the T20 World Cup.
Why did Venkatesh Iyer abruptly leave the squad for Deepak Hooda after a streak of stellar performances for India? Hooda seized his opportunity, but when we look at the positions that were open, he does not fit in. Venkatesh can bat anywhere in the order, gives a left-handed alternative, and can bowl seam; his abilities were on display in the most recent Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Hooda, who was heavily supported by Dravid even in his under-19 days, is a top-order batsman who can bowl off-spin.
The squad also chose to support Avesh Khan instead of Umran Malik, a quick bowler who would have been useful in Australia, despite not getting the necessary results. Rohit had identified Sanju Samson as a player who may be effective in Australian conditions, but the wicketkeeper was passed up in favour of Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik for the two T20 competitions. Rishabh Pant hasnt been able to figure out the T20 format.
Despite being aware that his presence would prevent the club from having a left-hander in the top six, Karthik was the managements first-choice keeper, thus the squad gave him a designated finishers role. In the months leading up to the T20 World Cup, he was still preferred above Pant, but a few missteps during the competition caused them to abandon their strategy and reinstate Pant, who had insufficient match experience, into the starting lineup.
Most of the choices made under Dravids leadership appear to be impulsive responses motivated by a fear of failing rather than building a squad for the future. The human instincts that eventually separate a successful leader from an average one have taken a backseat as a result of the whole focus being on match-ups. The best example is still MS Dhonis choice to give Joginder Sharma the last pass against Pakistan in the 2007 T20 World Cup.
While analytics must and should not be disregarded, they do not accurately reflect a players true potential. Both Dravid and Rohit must overcome their prejudices and stop selecting cricketers based only on their own opinions in order to maintain consistency in the teams lineup. After Indias elimination from the T20 World Cup last year, there was much talk about changing their strategies, but they travelled to Australia with the same team and havent made any significant adjustments. The players dont appear to understand their duties completely, Rohit becomes noisy and agitated when things dont go his way, and Dravid doesnt seem to have any answers when he is questioned about the future. There is still time for Rohit and Dravid to turn things around, but for the time being, the team appears to be in a worse mess than before they took control. They were expected to enrich Indian cricket.