It was announced a few weeks ago that India were all set to tour Sri Lanka in July. As India’s key players and Test specialists would be playing in England at the same time, India’s squad which will be touring Sri Lanka is expected to feature a lot of youngsters and relatively newer faces. Despite the fact that the squad for the Sri Lanka series hasn’t been announced yet, a lot of talented youngsters are expected to be included and we are all set to see a different Indian side. To make things more exciting, recent reports suggest that Rahul Dravid is most likely to coach India in this limited-overs series against Sri Lanka.
A BCCI official in ANI said “Rahul Dravid will be the head coach of the Indian team in the Sri Lanka tour”. The former Indian skipper is widely regarded as one of the smartest cricket brains and has had a knack of bringing out the best among youngsters. The main reason behind having Rahul Dravid coach the Indian team for this series is because India’s regular head coach Ravi Shastri would be with the other Indian team in England. The rest of the coaching staff which includes the likes of Bharat Arun and Vikram Rathour would also be in England. “The Team India coaching staff will be in England and it is best that the young team is guided by Rahul Dravid as he has already worked with almost all of the India ‘A’ boys. The comfort the youngsters share with him will be an added advantage,” the BCCI official was quoted as saying by ANI. An important point to be noted is that Rahul Dravid has worked closely with the current flock of youngsters in the Indian team at the U-19 level as well as in the India ‘A’ team. As a matter of fact, he is seen to have played an integral role in building a solid bench strength for the national team over the last couple of years since he has taken the duties of U-19 and India A Teams.
Coaching a bigger side with more responsibilities isn’t new to India’s “Wall” as Dravid has also been a mentor and coach in various IPL franchises such as Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals (Then Delhi Daredevils). Dravid has groomed a lot of youngsters and him being a coach for the Indian team for the Sri Lanka series might just be a blessing in disguise for the players of that squad. The squad for the Sri Lanka tour however hasn’t been announced yet. The squad is expected to be selected by the end of this month. However, The only experienced players who are expected to be in this squad are Shikhar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Yuzvendra Chahal. The Indian team would have to to undergo a strict quarantine peroid in the Island Nation before playing the three ODI and as many T20I matches. These three ODIs will be played on July 13, 16, 19 and the T20Is are expected to be played towards the end of July.