Rahul Dravid’s achievements as an international player were often overshadowed by milestones of other greats’ in the Indian team. But that couldn’t deter Dravid’s focus. He continued serving India cricket with utmost honesty and dedication.
In 2012, Dravid announced retirement from international cricket after representing India for more than 15 years. But that raised another question. What would he do next?
People who know Dravid personally, and even his fans, can vouch for the fact that it is almost impossible to keep him off the cricket field. He continued representing Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the IPL for another season before taking the step up to his next role, that of a coach.
Donning the coach’s hat, Dravid did what he does best, work towards the betterment of his team quietly.
As the legendary cricketer celebrates his birthday today, we take a look at his coaching career and list some of the highlights.
MENTOR FOR RAJASTHAN ROYAL
Dravid began his professional coaching career in 2014 as a mentor for IPL franchise Rajasthan Royal, a team he had previously captained. He groomed several young cricketers and, in his first season as the team mentor, the Royals finished fifth on the points table, missing out on a playoff berth by the thinnest of margins.
The following season, RR qualified for the playoffs and finished third after losing to Royal Challengers Bangalore in the eliminator.
INDIA’S UNDER-19 TEAM COACH
After two IPL seasons with RR, Dravid returned to the Indian blue, but this time as a coach for the Under-19 team. With Dravid at the helm and a promising lot of players that featured the likes of Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan and Washington Sundar, the Indian team marched their way to the final of the 2016 U19 World Cup. Though the team missed out on an opportunity to bring the cup home, their performance gave signs of a bright future.
MENTOR FOR DELHI DAREDEVILS
Dravid, meanwhile, also mentored the Delhi Daredevils but with little success. With him at the helm in 2016 and 2017, DD finished sixth on the point’s table.
INDIA’S U-19 COACH IN 2018
Dravid may have missed out on a World Cup victory in 2016 but things changed in 2018. With Prithvi Shaw as the skipper, India’s U-19 team lifted the 2019 U-19 World Cup trophy in New Zealand. The season marked the emergence of young stars like Shaw, Shubman Gill and Shivam Mavi among others. Dravid, meanwhile, also continued coaching the India-A team.
NCA DIRECTOR, 2019
Dravid took charge of the Director of Cricket Operations at the National Cricket Academy, Bangalore, in 2019.
COACH OF INDIA’S SENIOR TEAM
With the COVID-19 pandemic coming into play, India were forced to send an alternate team to Sri Lanka for ODI and T20 series in 2021. Dravid was appointed as the coach and Shikhar Dhawan took charge of the team’s captaincy. With most senior players in England, this team had little experience and featured many debutants. Despite the odds, they won the ODI series 2-1. However, Sri Lanka won the T20 series.
After the end of Ravi Shashti’s tenure, Dravid was appointed as the full-time head coach of the senior India men’s team in November 2021. In his first assignment, the team have won a Test in South Africa and will be hoping to register their first-ever red-ball series victory in the country.
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