Rahul Dravid has agreed to a “short-term” extension of his tenure as head coach following hectic parleys with Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials
over the last couple of days.
Sources told The Telegraph that Dravid’s fresh contract will end with the conclusion of the T20 World Cup in the US and the West Indies on June 30, 2024, and a call will then be taken on his continuing in the role.
The same will apply for the other members of Dravid’s support staff — batting coach Vikram Rathour, bowling coach Paras Mhambrey and fielding coach T. Dilip.
Dravid will fly out with the squad to South Africa on Wednesday for the white-ball leg, which begins on December 10. This will be followed by the two-Test series.
It was learnt that Dravid was reluctant to continue and needed some convincing from the Board brass to remain as head coach. A new coach would have meant a break in the process which has been in place for the past two years and the Board didn’t want that to happen before the T20 World Cup.
India have lost three ICC events during his tenure — in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup in 2022 besides the final of the World Test Championship and the ODI World Cup.
It won’t come as a surprise if Dravid decides to opt out after June.
India had performed admirably since Dravid took over in November 2021. Besides reaching the top of the rankings in all three formats, their 10-match unbeaten streak in the home World Cup was really impressive before losing to Australia in the final.
The Ajit Agarkar-led selection committee will meet in New Delhi on Thursday to pick the squads and it is likely that the nucleus of the current T20 squad will be retained. Virat Kohli has opted out of the T20Is and ODIs and there is no clarity on Rohit Sharma’s availability either.
“The last two years with Team India have been thoroughly memorable,” Dravid said in a media statement. “Together, we have witnessed the highs and lows, and throughout this journey, the support and camaraderie within the group have been phenomenal. I am genuinely proud of the culture... in the dressing room.
“It’s a culture that stands resilient, whether in moments of triumph or adversity. The skills and talent... are phenomenal... following the right process and sticking to our preparations has had a direct impact on the overall result.”