Rahul Dravid’s message to Team India: Win every single game
Barely a couple of days into his new role as Team India head coach, Rahul Dravid has made his priorities clear.
In his first media conference on Tuesday after taking charge, Dravid said he has his sights firmly set on the three big ICC world events that are scheduled in the next couple of years — the T20 World Cup in Australia next year along with the ODI World Cup at home and the World Test Championship final in 2023.
“I think all the three formats are critically important for us. There’s going to be no let-up in the way we prepare or the way we plan for any of the three formats. Obviously, in the next two years, there are three ICC events and we need to prepare for all those events,” Dravid said on the eve of India’s opening T20I against New Zealand in Jaipur.
“As far as vision is concerned, you know, for me, it’s just about us looking to improve constantly every day and we keep getting better as players and as people then and we should be fine.”
Balancing long-term planning with short-term goals, Dravid said his aim was to “win every single game” that India play.
“It’s a combination of both in any situation. You have to win now but you also have to keep one eye on the future. You have to plan and prepare for the big tournaments. We have them coming up in the next couple of years and we have to think about those things as well,” the former India captain said.
“It’s a balance that you need to strike and that’s happening in day-to-day functioning. It’s hard to put down how exactly you will do it but yeah, we’ll keep both things in mind and certainly, it’s one of the goals. Thinking long term and thinking about what’s in the future certainly is my job as a coach and that won’t change irrespective of whichever team you’re in, you’re coaching.
“In terms of the bubble fatigue, or the situation we are in now, we will think about the players’ long-term careers and futures as well and keep that in mind. Prioritise their well-being at any stage over short-term results.”
Dravid ruled out having different teams for each format.
“I don’t think we’re at that point where we’re looking at separate teams (for different formats). Of course, there are certain individuals who only play particular formats and there are some who play all formats. Obviously, in times like this we need to be in a conversation with the players, for me the players’ physical and mental health is the most important thing. I will always be in conversation with them and I’d like to work with them to ensure that whenever they’re playing, we have them fully switched on and we need to recognise that these are challenging times for people, for players, and especially for those guys who are expected to play all formats.
“We might not be able to play every single player in every single game across formats, we need to accept that as reality. Herein lies the opportunity for the other guys to step up and use it to show what they have.”
Dravid said that he’s kept his interactions minimal with the players so far and will take his time and get a feel of how the system works.
“(Right now) Getting a sense and really sitting back and observing and seeing how things are done and what’s happening and picking up and learning along the way as well. And having some conversations over the last few days. When you come in, I think my role initially will really be to sit back and watch and observe and then step in when required. And we have time for that. So there’s no rush around.”