Jul 7, 2022, 14:14 IST

Rahul Dravid: Is the Wall of the Indian facing the pressure of coaching? – SKY247.com


India on Tuesday lost the fifth and final rescheduled test to England to keep their barren run in the English conditions. The las time India won a series in England was in 2007 under the captaincy of Rahul Dravid. The Wall of Indian cricket led the side to a 1-0 series win against Michael Vaughan’s England side. Rahul Dravid took over the coaching mantle of the Indian side from Ravi Shastri towards the end of the year. The reign hasn’t seen a perfect for one Rahul Dravid.

Starting slow against the Kiwis –

India haven’t been beaten in a home series for a long time with their last home defeat coming in 2012 against England. Dravid’s first assignment as the coach of the Indian team in test cricket was against the visiting Kiwis. It was a 2 match series with the matches to be played in Mumbai and Kanpur. The first test in Kanpur was a draw, while India won the 2nd test at Mumbai. The game will be forever remembered for the ten wicket haul by Ajaz Patel.


Series loss to South Africa –

India began the tour of South Africa with a win in Centurion, a venue where they have had a poor record. Then the slide began at Johannesburg, a venue that India has done well in the previous tours. Dravid was the captain when India won their first ever test in South African soil back in 2006 at the same ground. India lost the game as South Africa chase down the 240 run target to win by 7 wickets. The same margin of win was secured by the hosts in the next game at Cape Town as bad batting and dodgy umpiring saw South Africa chase 211 on a tricky pitch.

3rd consecutive 7 wicket loss in away test matches –

India came into the Birmingham test match with a 2-1 lead in the series and by the time England were set 378 to win, the Indian fans fancied their chances. The question was, will this be our first series win in England for 15 years? The answer was no as openers Crawley and Lees found form to have a century stand. India got 3 quick wickets to have the hosts at 109 for 3. That’s when Bairstow and Root displayed their might to score centuries and take the Indian team to the cleaners and win the game for England.


Are India timid under Dravid?

Lets analyse the Indian team approach on the 4th day, as it was Pant and Pujara who were at the crease. The Indian team led by 257 with 7 wickets in hand with two batsmen who were set. Pujara on 50 and Pant looking good after his fiery 146 in the first innings. Pujara looked to play shots right from the start, but Pant was slow and got out trying a reverse sweep. Jadeja for some reason was slow and not trying to play shots even when he had Shami and Bumrah for company. Jadeja was more content to turn the strike over.

Shastri slams the Indian approach –

Former Indian coach was livid at what he was seeing from his former wards who were taking the world by storm under him. Shastri called the approach timid and slammed the body language. Shastri who was part of the commentary panel for Sky Sports said “I think it was disappointing, to say the least, because they could have batted England out of this contest. They needed to bat two sessions and I thought they were defensive, they were timid especially after lunch. Even after they had lost those wickets, they could have taken some chances. Runs were important at that stage of the game and I thought they just went into a shell, lost those wickets too quickly, and gave enough time for England”


Dravid’s foray into top level coaching-

Rahul Dravid has been a huge name while he played for India, and his captaincy record doesn’t get much credit. Test win in South Africa, series win in West indies after 36 years, a 20 year old wait for test series win in England in 2007 being few such. His coaching was exemplary as he led the India under-19 world cup side to a world cup final in 2016 and winning it 2 years later. The likes of Pant, Ishan Kishan, Sarfaraz Khan, Khaeel Ahmed, Avesh Khan, Washington Sundar, Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill came from Dravid’s stable.

Is Rahul Dravid undoing everything done by Shastri for 3 years?

While Dravid as a player and under-19 coach was amazing. The fans have started questioning if the Indian team is timid and defensive under Dravid as suggested by Ravi Shastri. Many fans took the words of Shastri as a go at Dravid for the tactics employed by India on the 4th day. The fans were confused with the way India played on the 4th day as they were bowled out before lunch. This gave England 5 sessions to bat on a flat pitch with the sun beating down. Fans wondered how it would be under Shastri who was at the helm of affairs when the same England team were put under the cosh by the Indian team who led the series 2-1 with wins at Lords and Oval.

Shastri’s reign of change –

Ravi Shastri took over the Indian team and made it into one of the best touring sides in the world. Two series wins in Australia and some tough cricket away during the tours of South Africa and England. It was under Shastri and Kohli that India was playing some top quality cricket during the tour of England last year which saw them lead the series 2-1. The way Indian bowlers bowled in this game, it looked like there was no bite, Siraj went for over 6 runs per over. Shami and Bumrah nearly 5 runs per over and Shardul Thakur looked tired and uninspiring.

India now has to win all the 6 tests (2 against Bangladesh and 4 versus Australia) to have a realistic chance to qualify for the WTC finals next year. England may have shown their Baz-Ball but the Dravid Ball is taking India backwards. The Wall needs to wake up before the entire Indian cricket fortress is breached.

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