Indian men’s cricket team’s head coach Rahul Dravid started his tenure in November last month and with Hardik Pandya named the captain of the Indian team for the T20I series against Ireland he will be working with six different captains in the last eight months. Opening up on the same, Dravid said that the situation gave them a chance of finding leaders within the group. 

Dravid has worked with Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant apart from Shikhar Dhawan in the white-ball tour to Sri Lanka in July last year. For India’s short two-match tour of Ireland, Hardik Pandya will be the captain.

“It’s been exciting, good fun, challenging as well. Probably been about six captains in the last eight months which I had to work with, which actually wasn’t the plan when I first started. But it’s the nature of Covid, the number of games we are playing, managing the workload of the squad and few changes in the captaincy as well.”

“So, I have had to work with quite a few people in the last eight months, which has been challenging as well as great fun. It’s also good that a lot of other guys have got an opportunity to lead. For us, we have got opportunities to create more leaders in the group as well,” said Dravid in a chat with broadcasters ahead of the fifth T20I.

Asked to sum up the Indian team’s performances since the time he took over as head coach, Dravid pointed towards losing the Test series to South Africa 2-1 earlier this year as a disappointment. “We are constantly learning, improving and got opportunities to get better in the last eight months; we have tried a lot of different people, which has been great.”

“When I look back on the last eight months, touring South Africa was little bit of a disappointment in terms of Test series. Going 1-up and not being able to do the job there, especially with the World Test Championship cycle, was a little bit of disappointment.”

“White-ball cricket has been pretty good; we were on a bit of a roll in the T20 game and even here (against South Africa), where we don’t have a lot of our main players, we have been able to fight back brilliantly shows the kind of character in the team and the quality, depth we have.”

Dravid expressed happiness over seeing young talent emerge and take the spotlight in IPL 2022 with their wonderful performances, which he felt will help Indian team in future. “It’s been fantastic. It was incredible to see the fast-bowling talent we have (during the IPL 2022), especially to see some of the bowlers’ clocking speeds, young boys, new talent coming through with two new teams on display this year.”

“A lot of youngsters got an opportunity to showcase their skills rather than sitting on the bench, and a lot of them came good, those are really good signs for Indian cricket, provides us with lot of options when tough decisions are to be made. But all in all, really exciting times ahead for Indian cricket.”

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