As part of a new leadership group, India’s T20 vice-captain K.L. Rahul could not be more excited about working with Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma, as the head coach is big on setting a good team culture with the new skipper being a tactical genius. The T20 home series against New Zealand marks the start of a new era for Indian cricket after the disappointment of a pre-mature exit from the T20 World Cup. With the next edition only 12 months away, Rahul said the team management will soon take a call on what is the best template to follow in the unforgiving shortest format.
“Look, obviously I’ve been very fortunate I have known Rahul Dravid for a long time. As a youngster, I did pick his brain and try and understand the game better and understand the art of batting better from him. Has been very helpful to all of us back home in Karnataka. “As a coach, he has been with the boys around the country, and to have him in the set up is a great opportunity to learn from, we all know what a big name he is and the kind of things he has done for our country,” Rahul said referring to the new head coach ahead of the first T20 on Wednesday.
The vice-captain also spoke briefly about Dravid’s vision for the team. “When it comes to coaching, I have played a couple of games with India A setup and we have had a small chat just before coming out here for training. He is somebody who’s big on setting a good team culture and creating an atmosphere where people are thriving and trying to get better as people and cricketers. “He was always a team man when he was playing and that is the kind of culture he wants to bring in here where everyone is putting the team ahead instead of personal goals.”
The new think-tank has just got together and there will be plenty of discussions in the near future, said Rahul. About Rohit, the stylish batter said his performances for the Indian team and his IPL franchise say it all. “We have all seen him in the IPL and his stats are for everybody to see. He has a great understanding of the game and tactically he is really good and that is why he has been able to achieve what he has as a leader. “He will bring a lot of calm into the dressing room.
The next few weeks will be exciting to know what kind of goals he has for the team and what kind of template we are looking to play. “In a team sport, it is always a collective effort and decision. The job of the leadership group is to ensure that everybody is clear about their roles and feeling secure in the team and it will be an exciting challenge to create that kind of atmosphere,” he said. India was outplayed by better teams in the T20 World Cup. Rahul said the management will soon decide the best template for the team going into the next edition in Australia.
“We all need to sit down together and make a collective call on what is the best template or the best brand of cricket that we need to play to make sure that India is getting better performances. It will be a discussion we will have in the next couple of days. It all starts from here.” A bunch of fresh faces has been picked for the New Zealand series including Venkatesh Iyer and Ruturaj Gaikwad. Star all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been dropped due to his inability to bowl regularly. Rahul said Hardik knows what he needs to do to make a comeback.
“Hardik and I are good friends so we had a discussion among ourselves. He knows what exactly he needs to do (to make an India comeback) and what exactly the team expects out of him. “He is quite a smart guy to understand his role and responsibility in the team. I am sure he will work hard and try and get the best out of him,” Rahul added.