India in England 2014 June 30, 2014

Dravid's presence will benefit team 'enormously' - Laxman

21

'Dravid's experience in English conditions will help' - Laxman

Former India batsman VVS Laxman has said that Rahul Dravid's appointment as a mentor to the India team, ahead of the series against England, is an "excellent and positive move". Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, Laxman said Dravid's presence will benefit the team "enormously", not just due to the "technical aspect but also the mental aspect, the planning of an innings which is so important to perform in English conditions."

Laxman, who was part of India's squad for the dismal tour of England in 2011, when they were whitewashed 0-4, said India's young batsmen would do well to learn from Dravid's success in that series. Dravid scored 461 runs in four Tests in 2011, including three hundreds. Six of his 36 Test centuries came in England, where he scored 1376 runs in 13 games at an average of 68.80.

"What was really impressive about Rahul's performance was that he, in a couple of Test matches, actually opened the batting and we all know how tough it is with the swinging ball, especially when it's new," Laxman said. "The bowling line-up hasn't changed much. I am sure Rahul's experience facing these bowlers will come in handy in his discussions with the batsmen - not only the strength and weakness of these bowlers, but also their mental approach to a particular batsman."

Laxman advised India's batsmen to spend some time picking Dravid's mind on how to approach an innings in English conditions.

"The reason why Rahul has been successful in English conditions is because of his mental discipline," Laxman said. "In England, we all know that even if you are settled and playing well, because of a sudden change in weather conditions you have to almost restart your innings, which is different to the sub-continent or places like Australia."

According to the BCCI, Dravid's stint with the team will be for the "preparatory stages of the tour". Once the series begins, Dravid will move into the commentary box which, according to Laxman, will be a blessing in disguise for the players.

"I remember when I was playing for India, I would bump into Sunil Gavaskar, who was a master of technique, to discuss various issues I was facing," he said. "So even though Rahul may not be there with the team, he will be at the ground and the players can always approach him."

A few voices in Indian cricket, including Sunil Gavaskar, have called for Dravid to take over as India coach but the former India captain has been reluctant citing family reasons. Laxman said Dravid's decision was understandable, after having been on the road for 16 years, but hoped Indian cricket could tap into his knowledge base.

"Everyone knows how good he is and how mature he is in communication with the youngsters", Laxman said. "I am sure his experience and his exposure to various conditions in world cricket will help the youngsters in improving their game and doing well for India."

Laxman also expressed his willingness to perform a similar role if given the chance.

"We benefited from the experiences our seniors shared with us. Ultimately all of us want Indian cricket to really blossom," he said. "This current Indian team is an exciting group of cricketers, very skillful, I was very impressed with how they played in South Africa and New Zealand, so I am sure they will do well in future series as well. If I am required to help them, I will be more than happy to."

Gaurav Kalra is a senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nampally on July 2, 2014, 0:39 GMT

    I only hope Dravid helps Dhoni in the selection of rational & Balanced XI with right players. This is one area where Dhoni 's captaincy has been very poor. He cannot be serious when he keeps including Ishant Sharma in XI when he is consistently bowling No-balls- one/over! His length & line are erratic. The Selectors have given him 6 pace bowlers to choose from but he keeps going back to Ishant! Aaron at 150 KPH along with Pankaj & Pandey need to get in the XI to support Kumar & Shami. SL have scored heavily against the England bowling & bowled well against them. Main reason was their determination to do well. If Dravid can instil the same discipline, determination & will to succeed in the Indian team, He would have done a great job. So far Indian bowling against Leicester & Derbyshire has been shockingly poor & disappointing. The same quality of bowling will easily enable England to get 600+ Totals in every test. Vast improvement is badly needed to put up a competitive performance!

  • on July 1, 2014, 11:07 GMT

    @LAKingsfan: Even Gary Kirsten and John Wright are soft spoken people. But see their results, especially the former. Also see what Greg Chapel did

  • on July 1, 2014, 3:18 GMT

    I think laxman will be hired as a batting consultant for the tour of Australia, given his excellent record in the country.

  • Praxis on June 30, 2014, 18:38 GMT

    Of course its natural for India wanting to improve their batting department, they already got a good base for it. I for once think these new batsmen are really talented & exciting. Whereas, bowling never had much to begin with. Test matches are won by bowlers, true. But to draw one ia largely dependent on the batsmen. India is doing the right thing.

  • LAKINGSFAN on June 30, 2014, 18:28 GMT

    @SwamyCricketAnanda: I don't know if Dravid will be successful as a coach. He's very soft spoken for a role of a coach. I would rather have Ganguly as coach and Dravid as just mentor.

  • LAKINGSFAN on June 30, 2014, 18:27 GMT

    It's known to the entire universe that India have had a lot of great batsmen like Dravid and VVS. What India need is a mentor for bowling. If they can't find anyone locally it's not wrong to bring in someone from abroad as Lehman did with Murali. The one name that comes to my mind is, Andy Bichael. I don't know whether he's with any other team but if available I would pick him.

  • cloudmess on June 30, 2014, 17:22 GMT

    India simply have to be much more disciplined this time - to say they were resting on their laurels in 2011 would be to understate it. I remember being shocked at how out of shape some of their fast bowlers looked. I think Dravid would make an excellent coach, in the mould of Gary Kirsten or Stephen Fleming - someone with a natural empathy and understanding of the psychologies of the international game.

  • SrinivasPachari on June 30, 2014, 16:25 GMT

    They should take in Laxman in their coaching wings. Calm mind and good cricketing brain.

  • on June 30, 2014, 15:41 GMT

    VVS Laxman: "The reason why Rahul has been successful in English conditions is because of his mental discipline"

    But,VVS: Mental discipline is something which can't be transplanted!

  • on June 30, 2014, 15:39 GMT

    Dravid & Zak should replace Duncan Fletcher and Joe Dawes ASAP. We don't want an ineffective pair. Nor do we want a 'club' of coaches/ consultants/ guides/ advisers? A crowd? No way! We don't want India's support staff look like the 'crowd' assembled by MI.

  • Nampally on July 2, 2014, 0:39 GMT

    I only hope Dravid helps Dhoni in the selection of rational & Balanced XI with right players. This is one area where Dhoni 's captaincy has been very poor. He cannot be serious when he keeps including Ishant Sharma in XI when he is consistently bowling No-balls- one/over! His length & line are erratic. The Selectors have given him 6 pace bowlers to choose from but he keeps going back to Ishant! Aaron at 150 KPH along with Pankaj & Pandey need to get in the XI to support Kumar & Shami. SL have scored heavily against the England bowling & bowled well against them. Main reason was their determination to do well. If Dravid can instil the same discipline, determination & will to succeed in the Indian team, He would have done a great job. So far Indian bowling against Leicester & Derbyshire has been shockingly poor & disappointing. The same quality of bowling will easily enable England to get 600+ Totals in every test. Vast improvement is badly needed to put up a competitive performance!

  • on July 1, 2014, 11:07 GMT

    @LAKingsfan: Even Gary Kirsten and John Wright are soft spoken people. But see their results, especially the former. Also see what Greg Chapel did

  • on July 1, 2014, 3:18 GMT

    I think laxman will be hired as a batting consultant for the tour of Australia, given his excellent record in the country.

  • Praxis on June 30, 2014, 18:38 GMT

    Of course its natural for India wanting to improve their batting department, they already got a good base for it. I for once think these new batsmen are really talented & exciting. Whereas, bowling never had much to begin with. Test matches are won by bowlers, true. But to draw one ia largely dependent on the batsmen. India is doing the right thing.

  • LAKINGSFAN on June 30, 2014, 18:28 GMT

    @SwamyCricketAnanda: I don't know if Dravid will be successful as a coach. He's very soft spoken for a role of a coach. I would rather have Ganguly as coach and Dravid as just mentor.

  • LAKINGSFAN on June 30, 2014, 18:27 GMT

    It's known to the entire universe that India have had a lot of great batsmen like Dravid and VVS. What India need is a mentor for bowling. If they can't find anyone locally it's not wrong to bring in someone from abroad as Lehman did with Murali. The one name that comes to my mind is, Andy Bichael. I don't know whether he's with any other team but if available I would pick him.

  • cloudmess on June 30, 2014, 17:22 GMT

    India simply have to be much more disciplined this time - to say they were resting on their laurels in 2011 would be to understate it. I remember being shocked at how out of shape some of their fast bowlers looked. I think Dravid would make an excellent coach, in the mould of Gary Kirsten or Stephen Fleming - someone with a natural empathy and understanding of the psychologies of the international game.

  • SrinivasPachari on June 30, 2014, 16:25 GMT

    They should take in Laxman in their coaching wings. Calm mind and good cricketing brain.

  • on June 30, 2014, 15:41 GMT

    VVS Laxman: "The reason why Rahul has been successful in English conditions is because of his mental discipline"

    But,VVS: Mental discipline is something which can't be transplanted!

  • on June 30, 2014, 15:39 GMT

    Dravid & Zak should replace Duncan Fletcher and Joe Dawes ASAP. We don't want an ineffective pair. Nor do we want a 'club' of coaches/ consultants/ guides/ advisers? A crowd? No way! We don't want India's support staff look like the 'crowd' assembled by MI.

  • on June 30, 2014, 15:33 GMT

    @VVS: Dravid's case is clear cut. But, whose experience will help our young pace/swing bowlers? Ishant can't do it. I wonder whether he should even be in the playing XI! Who, would you suggest? Can Zak do it? We tried Prasad, with mixed results. Srinath may not be available due to his involvement as a match referee... he may not want to vacate that prestigious position. Our bowlers need help. URGENTLY!

  • Naresh28 on June 30, 2014, 14:35 GMT

    @mayuresh11 - agree with you about getting a WI bowling coach. We seem to get Oz/Sa ones. BCCI can afford it.

  • Realistic_cri_fan on June 30, 2014, 14:11 GMT

    @SwamyCricketAnanda Dravid opened for India during 2011 series after gambhir got injured.I remember Dravid opened in first innings and was unbeaten and still opened in 2nd innings after following on(The same day).I couldn't remember any other batsman did that.

  • SwamyCricketAnanda on June 30, 2014, 13:09 GMT

    As I recall, Dinesh Karthik opened in the series under Dravid which India won, and Sehwag was not in the squad. To my knowledge Rahul Dravid did not open in Tests. Maybe it was some other series.

  • Nampally on June 30, 2014, 13:02 GMT

    Indian touring team should include 3 Coaches- Batting, Bowling & Fielding + overall Mentor/Coach for developing mental toughness. In addition 2 Physios/Masseurs should also be in the party.It is very difficult to know what Fletcher's role is in terms of actual job duties. Indian touring Team has one of the worst if not the worst record in the recent times with almost 100% losses. There is very little thought or planning that goes in team selection in terms of addressing their deficiencies & choosing right horses for the right course. There is no strategy for establishing the lessons learnt from each failure or in implementing suitable corrective actions. Dhoni talks to Media about the lessons learnt & states we are aware of the challenges aware of us. I doubt whether he understands his own failures as a Captain. Dravid's selection as a Mentor is only a small step in this direction while many glaring deficiencies are brushed under the carpet. BCCI, Pl. address the issues Totally!

  • on June 30, 2014, 12:41 GMT

    Pls get someone who ll teach our bowlers what line and length to bowl in different countries. No changing angles, no variations, the leader of the pack only bowls short and wide outside off stump, which even a KG class guy will easily hit it. Even the associate nations seam to have atleast 1 bowler who is world class, fast, and better than anyone in the present indian team.

  • on June 30, 2014, 12:19 GMT

    We Don't have experienced bowlers of such capability ,where they can train the current bowlers...... So its better the batsmen score big runs.... and post a huge total... so our bowlers will come handy :-)

  • rizwan1981 on June 30, 2014, 12:15 GMT

    VVS Laxman said Dravid opened the innings in England in a couple of test matches - This clearly shows that Dravid more than anyone else has always been the ultimate team man ( He kept wickets in ODI which allowed Skipper Ganguly to play the extra batsman/bowler )

    I reckon Dravid is the second best batsman produced by India with the Gavaskar being the best ever ( 13 Centuries against the west indies is ample proof to justify his first among equals standing )

  • ravirrs on June 30, 2014, 12:02 GMT

    How many of these bowlers have played in England before?? I fail to understand the importance given to Batting than bowling.. Dravid's presence is certainly an asset to Indian team from batting prespective.

  • mayuresh11 on June 30, 2014, 10:39 GMT

    so according to laxman and other senior player bating is only concern with the INDIAN team....?

    what about bowling 7-8 bowlers or india who are among best in indai are not able to take 10 wickts in 90 over of not a a team on england .

    i think india will required a fast bowling coach such as ambrose walse of WI to help india to win in foreign land especially world cup coming .

    pls suggest your view also.

  • SwamyCricketAnanda on June 30, 2014, 10:34 GMT

    I've said it once, and I'll say it again: Rahul should be India's full time coach. He's a good communicator and a team-man, unlike Fletcher who has a generation gap.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • SwamyCricketAnanda on June 30, 2014, 10:34 GMT

    I've said it once, and I'll say it again: Rahul should be India's full time coach. He's a good communicator and a team-man, unlike Fletcher who has a generation gap.

  • mayuresh11 on June 30, 2014, 10:39 GMT

    so according to laxman and other senior player bating is only concern with the INDIAN team....?

    what about bowling 7-8 bowlers or india who are among best in indai are not able to take 10 wickts in 90 over of not a a team on england .

    i think india will required a fast bowling coach such as ambrose walse of WI to help india to win in foreign land especially world cup coming .

    pls suggest your view also.

  • ravirrs on June 30, 2014, 12:02 GMT

    How many of these bowlers have played in England before?? I fail to understand the importance given to Batting than bowling.. Dravid's presence is certainly an asset to Indian team from batting prespective.

  • rizwan1981 on June 30, 2014, 12:15 GMT

    VVS Laxman said Dravid opened the innings in England in a couple of test matches - This clearly shows that Dravid more than anyone else has always been the ultimate team man ( He kept wickets in ODI which allowed Skipper Ganguly to play the extra batsman/bowler )

    I reckon Dravid is the second best batsman produced by India with the Gavaskar being the best ever ( 13 Centuries against the west indies is ample proof to justify his first among equals standing )

  • on June 30, 2014, 12:19 GMT

    We Don't have experienced bowlers of such capability ,where they can train the current bowlers...... So its better the batsmen score big runs.... and post a huge total... so our bowlers will come handy :-)

  • on June 30, 2014, 12:41 GMT

    Pls get someone who ll teach our bowlers what line and length to bowl in different countries. No changing angles, no variations, the leader of the pack only bowls short and wide outside off stump, which even a KG class guy will easily hit it. Even the associate nations seam to have atleast 1 bowler who is world class, fast, and better than anyone in the present indian team.

  • Nampally on June 30, 2014, 13:02 GMT

    Indian touring team should include 3 Coaches- Batting, Bowling & Fielding + overall Mentor/Coach for developing mental toughness. In addition 2 Physios/Masseurs should also be in the party.It is very difficult to know what Fletcher's role is in terms of actual job duties. Indian touring Team has one of the worst if not the worst record in the recent times with almost 100% losses. There is very little thought or planning that goes in team selection in terms of addressing their deficiencies & choosing right horses for the right course. There is no strategy for establishing the lessons learnt from each failure or in implementing suitable corrective actions. Dhoni talks to Media about the lessons learnt & states we are aware of the challenges aware of us. I doubt whether he understands his own failures as a Captain. Dravid's selection as a Mentor is only a small step in this direction while many glaring deficiencies are brushed under the carpet. BCCI, Pl. address the issues Totally!

  • SwamyCricketAnanda on June 30, 2014, 13:09 GMT

    As I recall, Dinesh Karthik opened in the series under Dravid which India won, and Sehwag was not in the squad. To my knowledge Rahul Dravid did not open in Tests. Maybe it was some other series.

  • Realistic_cri_fan on June 30, 2014, 14:11 GMT

    @SwamyCricketAnanda Dravid opened for India during 2011 series after gambhir got injured.I remember Dravid opened in first innings and was unbeaten and still opened in 2nd innings after following on(The same day).I couldn't remember any other batsman did that.

  • Naresh28 on June 30, 2014, 14:35 GMT

    @mayuresh11 - agree with you about getting a WI bowling coach. We seem to get Oz/Sa ones. BCCI can afford it.