India in England 2014 August 22, 2014

Mid-tour changes 'tough on everyone' - Dravid


Play 07:58
Dravid: Indian team does respect Fletcher

Former India captain Rahul Dravid says he would have preferred to wait till the end of India's tour of England before making changes to the support staff. Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, Dravid said taking such a decision in the middle of a tour was "tough on everyone concerned".

"You don't have problems if people want to make changes, it's part of professional sport. [But] there's still not a lot of clarity on whether this is a long term appointment or the changes we have seen are for this series, so there's a bit of confusion around that," Dravid said. "Sometimes from a players' perspective that can be quite hard. I hope that's something Ravi [Shastri] will handle quite well. All these players also build relationships with support staff and as players you do recognise that at some level you are actually responsible for your own success and failure."

Ravi Shastri was named team director on Tuesday, while Sanjay Bangar, Bharat Arun and R Sridhar were named assistant coaches, sparking off a wave of speculation about Duncan Fletcher's future as head coach. Dravid is of the view that "it will be up to him" to decide whether he is comfortable in continuing in the role in this "new kind of environment", wherein he will have to report to someone at the ground.

Having worked extensively with Fletcher as a player, as well as team mentor recently, Dravid said he got along well with the players. "If you ask me, I think he's got a lot of knowledge and I know having been around the team that the team does respect him and a lot of them get along very well with him and do ask him for a lot of technical advice. There is a good rapport between him and Dhoni."

Dravid was also confident that Shastri and Fletcher would ensure they work together in the best interests of the team. "Knowing the kind of people that they are, they would want to ensure that the players see that there is no issue between them," he said. "Like Ravi says, Duncan will still be the head coach, he will still be running the team meetings and be involved in the selection of the playing eleven. So I hope there is no issue."

Even as the new support staff prepares to take over, Dravid appreciated the work put in by bowling coach Joe Dawes and fielding coach Trevor Penney who have been asked to go on leave for the one-day series. According to Dravid both did their jobs "very professionally and tried to do the best they can. Sometimes things don't work out."

Elaborating his point further, Dravid explained that the role of the support staff is restricted to giving players' the best environment to succeed in. "The support staff can't bat, bowl or catch for you. That's why sometimes being in the support staff or being a coach is a no-win situation because you might be giving the guys the best possible advise and the best possible training facilities but things don't work in the field. You can still drop catches, you can still have technical issues with the bat. Coaches can't solve everything and as good players, deep down, you know that. "

With virtually an all-Indian support staff now in charge, there has been talk that the BCCI will consider only home-grown coaches going forward. Dravid believes that while Indian coaches are coming up and getting exposure in the IPL, nationality should never be a factor in deciding on the right personnel for the job. "What the team needs at the time they should get," he said.

As a player, Dravid has worked with Shastri before, and said his positive personality should benefit the team. Recalling the period after the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies when he was captain and Shastri came in as interim manager after India's first-round exit, Dravid said: "I thought Ravi was very good in the time that he was there with the team. He's obviously got a lot of experience that he has to offer as a player. By personality he's a very positive, outgoing, upbeat kind of person, which can really help the team. His personality can help a lot of the younger players because they do respect him and what he's done for the game."

Gaurav Kalra is a senior editor at ESPNcricinfo. @gauravkalra75

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Android on August 24, 2014, 4:04 GMT

    And Senior Player like Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan, Harbajan Singh, S. Badtrinarth, Dinesh Karthick Murali Vijay And I Don't About Wassim Jaffer & Mohd Kaif Retirements. If They Are Not retired Please Give them All a Chance. And I request the BCCI and the team selector to select above 27 year old like Naman Ojha, Pragyen Ojha, Cheteshwer Pujara, Shikhear Dhawan, Abinav Mukund, Praveen Kumar, Vinay Kumar, Bhuveneshwer Kumar, Ravi Chandra Ashwin, Wriddiman Shah, Yussuf Pathan, Irfan Pathan, L. Balaji And etc. So they mind set up to adapt Condition in different Countries. Both mentally And physically Can react to the conditions. No More DHONI'S (Captian and wicket Keeper) In Test. Let him be an all rounder. If his under A captian. Therefore he can be compare to next Sachin Tendulkar. C Pujara is compared to Rahul Dravid. Ajinkya Rahane or Likely to compare V V S lakshman. And therefore there is missing player to compare Source Ganguly. So I request Team selector to find for SG replace.

  • Rusty on August 24, 2014, 1:01 GMT

    Dravid is absolutely correct...I admired him as a cricketer and now as an advisor/administrator......there is no use in blaming the coach or coaching staff for the Indian is all about the players and mainly their mentality, some or most of the Highly rated cricketers in the team are "Overrated" at best and have to get off their pedestal and use their brains and the coaches advice to win matches.....Bad captaincy for one is the reason for the defeat, I am not trying to stand on Dhoni but if he was brilliant in victory he is a chicken now when they are losing...........His field placing was atrocious to say the least.

  • Alex on August 23, 2014, 22:01 GMT

    I complete agree in coaches do not play big role in winning or losing but they can do lot of things right by making good decision. No one really care that much india losing but losing without a fight ? or without that intention? Meaning coaches are timid and trying to proect their job and salary than being forceful decision makers who believe in their concept.

    Dhoni talks lot about process. Process only good if you have players who fit it into that process. It is simply laughable weak people try to act strong. Process gives discipline at best but you still have to possess skill. Indian bowlers do not have express pace. Indian batsman can not play swinging rasing delivery because they are short. They can bend down like gavaskar but then gavaskar should be consultant. Indian young players have too much pride but do not wait out and out smart opposition. Every one leave it to other guy to rescue

  • Dummy4 on August 23, 2014, 17:14 GMT


  • Cricinfouser on August 23, 2014, 16:23 GMT

    India will lose 3-2 in the series

  • Dummy4 on August 23, 2014, 14:17 GMT

    I have the highest respect for Dravid. Yet, I would like to know, what he did as a batting consultant /mentor?

    For the first time, I feel uncomfortable with his stance, that everything was hunky dory with the coaching team consisting of Fletcher, Dawes, & Penny. And he himself, with a specific assignment, he accepted.

    I had appreciated every other view he had held in the past, on every issue he cared to comment or asked upon to comment... but not this time :-(

  • Android on August 23, 2014, 14:03 GMT

    the 1st thing we must do is select a player who can take catches at slip n the best man 4 that dat job is raina so plese select him,if nt 4 his batting but atleast 4 his slip catching n part time bowling n by almeans he is better than jadeja

  • Dummy4 on August 23, 2014, 13:42 GMT

    completely agree with RD, this issue of blaming coaches/ support staff for poor performance is utter nonsense. Their role in the game is at best facilitative and advisory. They cannot bowl, bat or filed on the day. Expecting them to play a pivotal role in improving performances is a vastly overrated and unrealistic expectation. We are in effect scripting our own disappointment. Also key to observe that great players don't necessarily make good coaches. The success of Fletcher, and Dave Whatmore and failure of Greg Chappel, Kapil Dev, is a case in point...

  • Khawaja on August 23, 2014, 10:38 GMT

    viz the england tour there seemed clear flaws in thinking patterns and selection and there seemed tobe no help for the floundering top order... there was extraordinary dependence on some would suggest the selection of the quality of the spinners rather than whether ashwin and jadeja were good or bad...similarly there were problems with the selection of a couple of medium pacers who did not cut it in the top order and there were clear flaws in how some bowlers should bowl...that all points to problems with the selectors back home as well as the coaches...dhoni while quite good a captain is a laid back individual...therefore it is probably the coaches who should be blamed...the coaches should work on top order players when they seem to not understand the bowling or the shots they play...while off spinners are the order of the day selecting a frontline bowler should be for his ability to bowl rather than any batting tests batting should be left to the top order

  • Karthi on August 23, 2014, 8:51 GMT

    What about the fans, we had hard time through out the series. England is such a mediocre team and got beaten by it is not such a small thing. Hard measures are needed. If you are playing for your country, you have to play well. I would have feel more happier if Duncan and Dhoni were shown their way. But good things happen slowly.

  • No featured comments at the moment.