Former India captain Rahul Dravid has been appointed in a mentoring role to the team in the run-up to their five-Test series in England. Dravid will have a few sessions with the players before the series begins on July 9. He is expected to join the team latest by Monday.
The move was initiated by the team management, according to BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel. "It was the coach (Duncan Fletcher) who approached us on behalf of the team and said it would be good to have Rahul with his vast experience spend some time with the boys ahead of the series," Patel told ESPNcricinfo. "We immediately requested Rahul and he readily agreed."
This will be the first time Dravid, who has been mentoring IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals after retiring from international cricket in 2012, will be associated in such a capacity with the national team.
In March this year, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar had said that Dravid should take over as India coach, but the latter had declined the suggestion citing lack of time.
"Rahul Dravid is one man who is enormously respected and was a successful captain, having won series in West Indies and England," Gavaskar had said. "When he speaks, the Indian players, some of whom are superstars, listen to him as they know how much preparation went into his game."
"I am happy that he (Gavaskar) said I am capable of doing the job," Dravid had said. "But the job requires a lot of time, almost 11 months a year. I have just retired and at the moment because of time constraints, I have to decline."
Dravid was India's best batsman on their previous tour of England in 2011, his three centuries the only bright spot in a 0-4 rout. In all, six of Dravid's 36 Test hundreds came in England, where he made 1376 runs in 13 Tests at an average of 68.80. He also had a successful stint with county side Kent in 2000, scoring 1221 runs in 16 matches at 55.50 with two centuries.