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News

Dravid: 'Ro, thank you for making that call and asking me to continue'

Dravid says that he had no plans to continue as India head coach after the ODI World Cup final defeat, but a call from his captain changed his mind

Rahul Dravid was done as India head coach after his initial two-year term ended at the end of last year's ODI World Cup, where the team finished runners-up to Australia. Then came a call from Rohit Sharma, and everything changed.
"Ro, thank you very much for making that call to me in November and asking [me] to continue," Dravid, whose tenure ended after India's T20 World Cup 2024 title win, said in a video posted by the BCCI.
"I think it's been such a privilege and a pleasure to work with each and every one of you, but Ro, also thanks for the time. There is a lot of time we have to chat, we have to discuss, we have to agree, we have to disagree at times, but thank you so very much."
As coach, apart from winning the T20 World Cup, Dravid was in charge when India got to the World Test Championship final in June 2023 and the ODI World Cup final in November 2023.
In his moment of glory as coach, Dravid said he didn't believe in "redemption stories". That was in response to a question on whether it was particularly satisfying to lift the World Cup on the same shores where India were dumped out of the ODI World Cup in the first round in 2007 with Dravid the team's captain.
"I'm not usually short of words but on a day like today, for me to be part of this, I could not be more grateful," Dravid said. "For the respect, for the kindness, for the effort that each and everyone of you have shown to me, to my coaching staff, to my support staff.
"All of you will remember these moments. We always say, it is not about the runs, it is not about the wickets, you never remember your career but you remember moments like this, so let's really enjoy."
Dravid was hoisted by the entire team on the field during the victory celebrations, with Virat Kohli and Rohit leading the way. Dravid and the selectors were responsible for bringing back the two senior players to the T20I side earlier this year despite them having not featured in the format for a long time.
As they celebrated together, Dravid had a small message for Kohli: "All three whites ticked off. One red to go. Tick it." The reference being to India's wins in the ODI World Cup in 2011, the Champions Trophy in 2013 and now the T20 World Cup, all of which Kohli was a part of, and the Test championship, which India haven't won yet despite reaching the final on both occasions so far.
Dravid's successor is expected to be named soon. VVS Laxman is coaching the second-string side that will play a series of five T20Is in Zimbabwe starting July 6, and Jay Shah, the BCCI secretary, has said that the next coach will be named ahead of the white-ball tour of Sri Lanka in late July. Gautam Gambhir is the frontrunner to be named head coach.
Last month, prior to the start of the T20 World Cup, Dravid had cited the packed calendar as a major reason for not reapplying for the job. "Unfortunately, just the kind of schedules [that are in place in international cricket] and where I find myself in this stage in my life, I don't think I'll be able to reapply," he had said upon India's arrival in New York.